A popular Nollywood and film actor Dr Sam Dede, has called on the Federal Government to provide an enabling environment for artistes to perform better.
Dede said this in an interview with newsmen in Uyo, on the sideline of the Uyo 2018 NANTAP National Delegates Convention on Saturday.
He said that the Nigerian theatre arts practitioners in spite of the harsh economic environment have contributed immensely to the development of the economy.
He appealed to government to provide an enabling environment for the artistes in the country to perform optimally.
“We have been able to make very profound impact in the Nigerian economy. It is there for everybody to see, we have done our own beat. There are still quite a lot to do.
“All we are asking from Government is to provide an enabling environment for artistes to thrive.
“If the economy is in a better shape, we will come up with better things; something drastic has to be done to the economy,” Dede said.
He called on other professionals in the country to emulate theatre and entertainment practitioners in contributing to the development of the economy.
Also speaking to NAN, Mr Edmond Enaibe, an actor said government should use artistes in propagating the Nigerian culture.
This, Enaibe noted would further accord the artistes proper recognition in the society.
According to him, lack of proper recognition had been one of the challenges facing artistes in the country.
“Recognition for the Nigerian artistes should come from individuals and governments.
“As practitioners, we have tried to see how we can promote our own society through our association as actors.
“However, the society has always fallen short of living up to our expectations using the potentials of the Nigerian actors and practitioners in achieving some of our national aspirations as a people.
“When we want to do anything as in promoting nationality, there are no other people representing than your cultural icons, the artistes.
“If an actor gets that recognition, it then aggregate to become the financial benefit to the actor and eventually for the society because the patronage becomes financial satisfaction,” Enaibe said
He urged Nigerian government to emulate Indian government by encouraging artistes to promote the economy.
He said: “You will find that one of the things that makes India popular today; they have been able to sell their culture through the cinema.
“The Indian government realised the importance of this, hence they promote culture and encourage artistes.
“Today you can see Indian films being made in China, Canada and even in Europe.”
On the dearth of cinemas in the country, the actor said that the entertainment industry has improved on the old way of going to sit at night watching cinemas which were not of Nigerian cultural background.
He said that now Nigerians have opportunities to go and watch cinemas with Nigerian cultural background in an air-conditioned room.
“Cinema in Nigeria is different from cinema as we knew it then, so the dearth as some of you think has happened to Nigerian film is only the dearth of the cinema culture then as we knew in the 60s and 70s.
“That is talking about the cinema culture that you wake up at night to go and see films and those films again were not Nigerian films
“But what is being resuscitated today is the elites culture which also existed in the 70s in certain cinemas that we are showing, that you can go to cinema shows in an air conditioned room.
“The good thing about cinemas today is that they are showing Nigerian films and that for us is rebirth that should be encouraged.
“So, the dearth of cinema culture is the dearth of an old cinema that we used to know, “he said.
NAN reports that the theme of the Uyo 2018 NANTAP Convention is, “Reproductive Health, Family Planning and National Development; the Nigerian Artistes in Promoting a Worthy Cause”.