On April 16, Nigerians vote for a new president. Do you have any interest in politics?
I personally think that there is nothing wrong with artists getting involved in politics. We have a lot of fans all over the world. If you remain silent, you are not doing justice to your fans. The youth believes in us, they look up to us. They want us to speak for them. We are their voices. So when we see that the government can do whatever they like, I don’t think that’s ok!
Let’s say you became the president of Nigeria overnight. What would be your number one priority?
My dream is to transform my country into a good one. First of all we’ve got a problem with electricity in my country, and also with insecurity. Energy, power! When you do have it, you attract a lot of investors. They will come over and say: I want to hire you. Electricity is a part of security. When there’s light everywhere, there’s less crime.
So you wouldn’t like to be president yourself?
It depends. Whatever you want to do in life, you have to ask god for assistance. Only if I say: “God I want you to direct me” and God says: “Fine! You can go into politics.” It’s not up to me to decide if I want to be the president. It’s the Almighty who directs me.
What is it about Nigeria that makes you smile the most?
We, Nigerians, always find a way to take good care of ourselves. We are out there. We have a pertinent role to play in the world. We contribute to the development of African nations. It is the biggest black nation.
The power of Nollywood, what is it?
We’ve been able to show the African culture to the world. When you don’t know a lot about African culture and you go and see Nollywood movies, you see how we live. People in the West sometimes tell us we live in trees. But when you watch our movies you’ll see that we live as well as they do. We drive good cars, we have big houses. We’re using Nollywood to tell the world: This is where we are. Look at our country! Look at Africa!
Nollywood: is it quality or quantity?
After Hollywood and Bollywood, we are the next biggest movie-producing country. We can release fifty to sixty films in a week! Some people in the industry have turned into the biggest entrepreneurs in my country. We’re trying as much as we can to improve the quality. It’s not a government funded industry. So we‘re doing it with what we have, from our own pocket.
When will you conquer Hollywood?
As an actor, your dream is to conquer the whole world. But I’d love to conquer Hollywood, because Hollywood is the headquarter of entertainment. If you don’t have that dream, it means you have limits!
Watch below a clip from Nollywood with Osita Iheme as Paw Paw: