AMP moves Nollywood forward with Nollycare
Association of Movie Producers (AMP), in conjunction with heads of Guilds in Nollywood, last week, organised a health and business retreat tagged, ‘Nollycare: A Nollywood Health and Business Retreat,’ to enlighten filmmakers and members of the various guilds of the need to take care of their health and also talked on how they can access funds for their films.
Held at the NAN Hall, National Theatre complex, Iganmu, Lagos, AMP president, Ralph Nwadike, disclosed that Nollywood could be self-sustaining healthwise if practitioners would embrace opportunities available in health insurance schemes. He noted that recently, a number of their members have been falling seriously sick and they are unable to treat and fend for themselves because of the enormity of such ailments, adding that this is because most filmmakers hardly pay attention to their health.
“With this health insurance/group life insurance, people will be able to treat themselves and insure their future by paying a token, which will be tied to their dues, so that, if any health challenge comes up, they would be well taken care of. We have the support of some insurance companies and the Bank of Industry (BoI).
“We believe that this will change the industry because we are tired of members going to individuals and corporate bodies for assistance each time they have health challenges. Nobody prays for sickness, but we have to prepare for it and that is what we are doing now,” he said.
Nollywood actress, Hilda Dokubo, commenting on the lifestyle of members bemoaned the daily work routine of an average entertainer and how it adversely affects their health.
She said: “It became a thing of worry for me when every time on our whatsapp group, there is always somebody asking for money or about to die. Most of these deaths are avoidable. The life of an entertainer places him/her on the path of high risk. Why do we have people coming down with diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney failure. These three ailments are lifestyle-based and are also avoidable. Why do we have entertainers dying from the same ailments. And the next thing, we run to one politician or the other for funds.”
AMP Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Eddie Ugboma, described the situation as disgraceful and embarrassing, urging members to embrace the initiative and insure themselves, so that, they may not need to run to any governor or anybody for help, as if they are beggars, whereas, an insurance company would have borne the cost of their treatment.
On why the initiative has to be revisited when the former arrangement failed, AMP General Secretary, Forster Ojehonm, noted that the former failed because members were not following up with their dues due to bad economy. He assured that members from all the guilds are this time in for a change and there is no going back on the scheme.
“We have executives like the president, directors and producers from different guilds. We also have marketers and representatives of BoI and insurance companies to work together as one. We want a situation where we will have a unified group insurance policy for critical health needs.
“Our aim is for all members of Nollywood family to have a healthcare plan that is workable, for members to be insured and to be able to live healthy and access funds to produce films,” he said.