and maker, Olu Michaels, 48, is one of the movie entrepreneurs who invested so much without getting the desired reward. He has worked with many  big names in the movie industry, including Funke Akindele on Jenifa’s Diary for two years. The -cum-, in this no-hold-barred with OLAITAN GANIU revealed why he wants to remain single, and even childless, how his multi-million naira on movie project went down the drain, among others. Excerpts:

IT seems ’re a jack of . What aspect of are you venturing into ?

I’m focusing on movie production because I’m looking into changing the where this cartel has been in the industry for a while. I don’t like the idea where each I on my , are certain who do a so-called English movie. Also, as a producer, each time I said I want to produce a movie, I was told: ‘If this or that person are not going to be in the movie, we won’t buy it.’

I have actually produced a movie, gave it to a marketer and they refused it simply because the is a man or he is not part of their caucus. So, why is that? As as the storyline is good, why do I have to bring your clique into my production? In the two years, I’m looking into changing the narrative.

What approach are you using in changing this narrative?

Of course, I keep doing what I know how to do best. Over the years, I’ve worked for many people and my observation is that once you are creative and , if you’re in a hole, clients will for you. So, my approach is, continue producing good . If the is good, the storyline is fantastic and quality is perfect, fans will look for you.

Do you with ?

No, this is another problem – getting a link with , Showmax, and likes. Hopefully, we would get a link someday because so passionate about dominating the Nigerian movie industry. Over six years, with the little I saved, added with loan – my plan was actor to buy a with money in Ajah, but the plan changed when I was coming back from and I met an at the . I told her my desire to become a actor and she was like: ‘I could you if you really want.’ As we speak, I have invested almost N100million and I’ve not got a back, not even a thousand naira.


It is annoying if I want to in detail. The movie I ever made titled, Igbekele, was shot for N2.1million and before I got a marketer to buy it for N600,000. In , the marketer was telling me, ‘I am just doing you a favour and to encourage you.’

Since then, about 13 movies I have produced so far are on my table and the cheapest of them is N2.1 million. Last week I just finished one for N4.7million.

Do you think that is what’s robbing off movie entrepreneurs?

There are so many producers who have been here before me and some of them told me: ‘I give you just one year. You might not have money to feed.’ And, honestly, they are not lying because in less than six months, I have spent N47million and have not got a penny.

Even the N600,000 I said the market bought my movie, he promised to pay in 4-5 months’ time and that will by February 2020. And people buy from and sell it to platforms for millions.

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So, what do you think is ?

Well, what I think will help is when a such as DSTV, Rock (Remi Njoku) open their doors; they only appoint a few people who can go to them. I think marketers might have edge over us as producers.

At a point, I was willing to give my movies to DSTV for free. All they need to do is to make the movie known to people and after a while, people will pay for it. Again, I’m not asking these people to give me money to produce movies. I have all the necessary resources and equipment to perfect movie but at least they should see the content but they will take their own people.

And for your movie to be in cinemas in is not easy except you are a popular actor or actress.

Despite these challenges, you keep producing, why?

I will keep producing movies, except there is no money. But as long as there is funds, I don’t think I will stop. Honesty, I should get tired because of the house I’m hoping to buy. I don’t have it. Since I don’t have a house to , I will keep shooting. I just keep hoping that I won’t get tired .

Which project are you currently working on?

We just rounded off a movie last week and we are shooting another three before the year runs out. We are just waiting for the two titans, Omotola and Genevieve – in the Nigerian movie industry. I am currently working on featuring the two together on one of our projects.

For two years, I was part of a crew that worked on the popular , actress Jenifa’s Diary, created by Funke Akindele. I have produced several movies through my production outfit by the name ‘ibelieve’. The outfit has  produced  movies such as Irin Ajo, Like mother Like son, Crack, The and Tafa Onimoto among others.

 How are you charging the to intervene?

The has been doing the little they could but unfortunately, there are some people that are supposed to speak too, especially the veterans, to encourage the younger ones.

 As an actor, what do you look forward to in the script?

Deep storyline. In Nigeria, most scriptwriters narrow a storyline, they write based on one . One of the best movies I saw recently is a movie titled, ‘ of Boys’. In the movie, there are lots of . You might just be seeing only Shola Shobowale but there over seven in the movie.

As a professional filmmaker, do you think it’s ideal to produce a movie in two to three days?

Well, it depends on the . I won’t say it is wrong or right. When I came into the industry that was what was being done. I’ve been in a movie set in Asaba to produce an English movie and at a point, I wanted to run away because that is what I was used to in Yoruba , which could take about two to three days. If you go more than three days, they will tell you, it’s a project.

Today, a project is one week and what movie refers to as project is years but Yoruba , three days, we are through with a movie because of the cost and that is why there is no substance. I’m challenging all that with my movie project.

What would you describe as your best achievement?

So far, each time I get on set, I have been able to touch different lives. I am passionate about empowering and doing charity . I believe if you are from nowhere, you will understand what it takes when someone begs you for . Sometimes, I don’t like giving but prefer to donate the machine or equipment needed. While I was growing, I had nobody to help me. The worst that can happen to people is being poor without having someone to help.

 Any plans to venture into ?

, eventually I am hoping to become a or .

 Are you married?

I’m not married, and I don’t intend to. Truth be told, I’m scared of and I don’t think I will ever get married. Though, I wanted to have when I was younger but not now, it is too late. Why I said it’s too late for having is that I am a workaholic and I don’t  like a situation where I would want to and then a starts . My have been begging me to get married but no.

 What do you look out for in a woman?

I am a jealous man. For example, if I marry an actress and I see her another actor on set, I will never tolerate such. Also, if I marry a beautiful woman, I might never concentrate on my work because I will be on the look to protect her.

 How do you feel being at night?

What I do every time I feel lonely is that I have a that I bought with all my money. It is a and the interior is wow. I it. I just drive round town and get and sleep off.

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