Celebrities Behaving Badly: Kunle Afolayan Fights the Igbos – “It is a Fact that Most of the Pirates I See are Igbos…May the Wrath of God Strike All of You.”

KunleAfolayanAMVCA2015Filmmaker Kunle Afolayan is VERY frustrated about the piracy of his films. Understandably so. However, he is not the first nor the last filmmaker to have his films pirated. Therefore, I honestly can’t justify why his attack that does nothing more than to drive deep division among ethnic groups.

Piracy is a big problem. Our creative industry is highly affected. Our law enforcement and judiciary needs to stop sleeping, wake up and do something about it. The legal infrastructure and enforcement of laws need to be in place. Despite ALL of these issues, it is still no justification for these angry tweets that attack a particular group. (There is also no justification when people challenge you to say, “may the wrath of God strike all of you.” Haba.)

Igbos patronize Kunle’s films and pay, legitimately, for it. Igbos in the media, including the likes of Uche Pedro of Bella Naija, Linda Ikeji, and Noble Igwe of 360 Nobs have had a significant impact in the necessary marketing and promotions of Afolayan’s movies. Igbos have also provided the technology platforms for him to distribute his films. This is totally uncalled for. (Also note pirates have not given any favoritism to filmmakers. Even Igbo filmmakers also have their movies pirated.)

Finally, given the business climate he operates in, there should be some room in his business operations that factors piracy as a cost of doing business. We all know it exists and has existed for a long time. What’s different now with his angry rants? Again, highly inappropriate and uncalled for.

-Ms. Uduak

“It is a fact that most of d Pirates I see selling pirated CDs and DVDs are Igbo. 1 even threatened me after I seized my film from him. Why? 

You want to know. Ok. The Pirates already have October 1 and have been threatening the distributor that they will release this week…”

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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  1. Deboh says:

    Hoping I don't get picked on for this however what is the sole discourse here? Something non personal taken personal… simply because its seen from the ethnicity lens. It shd not be… truth is indeed let anyone to try put their money in production and see how it feels, even the meagre margin you were hoping to make is eroded so deep that you run into proper loss and one expects such a person to just be calm since he isn't the first and only victim?
    When people get frustrated they throw caution into the air and speak as they are affected…this is the case here with Kunle in my opinion… imagine someone somehow grabs your site pages as images and uses those images as their own page pictures or profile and then its got so popular that no one bothers to click your link anymore since they can just read on the go by viewing images on their phone or on a fb page… that's what piracy is like…selling real work as cheap and without consequences, eventually you will get frustrated especially if the market isn't that big and the tiny bit of returns on investment is eroded even before you have released your movie at all.

    Nevertheless he said "My distributor is Igbo,I like and trust him but he mentions his frustration all the time.His kings-men are on his tail.We are all frustrated"… so I think his rants may actually have a logic to it and is really a reasonable one unlike this blog seem to portray… in a negatively light.

    Hope you see my point.

    1. Winston Balagare says:

      "Kunle, is that you?" It must be him or someone close to him tasked with the job of challenging a very clear and valid post by Ms. Uduak.

      I'm Yoruba, and I think what Kunle said was very inappropriate and reckless. He offered no concrete proof of his claims that Igbos in particular were mainly responsible for piracy in Nigeria. All he did was make an unsubstantiated claim, sent into the internet universe for anybody to read and repeat. That was a very harmful thing to do.

      Did he believe he was doing filmmakers a favor by committing this act? If he did, he's dead wrong. He did all Nigerians a disfavor by spreading such malicious rumors.

  2. Hi Deboh,


    1. How is Kunle's statement(s) different from that of many Americans, South Africans and British, among other groups, that believe that "most" Nigerians are 419 criminals?

    2. How is Kunle's statement(s) different from these other groups that cite that one Nigerian stellar person they know but then stereotype everyone else?

    3. How is Kunle's statement(s) different from the White racist that says Black people are fill in the blank ________________.

    4. How is Kunle's statement(s) different from that one White racist or supremely ignorant White man who cites that one black friend he knows but says all other black people are ghetto, lazy or whatever the stereotype is out there?

    Your answers may persuade me, so please explain.

    Hope you see my point.


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