Making movies and advertising them in Nigeria is not an inexpensive endeavor, as we have learned, particularly from Toyin Abraham during her publicity tour for her most recent film, Ijakumo. Making a movie is very costly and labor-intensive. Nevertheless, it makes sense that occasionally, when filmmakers are given a budget, they don’t spend the entire budget to make movies because people are human and many people will always have huge eyes. They instead take some money.
Actress and filmmaker Toyin Abraham was questioned about this practice of filmmakers siphoning off funds intended for film development during a recent interview with The Will Downtown.
Toyin Abraham got candid about the topic and also opened up about why she now can no longer do such. Here is what Toyin Abraham said.
Speaking about filmmakers not spending entire budgets on project and pocketing some for themselves, Toyin Abraham said:
TOYIN ABRAHAM: I’m going to be sincere and open. What you said now (on filmmakers not spending the entire budget on the project), maybe seven or eight years ago, I would have done the same if I had the opportunity. It’s poverty; it is not easy. Now, my husband is going to London to shoot, my son is upstairs sleeping, and my daughter is upstairs, and we travel first class or business class now. At the end of the day, it is hard work and God. If I take account of all the blessings— houses we have and other things, I start crying. And all these things happened in five years.
That’s why people think I’m obsessed with FilmOne; even in FilmOne, they call me the First Lady. Yes, I am obsessed with Moses, Ladun, Mimi, Kene, and Tolu. The first time they paid me, it was forty-two million. I wanted to die. After I received the money, as far as I was concerned, everybody wanted to kill me. Even when someone innocently talked to me, I thought they wanted to kill me; everything looked like a gun. Would you believe I’m still making money(royalties) from that movie done five years ago? After cinemas, I still have money in foreign currency waiting for me from Netflix. And then the airlines will buy them as well. Amazon, DStv and so on will also buy them. So if I were to answer your question truthfully, I’m sure that if it had happened to me years back, I’d have done the same thing. Then, if you had given me ten million to shoot a movie, I might keep five for myself. But now, if you give me five hundred million to shoot a movie, I might have to add to it to be able to shoot an excellent movie.
I am not surprised that something like this happens in Nollywood too. When given lump sums of money for projects, people often try and pocket some for themselves. Hmm. What do you think about it and what do you think about what Toyin Abraham said?