Nollywood actress, producer and CEO of Oceanic Blue Empire Production, Bukola Shittu, in this interview with KANGMWA GOFWEN, talks about the idea behind her recent movie, “Wild Klepto,” among other issues in the film industry.
What is the idea behind your recently created film, Wild klepto?
The idea of the premiere of my film was to show my art as a producer and also to put my film “Wild klepto” in the limelight. It was actually based on a real life experience of people around me having this kind of problem. And then society thinks it’s unnatural and advises victims to do spiritual cleansing, which is dehumanizing. Instead of going for real advice by visiting a therapist, which I think will greatly help the victim trace where they came from before becoming a kleptomaniac. So I had to make a movie to let people know that sometimes not everything is spiritual for klepto cases but that therapeutic measures must be adopted to eradicate an archaic state of mind on certain problems including kleptomania in is part.
As the first producer, what was shooting the film like and what are some of the challenges you had to face?
Being a producer isn’t just fun, it’s about focus and determination in life. No matter what you do, when you set a goal to achieve something in life, you will definitely face challenges no matter what your profession or what you do. I faced a lot of challenges from the beginning to the end of the production. Even at the time of the premiere, but believe me, they were stepping stones for me. To deal with people of various characters, both old and young, and bring them into line. It was worth it and it’s great to be a producer.
There have been gender issues for the role in the film industry. How true is this and have you ever had such an experience as an actress?
There are many crises regarding sexual abuse in the industry, from producers to directors to production managers. Even to this day, it still happens. In fact, I faced situations like this countless times as an actress before becoming a producer, but I managed to overcome them. Glory to God, I spent four years at TAMPAN school and it gave me more confidence and also helped me where I am going.
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When you talk about sexual abuse in the industry, it’s not something simple like that. Most women are also desperate to be up there in the industry with no passion and no extensive training, so they are willing to give away their bodies in exchange for fame. These sets are the ones that make sexual abuse thrive because they don’t want to go through the right channel or process. To avoid issues like this for myself, I had to further learn the art from professionals in the field who will give us a platform to practice as their own students. It gave me confidence, confidence and confidence in myself.
What other projects are you working on? What should we expect from the stables of Oceanic Blue Empire productions?
I do something other than being a producer. I am currently working on a government project, which will be released soon, it is about maternity. For me now, I leave the production until next year. I have so many things on my table; I am also a stylist and brand designer.
The youth unemployment rate is alarming, how do you think the film industry can help reduce unemployment?
We have so many unemployed young people in the country because of the nature of our leaders who lack the will to create employment opportunities for young people. Believe me, the movie industry can solve some of the county’s unemployment problems, but it all takes time. Looking at it from different angles, like entertainment, directing, prop staging, and all the other segments of the film world, it takes people. If the government can provide an enabling environment for film producers and distributors, jobs will be available. It will help a lot of people who are passionate about the fields mentioned above.
Nigerians are creative and talented, how do you think these talents can be harnessed for economic growth?
Nigerians are talented and creative but the problem is the way you are taken when you show your talent, you are not taken seriously. It happened to me too. They expect you to work alone in the film industry.
Getting sponsorship from people is difficult. If the government can create an avenue where talent is showcased without bias and a solid platform to harness that talent, that will really help a lot. Personally, I wish we could have a film academy where many activities such as production, directing, marketing, etc. are taught so that people from all over the world can come and study. This will help the country and help generate more revenue. But if our talents aren’t sponsored or given a platform to soar, everything dies. Some time ago a friend of mine considered this country a dream killer. The government is trying, but it may need to do more.
How was childhood for you? What prompted your interest in your career choice?
My childhood was quite beautiful, I was this little girl who loved a united family with my mother and my father, but unfortunately, I lost my mother very young. After that, it was no longer pleasant for me. I didn’t really enjoy it to the fullest, but thank goodness I’m here now. What inspired my interest in my career is that I always wanted to be famous in life. I was that kind of girl who considered me a brand wherever I went. With my focus and determination, I am where I am today, even though I wanted to study medicine, but somehow I ended up in the film industry.
Film production and acting can be very stressful, how do you relax?
Film production can be very stressful and hectic, but I make sure to make time for myself to rest. I stay away from troubles and any unnecessary negative vibrations that disturb my system. I don’t put myself in positions that I don’t belong to. Staying out of trouble is a surefire way to give your body a complete rest. I relax a lot; I sleep early and get up early. I also take lots of water and do yoga before I go out and it’s very helpful.
What message do you have for future actors/actresses and your fans?
My message to everyone is to believe in God and have faith. When you set a goal, take it to God and pray. God has destined everyone for greatness and purpose. It’s not just about eating, sleeping and going to parties. We all have our main goal: find it, find out who you are, identify it, and trust me, you’ll be fine.