Last week, Nigerian actor Enyinna Nwigwe posted a video featuring Success Adegor, the 7 year old Nigerian school child who went viral when a video of her fiesty response to being kicked out of school for not being able to afford school fees was recorded and put on the internet without her guardian’s consent. In the video Enyinna announces that Success has been cast in a new Nollywood film by Omar Koma called Just A Dream where she plays a clairvoyant child.
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She isn’t shy to ask questions, will question the use of a word if she understood it differently in context. She knows all her lines and those of all her co-actors & will remind you if you skip a word(Smart alec, protecting her cues?). A specially intelligent & gifted 8year old girl child @itksuccess is & we are truly blessed to have her on @just_adreammovie #ChildEducationAmbassador #SuccessAdegor @successgoestoschool
This is an unexpected but unsurprising turn. Success did show a flair for the dramatic in her viral video, she was articulate, funny and irreverent, all attributes that work well on camera. And a career in Nollywood (if she is managed right) can change things for her and her family.
But it wouldn’t be fair if we weren’t a little apprehensive about motives, especially considering this isn’t the first time a ‘viral’ sensation has been pushed into a career in show business without the adequate training and support that a career in the arts requires. The most memorable viral sensation in recent times were Olajumoke Orisaguna, the bread seller who went viral globally after she photobombed a Tinie Tempah shoot. Orisaguna had a career in show business foisted on her for years, a career she wasn’t prepared for or given the appropriate tools to thrive in. And Orisaguna was an adult with children of her own.
Already Success has had to weather attention from the presidency, a feud with the person who recorded her without her consent insisting a portion of the cash donations given to Success be shared with her, and cameo appearances by ‘Warri’ comedians who included her as a novelty on their shows. Hopefully, Success’s brush with fame isn’t merely a publicity grabbing stunt and Nollywood is actually investing in honing whatever latent talents she has and ensuring her rights as a minor are protected. Its the least they can do.
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.