OC Ukeje has spoken to Pulse Nigeria on the existence of sexual harassment in Nollywood.
According to the “Catch.er” actor, both men and women are victims of sexual harassment in the Nigerian film industry.
He advised that while the career [acting] can be a do or die affair, getting a specific job which entails granting sexual favours shouldn’t be.
Encouraging consistency, the actor shared that while he has been in the industry for 16 years, he only started getting recognition six years ago.
Read interview below.
On the existence of Sexual harassment
I have been here for sometime and I have heard all kinds of things in terms of women’s experiences. And believe it or not, I have also heard a few guys’ experiences.
I think sometimes people think guys don’t get sexually harassed, but they do, whether it is by guys or by women.
It’s almost as if people think that is the answer to getting ahead. It’s like you must demand for sexual favours before you put the person in front.
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Advice for victims of sexual harassment
I just think that if this business is what you really want to do, and everyone that you have met is demanding for sexual favour, you should take your time. It’s not a do or die affair.
The do or die affair is that it’s a career and you want to do it. It’s not a do or die affair that you have to grant a sexual favour to get that particular job.
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Consistency and Patience
I have been working at this for 16 years, but I think that most of Nigeria have known me for maybe five or six years because 2012 was probably the first time people actually started seeing me. But I have been here for much longer.
So I’m saying that in all those time that people didn’t know me, it was me just building one thing on top of the other.
The job is not a do or die affair, the career can be. But I don’t think that a sexual favour for a specific job is the way to go. After some time, people are going to get to know you.
And now that there’s social media, you can begin to create your own small clips and whatnot that people can see.
Cases of sexual harassment in Nollywood
In November, an Instagram user posted an allegation that Yoruba actor Yomi Fabiyi harassed her sexually over nine years ago.
Also in November, an aspiring Nollywood actress accused popular Yoruba actor Yemi Solade of demanding for sex in exchange for a movie role.
As a newbie in Nollywood, Blessing Egbe, who is popular for “The Women” and “Lekki Wives,” once had to slap off the “smelly hand” of a big producer/marketer, who caressed her breast when he saw her at a producer’s office.
In 2015, Rahama Sadau took to Instagram to accuse Adam Zango of denying her of a role because she refused his sexual advances. She, however, apologized the next day, describing her post as ‘childish.’