Nigerian Actor and Comedian Nkem Owoh, popularly known as Ukwa, says Africa should endeavour to ‘colonise’ the world with its cuisine. Ukwa also told Zambian Journalists and investors to help expand the local film industry by highlighting happenings and investing in it.
He encouraged Zambians to use even their cookery as a way of emboldening the African culture.
“If you want it (film industry) to grow in Zambia, sit down and it should start from your own village…And what is this food that I ate yesterday? Nshima! You should begin to eat it more on television so that they can watch out there. If you don’t promote yourself, nobody will. You see with China, everywhere you’ll go it’s a Chinese restaurant and they have colonised the world with Chinese food and I want us to colonise the world with our (African) culture. The moment you begin to recognise your own culture as something good, the better; wear your traditional [attire]; it is much better,” said Ukwa, who left the animated audience demanding for an encore.
Ukwa who was speaking on stage during Night of Comedy Explosion at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka over the weekend, Ukwa noted that without rigorous support from Zambian Journalists and investors, local artists would not make it.
“ZAMBIANS MUST BE READY TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT ARTISTS. I APPEAL TO PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA HOUSES TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT ARTISTIC WORKS FROM ZAMBIANS. YOUR FOOT HAS TO BE ON THE GROUND IF YOU WANT TO MAKE FOOTPRINTS. SO, ZAMBIAN JOURNALISTS AND ZAMBIAN INVESTORS MUST INVEST IN ZAMBIAN DRAMA OR ZAMBIAN FILM INDUSTRY THAT IS TRYING TO GROW RIGHT NOW,”
Ukwa told a fully-packed auditorium. He added that Zambian and Nigerian actors needed to collaborate to broaden the scope of the African film-making industry.
“YOU ASK WHETHER THERE IS ANY DELIBERATE MOVE TO COLLABORATE BETWEEN NIGERIAN AND ZAMBIAN ACTORS? OF COURSE, THERE WILL BE A DELIBERATE MOVE…BUT SERIOUSLY SPEAKING, WE NEED THIS ‘COLLABO’; A COLLABORATION BETWEEN NIGERIAN AND ZAMBIAN ACTORS. AND WHY I SAY WE NEED IT IS BECAUSE OF THE FRAGMENTS OF THE EXPERIENCES THAT WE’VE HAD IN NOLLYHOOD (NIGERIAN MOVIE INDUSTRY). [DO] YOU KNOW [THAT] PEOPLE FROM EUROPE TAKE AFRICA AS ONE COUNTRY? THEY WILL ASK YOU ‘ARE YOU FROM AFRICA?’ BUT WHEN YOU SAY YES, THEY DON’T ASK YOU THE COUNTRY. SO, AFRICA SHOULD COME TOGETHER IN THAT SENSE [OF WORKING IN UNITY IN THE FILM-MAKING INDUSTRY] AND IN FACT, ZAMBIA SHOULD BE NUMBER ONE,”
Ukwa won the African Movie Academy Award for best actor in a leading role in 2008.