|Nkem Owoh is famous for his song, "I go Chop your Dollar"|
Nollywood stars Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki), Osita Iheme (Paw Paw), Nkem Owoh (Osuofia), and John Okafor (Mr. Ibu) had a short message for viewers. The stars thanked their fans and supporters the world over for their patronage. Then they got down to what they had to say: people selling counterfeit copies of their movies was causing them to lose money. I found their ad quite humorous.
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Na wa o. See as they just dey beg people to stop buying pirated movies. Dem say, no chop my dollar o! "We no dey eat again, all because of piracy!" Chei. I think that's a huge overstatement. Sure, they're losing money. But to say that they are starving is not believable. I'm sure most Nigerians would not take these guys seriously. The average Nigerian who is suffering probably won't have much sympathy for these rich actors claiming that they are going broke.
The irony is that these very same actors are always making movies about some scheme to cheat people out of their money some way or another. Nkem Owoh is famous for his song, "I go Chop your Dollar." I can't count the number of movies where Osita and Chinedu have played little thieves, pocketing money that doesn't belong to them. In fact, the very film series where the ad was placed featured Nkem Owoh running a huge scam, claiming to be a FIFA world cup official.
I understand that these are movies and the roles the actors portray may not match their true character. But the abundance of these types of dealings in movies shows that it has become so much a part of Nigerian mentality: "Take what you can from who you can, right or wrong, to sustain yourself and even get rich, because after all, I'm suffering."
Government officials, 419ers, and yes, those selling pirated DVDs are all thinking like this. It's wrong, but it's accepted as a way of life. Making an ad against piracy is not enough to change a deep set mentality. I think these actor's efforts would be better used to create some kind of initiative to give people jobs. At the end of the day, that's the reason why most people turn to crooked ways: poverty and lack of income or greed for more.