Multiple award-winning Ghanaian international film maker, Leila Djansi has incurred the wrath of top Nigerian movie stars, for likening Nigeria's hugely popular movie industry, Nollywood to the negative connotations of Adolf Hitler.
The outspoken film maker's comment in an old interview recently came into light when Nollywood actress turned film maker, Stella Damasus posted a snippet from the TV interview in her YouTube video. Leila in the interview sought to say that it was unfair to put the new crop of Nigerian/Ghanaian film makers who are making films quite distinctively from what old Nollywood is known for, under the same umbrella as 'Nollywood'. She stated that such producers identifying themselves as "Nollywood" is almost equal to a parent calling his/her son, Hitler because of perceived negative connotation about Nollywood.
She said:“I don’t think those people, this crop of filmmakers should be put under the umbrella of Nollywood. They should be put independent because the name carries a lot. If you start tagging them Nollywood, every negative connotation that comes with Nollywood… is like calling your son ‘Hitler’.”
Watch Stella Damasus video below:
Leila’s comment struck a nerve as Stella Damasus put it, and it pushed her (Stella) to record a video to register her utmost displeasure. In her YouTube video, the Nollywood actress reacted: “That is the most derogatory thing anybody can ever say about the Nigerian movie industry. You have no right to demean the hard labour of people…the only reason why we know Leila Djansi is because of a movie, Ties That Bind and the reason why Africans embraced the film is because you used one of our best, Omotola J Ekeinde. Yes, she is Nollywood so unless you are calling her a ‘Hitler’”.
Stella Damasus’ video has received commendation from fellow Nollywood actress, Omotola. J. Ekeinde who starred in Leila Djansi's award-winning film, 'Ties That Bind' alongside Kimberly Elise and Ama K. Abebrese. Omotola wrote on twitter that Leila must apologise for those remarks.