NOLLYWOOD thrives on artistes’ popularity, and that is why well-known actors and actresses secure several movie roles, while those who are less-known find it difficult to get roles.
As a result of the fact that fans prefer popular artistes featuring in the movies they watch, upcoming artistes are finding it difficult to showcase their God-given talents.
This is, therefore, something of a concern for Mary Mofoluwaso Mustapha. As an upcoming artiste, she believes she has the talent and passion to see her to the top in Nollywood, but the preference for established artistes by fans, producers and marketers is like a kind of stumbling block for her and those who are in this category.
Mustapha, a student of Theatre Arts and Film Studies, Lead City University, Ibadan, urged stakeholders in the movie industry to give upcoming artistes chance to prove themselves by featuring them in movies.
“I fell in love with acting while in secondary school, and since then, I made up my mind that I would join the mainstream movie industry.
“In fact, in order to hone my skills in the profession, I joined the Itage Arts Academy, under Mr Wale Olaleye in 2013. I later joined Sharafadeen Olabode’s theatre school in Lagos, where I was exposed to the rudiments of theatre performance.
“Despite being an upcoming actress, I have featured in a number of movies like Omo Nla, Aye Shina Rambo, among others. I think I have featured in about 10 movies altogether.”
Mustapha, however, lamented that lack of opportunities for upcoming artistes is what is driving many of them to shoot their own movies.
“However, one needs to find a sponsor who will help with the financial aspect of shooting the movie, and that is why you find relatively new artistes becoming producers once they have someone who can bankroll their project.
“When an artiste opts for this route, then he or she will play major roles in the movies, which would expose him to the public, and this will bring about more movie roles from other producers.”
On whether she plans shooting her own movies soon, Mustapha said, “that is my dream; however, finding a sponsor is the biggest challenge. I have spoken to several people to support me in this regard, but they have always promised to look into the project and get, but they wouldn’t at the end of the day.
“I have stories I intend to develop into movies, but when one finds it difficult to find sponsors, then there is nothing one can do. However, I will keep striving and working hard by giving my best in whatever roles I am featured in.
“That is why I also want to use this opportunity to appeal to movie fans, producers and marketers to give upcoming artistes chance to discover themselves. If those who are popular with the fans today were not discovered, then we wouldn’t be talking about them today.”
Mustapha, who will soon be concluding her bachelors degree, said upon graduation, she would be better equipped to interpret roles in movies.
“In fact, I don’t just want to be an actress; I want to be a professional who passed through the academic trainings before using the skills I garnered in school to aid my interpretation of roles.
“In school, I am learning about the theoretical aspect of performance, but upon graduation, I will put those trainings to use, and movie lovers should expect to see more of me in movies.”
On her colleagues in the industry, Mustapha said, “I meet a lot of my senior colleagues on locations and they always give upcoming artistes words of encouragement. We relate as one big family, and I see them as my elder brothers and sisters,” Mustapha said.
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