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City of Banjul
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Nollywood stars extol Banjul-Abuja ties

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The actors and actresses who are in the country at the invitation of President Yahya Jammeh said they will use their own platform to promote ties between the two Nigeria and The Gambia. 

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In a remark at the presidential palace during a visit to the president, Nigerian actor and write Francis Duru said: “I have been here in Gambia couple of times now and each time I come I see something that grips me. The Gambia and Nigeria are like siblings just like different parts of the world taking care of each other and I have been so privileged, each time we come here there is something extraordinary that adds value to the fact that we are being respected and appreciated. Is not always that you go out and a president invites you to banquets, and this I will say is one in many that I have attended in The Gambia and I will tell you I am so happy that we have this platform to actually look into areas of collaboration.

“I personally trained some Gambians some years back in a programme where we created avenue for them to become mentors. That programme is supposed to be expanded to a larger platform where we come, shoot and train and expand the frontiers because whether we like it or not the drop in oil price now is threatening the world and for every nation their whole idea is to diversify their economy and the great thing that happened to Nigeria is the fact that the creative industry has become an emerging force that is adding so much value to the economy of Nigeria.

“The creative industry of Africa’s most populous country happens to be one factor that actually helps and if we are brothers and sisters it follows that we should try as much as possible to expand relations to make sure that the creative industry booms or glooms to a point where it becomes obvious. Our cultures are not so different; the energy of the youths are quite obvious, the social media has come to expand and you can see the world now is in one small phone and you can imagine what can happen when a young man who does not have a job can do just with a phone in his pocket.”

Actor Anayo Modestus Onyekwere otherwise Kanayo O Kanayo said: “I am going to take the challenge that your president has posed to Gambians – to go back to the land and eat what they grow and grow what they eat. It’s quite a good lecture for me; Africa needs to stand up and produce what it consumes and consume what it produces because that way we can have food security and that is what a privilege is. As people in the film industry, we are going to have bilateral agreements with Gambia because the time has come for us to operate and corporate with Gambians in that sector. The environment here, from what I have seen, has potentials for a good film industry; is not just peaceful but there are also people here who are willing to learn.”

On her part, Monalisa Chinda, an actress, film producer, television and media personality commented: “I am very glad to be here in The Gambia; of course it was a very memorable exchange of time for all of us. Back home I will announce that The Gambia is the place to be.”

Earlier, Henrietta Nelson, a representative of the Nigerian High Commissioner to The Gambia welcomed the actors and actresses to The Gambia. “This is a very peaceful country,” she said. It is a smiling coast of Africa and I believe you have been smiling since your arrival. I want to say a very sincere welcome to you in The Gambia.”

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