Veteran actor, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, has cried out to the government to pay attention to the actors and actresses in the entertainment industry.
Speaking on the recent deaths in the entertainment industry, Emmanuel disclosed that the industry is being sustained by private business people who are no longer making money, therefore they as the actors bear the brunt of it all.
He explained that most of his colleagues are struggling and while the governement is yet to take any action, they are actually losing "highly talented Nollywood practitioners."
The 54-year-old made this known in an interview recently.
"The industry has been this hard hit as a result of the downturn in the economy and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic.
"For a lot of people in Nollywood, the finances are not there. Our people are struggling. The government needs to give some kind of bail out to our industry in whatever shape or form.
"It’s not about them (government officials) jumping on television or radio to talk about things, but to practically help us in the industry.
"They need to give us some form of financial assistance in order to cushion the effects. As I speak to you now, there are a couple of my colleagues that are sick. Even this morning, another one called me.
"I don’t want to mention his name. He has been ill for quite a while. This is a guy who was very popular on TV, even before the advent of home videos.
"I suggested to him to find a way to reach his state government. I told him if he could get somebody’s number who could link us with any of the commissioners in the state, especially that of culture and tourism.
"I volunteered to be the one to call the person or commissioner. I would tell the person that someone who had popularised the name of the state had a serious ailment. I would let them know that the person needs government’s intervention, otherwise he would die.
"It is no longer a question of us keeping quiet. Our people are dying because there is no money.
"This is an industry that is a bigger employer of labour. A lot of people who could not get jobs have flocked to Nollywood, whether they are trained or not.
"Nollywood is being sustained by private businesspeople who are no longer making money. We are in dire need of financial assistance. People are dying. Many have also run away from the country.
"For the Nigerians and government officials reading this, (I want them to know that) a lot of popular faces that we used to know have quietly left the country and more are leaving.
"Nollywood needs government’s intervention now.
I" am also using this opportunity to call on well-meaning Nigerians who are rich.
"Let us coordinate and get a list of our people who are sick. Some are now bedridden.
"Some are just taking drugs at home because they cannot afford to stay in the hospital. Kindhearted Nigerians and corporate bodies should assist by paying into the account of hospitals that our sick colleagues use.
"Otherwise, we run the risk of losing a good number of highly talented Nollywood practitioners who have put the name of Nigeria on the global entertainment map," he said.