Veteran Nigerian actress, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, in this exclusive interview with DUPE OLAOYE-OSINKOLU of NewsmakersNG urges fellow artistes to build responsible youths through their character and lifestyles. She says this will go a long way in shaping the future of the youths and building a responsible society. It was at the end of the year party of the Music Minds in Lagos.
Q: How do you view the ongoing slavery of sub-Saharan Africans, especially Nigerians in Libya?
A: It is unfortunate that our youths are rushing out to their death, thinking Nigeria is bad. There is nothing wrong with our country, but there is something wrong with our thinking. It is painful to sit back and watch the exodus of our children out of our country.
Q: Don’t you think their exodus is about the elusive Golden Fleece?
A: Nigeria is the greatest country on earth. Some of us know that it is rich but think that the wealth is for a handful of people. The wealth that we have in Nigeria can make Nigeria the greatest country in the world. America is wealthy, but most of the wealth of the developed nations is taken from our continent and Nigeria in particular. If only our leadership realise that there has to be the greatest good for the greatest number, not just for a few people, but for all of us, Nigeria will indeed be the greatest.
There is enough for everybody, because there is an amazing amount of wealth for all of us that everybody can share. There is no need to grab and snatch. There is no need for subterfuges. If we share, we will have more and more.
Q: How is the movie industry contributing to the wellbeing of the nation especially the youths?
A: Our film industry must contribute to the ongoing dialogue on slave trade, but we are not having that dialogue. We are filming fantasies rather than reality. Not trying to resuscitate something from Nollywood, our own issues, what we do with our children, what we do with widows, and education of the youth…current issues that affect our everyday lives.
Q: Would you say Nigerian performing artistes are grooming the youths through their behavioral pattern?
A: Celebrities who misbehave don’t have a sense of responsibility to their fans.
“I don’t have sympathy for musicians, actors, who ruin the lives of youths with drugs and drinks. We have a responsibility to the society, to stand for humility, integrity, and good manners.
Artistes who misbehave believe they are special, but everybody is unique. Nobody can duplicate anybody.
Artistes should be known for edifying nature, impacting good manners on the youth.
“I want people around me to know that they can’t get away with bad behaviour, not through what I tell them, but what I do, integrity, compassion, humility, empathy.
If a country is arrogant to its people, what kind of seed are we sowing? What you sow is what you reap.”
Q: What do we really need to turn the youths around?
A: “We need to grow well behaved children, modify them, and give them moral fibre.