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Obi Emelonye Apologises to Genevieve Nnaji & Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde for Misquoted “Jobless” Comment



Genevieve Nnaji & Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde - February 2014 - BellaNaija

Nollywood producer/director Obi Emelonye is formally issuing an apology to Nollywood superstars Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde for recent “misquoted” comments he made about them.

Reports recently surfaced online that Obi gave the reasons why Genny who starred in Obi’s “Mirror Boy” and Omosexy in “Last Flight to Abuja” are currently jobless.

He was quoted to have said;

“Genevieve and Omotola are the two biggest actresses we have in Nollywood. They cannot afford to charge less than their status and that is where the problem comes in. Their charges are probably above what the industry can afford. Their charges are like half of the entire production budget of a movie, so which producer can afford that?

What they can do now, as it is with other big stars all over the world, is that they should begin to fund their own productions and act in them. They can act whatever role(s) will enhance their brands. They need to start a production company now and push themselves because they need to remain relevant and must not be seen as jobless. If corporate bodies perceive them as jobless, they won’t want to do business with them and might even price them cheap.”

Obi Emelonye - Turning Point London Movie Premiere - BellaNaija

Obi who called the two stars to personally apologise has released a public statement via his publicist Theodora Ibekwe.

Read it below;

I woke up over the weekend to a barrage of online reports of irreverent and disrespectful headlines about Genevieve and Omotola that were attributed to me.

Without delving into too much details, my private conversations in my house with a friend; talking about what Tom Cruise did when he stopped accepting lousy film projects from the big hollywood studios; has been misquoted, misconstrued, taken out of context and blown out of proportions.

I want to state firstly that I hold these two titans of our industry in complete veneration. (Even the misquotes could not hide that fact). I am also grateful for their unique contributions to the great success of my collaborative projects with them.

Secondly, let it be known that in the time I have known Genevieve and Omotola and in all the dealings that I have had with them, I have never for once said a misplaced word about them, privately or publicly. I have neither betrayed the confidence of their friendship nor tried to gain cheap PR fodder from confidential information I may hold.

The initiator of this cruel stunt has coined stupid headlines to attract attention to themselves. I guess they have succeeded. However, I am not going to give them further relevance by naming them to the world. So I have decided take full responsibility for my naivete in being so indiscreet; something I am not known for.

I have already personally apologised to Omotola and Genevieve for my part in this silliness. It is with their permission and without intending to stoke the fire of this publicity stunt, that I am writing to clarify the situation and also to personally and publicly apologise to the millions of fans and supporters loyal to Genevieve and Omotola who have been scandalised by this perversion.

I have had a rewarding professional relationship with these two icons of our time; based on mutual respect and it is my wish to preserve that. I sincerely hope that this wholehearted and public show of contrition would be enough for Omotola and Genevieve (and their fans) to rise above their legitimate anger about this and forgive a friend who values them more than words can say.

We learn everyday. Mia culpa! Mia maxima culpa!
God bless you all.


  1. hmm

    February 6, 2014 at 5:36 am

    good he apologized but then again they aren’t really actors anymore more like brand ambassadors.

    • Tiana

      March 5, 2014 at 7:22 am

      He didn’t even say anything wrong but just said nicely the truth. they aren’t really actors now, more like brand ambassadors lol. i love them still but he said the truth

  2. Felix O.

    February 6, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Weldone Mr. Emelonye, you have done the necessary. As a fan of these two great actresses, I’ll say you’re forgiven, but sin no more!

    • Bee

      February 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      But I don’t even see what wrong he said in the first place. He merely observed that they were what they are – very big stars. If anything, that’s being truthful and frank.

  3. Rick

    February 6, 2014 at 7:25 am

    The least you guys at Bella could do is to add his original comments to the post, to help readers understand the context better. He didn’t even diss them at all, he simply stated that they are too big to accept projects below their standards, and the ones that are up to their standards aren’t many.

