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Secret to female Nollywood Stars’ opulence

By O’star Eze

The last time I took part in a movie production was in Enugu. You need to see the long distance I trekked under the hot sun before I got to an express way where i could flag down a vehicle to my destination. I was in the company of that Nollywood star that is the first choice for Native doctor roles with an Awka accent…okay I’ve said enough. Anyway, what struck me was how average economically the man looked. And this is a regular face on the nollywood home video screen. He is on location most of the time, working his arse off and losing quality family time with his loved ones. Yet, he can neither afford an assistant nor a car. I recalled that all the female nollywood stars who came to the location had at least one assistant each, were chauffeur driven and displayed flawless skins. The reality of it all hit me. There must be something else these female movie stars are doing that makes them better economically stable than their male counterparts.

On further investigation, Inside Nollywood discovered that the great majority of male Thespians who lived opulent lives like their female counterparts were those who used their fame to marry into extremely rich families. You know the story of Late Saint Obi who was quoted as saying that his wife’s siblings see him as a gold digger. Yet, this does not explain why our women actors like Destiny Etiko can afford such expensive cars while the men just manage to stay afloat financially.

Etiko has remained at the brunt of gossip mills online. She has continued to refute the allegation that her rich lifestyle was being sponsored by her rich boyfriend. She rather claimed her money came from her hard work in the movie industry. However, at some point, she made a video mocking those who were spreading the rumour telling them, “e better my life. E dey pain them. Chai o. Please go hug transformer.”

King Tonto speaks

Let us listen to our own King Tonto Dikeh to know what she has to say about the secret to the unusual financial imbalance which favours the female thespians more than the male.

Premium Times quoted Dikeh as saying, “Don’t be fooled nor be pressured to live on the fast lane,” the actress wrote.
“I know people (male and female) who travel abroad once a year and take pictures to last the gram for a year(Slowly releasing them to make us feel they travel every day!!
“I know people (male and female) who change four times on a one time trip on a PJ for pictures and post them periodically and we feel they travel every second in style…”

So, Tonto Dikeh is saying that the whole wealth display; using personal assistants and chauffeurs and suchlike, are all make-believe on the part of the female nollywood stars. There might be some element of truth in this. While some people opined that this suggestion by Tonto is a smoke screen to divert the attention of the public from the true clandestine activities female movie stars engage in to sustain their crave for the best things of life. Others think she is actually saying the truth though they believe that indeed there is more to these opulent lifestyle of actresses in the Nigerian movie industry.

The facts

A critical analysis of how much these female movie stars are paid shows that it is not enough to live large on. Destiny Etiko is said to be paid half a million naira per movie she plays a lead role in. This implies she could be earning less in some other movies where she does not play lead roles. Now, at that amount and if you consider how long it takes to make a movie, you would agree with me that such money cannot buy a Toyota Landcruiser, a Prado, a Lexus LX570, a Lexus RX 350, a Mercedes Benz GL450 4MATIC. These cars cost over 50 million naira each and someone who earns an average of 200,000 Naira a month like Destiny Etiko cannot afford them from her pocket. Apologies to our sister Etiko who seems to be my main focus in this analogy. But she is in the limelight and cannot afford not to be a target.

So, what is the secret to these ladies’ money? Are they simply acting rich in real life like Tonto alluded or are they being sponsored by some rich boyfriends cum fans like some folks are alleging. Or they are really working hard, doing multiple movie jobs and building businesses that create ripple effects of wealth for them or are they doing all these things and more all at once? Inside Nollywood is still probing the matter and whistleblowing from you would be highly welcome.

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