BIMBO AKINTOLA SPEAKS ON HOW MEDIA AND ACTORS SHOULD WORK

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Acting is not different from any other profession, am not different from a doctor or a lawyer because I actually when to school to study it. The main difference now is the avenue of which we work, mine is television and based on that, people have to know me. A lot of us, especially me, I don’t care for publicity but I do know we can work together but obviously there is no chemistry between us. A while ago somebody wrote a story about a top Actress the person who wrote the story must have had a serious beef (resentment) for her personally, now even if you have beef with her you don’t insult her daughter on the pages of any paper, they called her daughter an ALBINO, who does that?
CHECK PERSONAL FEELINGS

What happens is that the media sometimes behave like the public when you shouldn’t, you know the public see us in their bed room, they assume they know us, so they get upset about every little thing. You don’t know me! You don’t know us! The medium of our work is TV just like the medium of your work is paper, I can’t because I read about you in my bedroom decide that I know you and I see you on the street and get upset that you didn’t treat me properly. You don’t know me, you are not my friend, we don’t have a relationship and what we should have is a proper professional relationship. Look, am the first person that will tell you if you find anything funny about an Actor, Musician or public figure you have every right to write about it because what you are doing is giving information to the people but why formulate story because you feel the person has slighted you one way or another and the worst part of it is that the person doesn’t know you, because most of the stories are written in a way that it must be personal. I for one don’t know any journalist, am not friends with any journalist. I will prefer a situation where we have professional relationship but I avoid journalist like a plague, I do. That you do not agree with the principles of a person does not mean you have the right to judge the person. We have to learn how to check our personal feelings and opinion, you have to remove your personal opinion from your work. For example if I say I don’t like Rita Dominic so I wouldn’t work with her, that’s stupidity because am not being professional, whether I like the person or not I have to work with the person when I have to . You have no right to like or dislike us, it’s none of your business how we live our lives whether you agree with it or not but you have to be unbiased as possible, you state what the person has done and when the person has done it, like if you catch me in a minajatwa  feel free to put the pictures in the paper, it’s your work but for you to now say in some part of your paper that so, so Actor A A or A B acting for the last 20 years was caught in a minajatwa…that rubbish, am sorry that’s crap, if you have no evidence why say it? You will sell your papers today but what happens tomorrow

Things are changing, a lot of Actors are now producers, they are doing stuffs for themselves, this is where you come in because everybody needs a personal publicist, who will be our personal publicist if not you guys but if we are so scared of you guys being our publicist then we’ll be looking for someone who is not in the industry to deal with us direct. You are losing out at the end of the day and we are losing out, we are both losing out because this relationship should be one that works both ways, if we are not working together then we are both missing out and that’s the truth.

REPAIRING THE DAMAGE

I don’t know how easy it’s going to be, it’s going to take a while, it’s not something that can be done overnight, I will tell you the truth, because a lot of actors do have deep resentment for journalist due to one or two things that happened to them personally and it’s not someone else’s story but something that happened to them personally .So if you are interested in repairing this damage you have to keep re-assuring the person, let me cite an example; a guy from a major newspaper was trying to interview me but I was not really answering then he said “okay can you do me a favour”? “can you answer me three questions about cloths and shopping, so if you see what I write and handle it, give me an interview”  that’s the way forward because it shows the person does not really have any hidden agenda. Also what we can do is that we can just check this stories when we get them, look if I was a journalist , I will be digging, doing investigative reporting, I will be looking for everybody’s bad story but I’ll have evidence, there is nothing wrong doing that. As an Actor you know that unfortunately part of your life will be public, that’s the disadvantage of being an actor but that’s something you have to deal with, so if you have skeletons in your closet they will show, they will come out, it’s like being a politician, if you have skeleton in your closet they will come out why?  because politicians are leader.

Actors, people see us as role model but I tell people actors or musicians shouldn’t be your role models, pick other people, am serious, I have reasons for saying it because most of this people you don’t know them, you don’t know where they are from, you don’t know their back ground, they are just fortunate to be public figures via music or television it doesn’t make them role models, same with me, if you want me to be your role model then have specific reason. So, please it’s going to take a while but I think it’s something that can be done if we are all patient, that’s the way I see it. And there is something I want you guys to remember, each Actor or musicians is a human being, forget the hype, they are human beings first of all, if you write something damaging about the person, you are hurting another person, as for me I have a thick skin, I don’t care (laughs) that’s the truth, I have being that way since childhood. I really don’t care about certain thing, there are thing I find exciting and that I care about but for a lot of people it does upset them, I does make them very unhappy, it does. I could name several people who have been bitter about what has been written about them, so remember that you are making someone for no reason. Well, I do think that we sometimes forget that actors are human beings daddies and mummies, brothers and sister, husbands and wife, children at the end of the day they are just human beings there is nothing amazing

Bimbo Akintola delivered this paper at the best of nollywood retreat

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