Film Business

Did Film Director Obi Emelonye Really Talk About the “Joblessness” of Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde?!

Sharing is caring!

I come from the viewpoint that a certain amount of respect has to be accorded to your fellow colleagues in your industry. There are certain boundary lines common sense should tell you not to cross as a fellow colleague, unless of course it is where you have been directly attacked/legally injured and you need to respond whether with a lawsuit, press statement or what have you.

I am having a hard time believing and  understanding why UK Attorney turned filmmaker Obi Emelonye thinks he is and can speak authoritatively on the “joblessness” of Actresses Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, or tell them how to run their careers?! Like seriously?!

If he indeed made the statements below, then I gotta say, “with all due respect Obi, you  just got onto the Nollywood scene and if I recall correctly, at least one of these actresses was instrumental in amplifying your brand and giving you the much needed visibility for your film ‘Mirror Boy.’ You should really fall back in how you speak about them.”

Even if an interviewer solicits such information from you the interviewee, common sense should tell you it is NOT in your place to discuss their alleged joblessness and the focus should be, instead, on your work and your upcoming projects.

These women know their value and the fact that they are not in hundreds of films does not render them “jobless.” They have been there, done that, and indeed should grow at this stage in their careers; because it gets particularly tiring to see or expect actresses with over a decade industry experience, to keep playing the same one dimensional roles that both industry producers and directors insist on shooting.

I think film directors need to show a bit more respect to their actresses/actors. “You can’t just be talking anyhow,” to say it the Nigerian way.


Omotola Genevieve JoblessAlleged statement made.

“Genevieve and Omotola are the two biggest actresses we have in Nollywood, they cannot afford to charge less than their status and that is where the problem comes in. Their charges are probably above what the industry can afford. Their charges are like half of the entire production budget so which producer can afford that?”

“What they can do now as it is with other big stars all over the world, is that they should begin to fund their own productions and act in them, they can act whatever role will enhance their brand, they need to start a production company now, and push themselves because they need to remain relevant and must not be seen as jobless. If corporate bodies perceive them as jobless they won’t want to do business with them, they might even price them cheap.”

The Daily Post Newspaper has the full story.

Beyonce ‘Black is King’ Roundtable (Full Video)

Listen to the Latest AML Podcast Episodes

Sharing is caring!

Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email ( For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email ( Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

You may also like...

1 Comment

  1. Benny Bing · Top Commenter · ROM at Gidilounge Radio
    Haba! Uduak, there is nothing wrong with what he said. In my opinion. I think he is being very honest.
    Like · Reply · Moderate · Follow Post · Yesterday at 10:11am

    @Benny, for whatever reason, just seeing this. I think my facebook comments plugin is having a bit of an issue because I keep seeing some warning message. I will look into it.

    As to your comment, we would have to agree to disagree on this one.

    First, it is interesting to observe how as a society we treat male actors very differently from our female actors/actresses. How long has RMD been off the Nollywood scene? Has anyone ever called him "jobless?" There are countless other younger male actors who we do not see as much in films anymore, and we certainly are not referring to them as "jobless" either.

    Specific to Obi, the issue is not the accuracy of his claim, if he indeed made them, although I will get to that. The issue is what gives him as a fellow colleague in the industry, the right to comment on the employability or lack thereof of these talents? Just because one of them (Nnaji) appeared in his movie is no license to speak on his perceived state of their "joblessness."

    Second, there is an implicit agreement on his part that these women are indeed jobless and I find that to be quite rude, arrogant and egotistical. He even goes as far as to say what they should do to appear non-jobless. I thought the craft i.e. the art of filmmaking mattered. Not so? So, Nnaji and Ekeinde's value are now reduced to what corporate companies think of them??! He should know better.

    Finally as to the accuracy of his statement. When exactly was the last time Obi received 24/7 full access into the lives of these women to know how many scripts they in fact were solicited with and how many they in fact rejected? How does he know what goes on in the privacy of their homes to know whether indeed they are in fact jobless? Vetting/curating the kinds of movies you will appear in for these talents that have been at it for a long time does not equal "jobless." Assuming it even did, his statements undermine their ability to be employed.

    These ladies have been explicit about their brand direction and control over their brand image(s). They have been clear they feel no need to be in gazillion films any more, wether Nigerians like it or not. I agree with them that they should filter the scripts offered to them and focus on quality not quantity. They need to push themselves more and it won't happen with the same old script from Nollywood.

    Also, they have been clear about diversifying their brand portfolios. Last I checked, Omotola is planning on building a film school/academy. Either way, they certainly can't be called jobless, whether from an acting or non-acting standpoint.

    Again, I see no basis for his statement. I think he ought to focus on filmmaking and building his relatively new/novice brand.

    If this was Charles Novia, I perhaps would understand since he is a writer and critic, although I would still disagree with him. But, Obi is no proclaimed writer, at least so far. Again, uncalled for.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *