Dr Dalhatu Tafida, the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, has commended Nigerian Nollywood stars for the high degree of professionalism they have brought into the country’s film industry.
Speaking at a dinner party he hosted in honour of some Nollywood starts at his official residence in London, he said the Nigerian film industry had benefited immensely from their knowledge and professional experience. The Nollywood stars were in London for the AFRO Hollywood awards organised by the African Voice Newspapers.
Tafida said that if such talents and skills were harnessed properly, the Nigerian economy would be the better for it.He confessed that he did not realise the extent to which Nollywood films were being appreciated globally until his posting to the UK nearly three years ago.
“Whenever I attend an event, my colleagues from other African countries say they watch nothing but Nollywood.
Literarily, they know more about Nollywood than I do. This is why of recent, I have cultivated the habit of watching the films.
“Not only that, my wife always watches western films, which I never enjoyed, but because of my passion for the Nollywood films, she has also cultivated the same habit of watching them.”
He reiterated Federal Government’s determination to give adequate support to the Nigerian film industry, which he said was worth more than $250 million.
Mr Mike Abiola, the Chairman, AFRO Hollywood Awards and Publisher/Chief Executive of the African Voice Newspaper, had earlier commended Tafida for his continued support and intervention in ensuring that 15 Nollywood actors and actresses were issued British visas, which made it possible for them to travel to the UK.
He described the intervention as “unprecedented,” noting that the Nigerian community in the UK had enjoyed transformation in customer service delivery from the Nigerian mission during Tafida’s tenure.
Abiola explained that the objective of the award ceremony was to celebrate the Nigerian tradition and culture within the British environment, and to especially educate the youth.
“It is a vehicle for us to introduce our children to our traditions and culture.”
Some of the actors and actresses at the event include Mr Tunji Bamishigbin, Antar Laniyan, Femi Brainard, Comedian Omo Baba, Muyiwa Adegoke and Baba T.
The others were Miss Susan Peters, Halima Abubakar, Tolulope Adelekan and Bukola Awoyemi.