Nigerian movie director, Femi Odugbemi has called on creatives from different African countries to stop discriminating against each other.
According to him, the attitude of pitching one country against another does not augur well for the development of the creative industry in Africa.
In an exclusive interview with citinewsroom.com at the launch of the Multichoice Talent Factory Academy in Lagos – Nigeria, Femi, who is also the Director of the West Africa chapter of the academy said the only way Africans can project their stories is to stop creating barriers.
“As far as I am concerned, the divisions between Ghana and Nigeria are artificial. One of the ways in which the concept of Africanism can work is when we stop referring to the borders. I am a big fan of Kwame Nkrumah’s writings and what I think he did in the period when we were all looking for independence was to define Africa not geographically but in terms of the things that bind us,” he said.
In the wake of this, he intimated that the stories of Africa must not be stories of division, or else, we lose.
“The stories of Africa should not be East versus West or Ghana versus Nigeria, Francophone versus Anglophone – if we do that, we lose,” he explained.
Femi, who has a strong relationship with Ghana. He used to be a visiting lecturer at the National Film and Television Institute in Ghana.The rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria has been prominent in recent times as most Ghanaian feel Nigerian art is given more reception in Ghana than Ghana’s, in Nigeria.
A few months ago, after some Zylofon Music artiste had had low reception at a concert in Nigeria, there were calls for higher support for Ghanaian music other than Nigerian.
Shatta Wale, in 2017 championed a campaign against the penchant for Ghanaians to promote Nigerian music, stating that he did not regard Nigeria music giant, Wizkid as a superstar.
About Femi Odugbemi
Femi documentary filmmaker, screenwriter, cinematographer, director, producer and photographer.
He has scripted, directed and produced documentaries, short films and drama. He produced Tinsel, a Nigerian soap opera that began airing in August 2008 acclaimed “the most successful television drama on Nigerian television in recent times” in 2013.
Odugbemi scripted, directed and produced Bariga Boys, a multiple award-winning Nigerian documentary about street performers in Bariga, Lagos.
In 2013, he scripted, produced and directed a documentary titled, Literature, Language and Literalism about the late Nigerian writer, Daniel O. Fagunwa, the author of Ògbójú Ọdẹ nínú Igbó Irúnmalẹ̀.
He is a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Media and Communications, Pan-African University, a postgraduate training university.
On June 26, 2018, he received a formal invitation to become a voting member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the United States.
He is currently the Academy Director for Multichoice Talent Factory Academy – West Africa.
By: Kwame Dadzie/citinewsroom.com/Ghana