One of the issues that has plagued Nollywood, aside the lack of funds and government support, is actors falling into illnesses and terminal medical conditions, only for them to pass away without any care or support from within the industry. Last year, the Secretary-General of the AGN under Ibinabo Fiberesima came out to respond to Ernest Asuzu’s claim that Nollywood abandoned him to face his illness alone. Asuzu is known for movies like Accidental Discharge, Royal Wedding and Chain Reaction.
Other actors who have accused the AGN of abandoning them in the past include the late Prince James Uche. This worrisome development has propelled AGN to launch a foundation to secure N500 million to support its ailing members. Under the current leadership of veteran actor Emeka Rollas, the body was able to procure N5 million after meeting with Senate President Bukola Saraki on Wednesday.
In a statement, Rollas said the AGN intends to use the foundation to give back to the fans and community at large by engaging in community development projects. “Veterans who have contributed to the development of the industry most times do not have anything to fall back on after long number of years of service.”
Rollas, who was installed as the president of the body in August, 2017, is determined to build a strong and united guild for Nigerian actors. “In the recent past, the guild has lost prominent veteran actors to serious illnesses due to certain medical conditions, which could have been averted if there was a medium or platform set aside to harness the strength of the association to fund medical treatment of our own or source for funding from philanthropist or Nigerians to rescue their legends.”
Notable guild members in attendance were Segun Arinze, Zik Zulu Okafor, Ebele Okaro, Chiwetalu Agu and Binta Ayo Mogaji.