Starting out his career in the early 1990s, Ramsey Nouah is one of NIgeria’s greatest actors with a fab base that keeps swelling. He ventured into mainstream acting, starring in the TV Series, Fortunes, in 1991. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, he talks about his career and Nollywood
Acting was about passion and love
Acting was for the passion and the love of it. Nowadays, I just see a lot of people that want to jump in for the fame, and the social media platforms provide an opportunity for everyone to be famous. So, more people are doing it for the fame rather than for the act. When we started, it was passion and doing it for the joy of it and not the money.
Our stories are not as deep as it used to be
Then it was with serious passion but now everyone wants to be an uptown boy, uptown girl and that’s just the sad part of it all. I got into the industry at 20 and that time, we were just doing soaps on TV such as Fortunes, Check Mates and a few more. I got involved since 1990 and in 1991 when we did the pilot shoot for Fortunes which came out in 1993 and lasted one season until 1994. Then came home videos and since then it’s been a roller coaster.
On impersonation going on social media
If you check it, social media is a virtual reality platform where you can put on the face of Ramsey Nouah and just exploit some fans. It has happened to me severally and I have had some clients come up to me that I took some money off them and I would be surprised and say ‘no how will I take some money off you? I have never gone around to say ‘I am doing anything for charity,’ so I don’t know where they got that from. A lot of people do that and they use it to capture and discredit all that you have built up. I don’t understand how my colleagues and others did not find this out and they continued to work with this fraud. Concerted efforts are underway to apprehend whoever the impostor is and bring him to feel the full weight of the law.
Everybody has a double
There is a lot of light-skinned guys, mixed blood coming into acting and all of that. But what I’m saying is that everybody has a second, you have a second look alike, a close one for that matter. Maybe God wanted it to be like that.
I haven’t had to make refunds on any allegation of swindling
Sometimes, they get all nasty on me and say that I took their money and all that is to make me feel bad. But I tell them ‘ I didn’t and don’t blame me, blame social media as that isn’t even my problem.’ We tell the fans now that before you do anything completely, do your findings because as of today, everybody knows that ignorance is not an excuse.
Piracy has affected us seriously
For instance, the DVD market is totally dead and that’s why we are looking for alternative markets. And the alternative markets are looking for other means to sell our products and one of the major ones is the cinemas. Right now, that is helping to prevent much damage for content providers, producers and actors in the industry. With that said, piracy has done a lot of damage to us.
Taming piracy is difficult
Hollywood is having the same pressure, how much more our own film market. So, what we are hoping for right now is to have more cinemas so our contents can sell, as we have very little cinemas. And these days, you can make a movie and you won’t find a space in the cinema until after a year and that’s to let you know the cinemas are fully booked.
I have a big movie coming up with a friend
And we will do the press release soon. He is actually a business partner of mine and his name is Charles Opaleke and he is the owner of Play Network. We got together to get the license to remake Living in Bondage. And I am not necessarily playing the lead role, but I am part of the movie. We also have Steve Dukas coming in as the producer and director and we are looking at it becoming a big block buster.
Kunle Afolayan as the forerunner
He was one of those few people who started making films and giving them the proper quality. Kunle gave birth to the details of cinematography. He is my dude and when we worked on our very first film together, which was Figurine, we talked about it and he said I shouldn’t worry that Figurine was going to be over the top.
Celebrities deserve a Life
They have fans who love them but they can’t be at their beck and call. You will wear out if you do. They do deserve a life and for instance they have other people like their mum, their dad, kids, family, who need their attention. How much attention can you give everybody? It’s almost impossible and there are moments they have a lot of setbacks, and it does not mean that because they are celebrities their children or they themselves can’t take ill.
A lot of people don’t understand what these people go through and they just judge them by that first reaction without knowing if there were quite a number of things going on. I remember there was a time I went to the hospital, when my son had a major attack and I was going out to get something when I met a woman with kids who wanted to take pictures, and I was like ‘oh sorry I can’t do that right now.’ She didn’t know what I was going through, as she didn’t know I had come in with my son earlier, and on her way out I heard her talking to another lady about how I treated her at the car park, saying that I was arrogant. So, basically, that’s what we suffer and that’s why we should be a little more considerate.