    • Newbie

      February 6, 2014 at 10:09 am

      What else do you want to hear? If you can’t put context to the issue from what’s up here then Houston, we have a problem. His original comments were made in a private conversation and were subsequently taken out of context publicly. Surely that should be a clue not to expect a blow by blow account.

      Meanwhile, I don’t see any disrespect in what he said, he is only saying the truth, and saying it objectively too! So-called fans sef. Some of them too drink panadol… For all you know Genny and Omotola aren’t even complaining themselves.

    • Leah

      February 6, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      You are right, without reading the first comment you might not be able to understand the whole story. In a nutshell, he said that people like Genevieve and Omotola are very good actors and professional and thereby demand much higher pay than most producers can afford. That explains why you see them in less movies than usual because they’d rather take up other projects (eg indorsements) that earns them more money. Let’s just say that Omotola and Genevieve are not rolling around in mud and climbing trees in Asaba. Someone titled his comments as “Why Omotola and Genevieve are jobless” and sh$t hit the fan.

  4. Bukky

    February 6, 2014 at 7:26 am

    This is a sign of a matured man, Obi. You are appreciated.

  5. Changing Faces

    February 6, 2014 at 7:29 am

    I read what he said and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. He spoke the truth, and it read like he meant well with no malice whatsoever. Someone can’t speak honestly without people taking offense. Na wa

  6. Bukky

    February 6, 2014 at 7:39 am


  7. Thalia's

    February 6, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Love his approach to the matter. Everyone respects Genevieve and Omotola dont see him talking bad about them.

  8. X- Factor

    February 6, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Now this is the stuff real men are made of…..ability to take responsibility for your actions, swallow your pride and apologize when the NEED calls for it…..
    …and for an igbo man, this dude is definitely a level headed serious business man…weldone

    • Nominee

      February 6, 2014 at 10:35 am

      “For an Igbo man” This is the one millionth time am having to single out such tribalistic sentiments on a comment. Bella why allow it? it just fosters enmity between the tribes while we want to promote tolerance. @ X-factor, please can you tell me the other kinds of men there are better businessmen that Igbo men,

    • Bee

      February 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      “…for an Igbo man?” I hope you don’t ever get appointed into any project that is intended to take Nigeria forward. You’ll screw it up with stupid comments, even if you belong to this ethnic group that you just rubbished.


    February 6, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Isn’t life much easier with a simple apology where needed? Nice one. But then again, he didn’t quite say they were jobless, he said they must not be seen as jobless seeing that they weren’t featured in movie roles as before.,..,,

  10. Bukky

    February 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

    cool g+uy

  11. tish

    February 6, 2014 at 8:31 am

    For me, there are no issues…although I’m reading about this for the first time, it seems to me that he spoke truth in the first instance.

    In any case, he took it like a man and apologised like a real man! Salut! Obi Emelonye…RESPECT!!

  12. Inspired by Africa

    February 6, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I’m not sure I see any disrespect in his original comments, but much kudos to him for offering such a heartfelt and respectful apology none the less. 🙂

    If only everyone would seize such opportunities to express humility and self respect in kind.

  13. Me

    February 6, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Please you didn’t say anything wrong, he only stated the obvious. Am sure it’s Genevieve and Omotola only that called you. But all the same, it’s nice of you to do this. Respect is all I have for you

  14. Dr. N

    February 6, 2014 at 9:41 am

    I almost saw tears in the apology. Dem wan spoil market for my guy? Lol. Very intelligent apology, didn’t even absolve himself. Tho I didn’t see his statement as derogatory. Prob d word “jobless” that irked everyone.

  15. nene

    February 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

    he didn’t say anything wrong, however good on him for apologising (nollywood actors can never take comments that don’t praise them). genevieve has always been a lazy person and she has no drive (when she gets osho free money why would she worry?) and omotola wants to be the queen of all, so she dabbles into everything from politics to music, instead of focusing on her strongest point. since they are charging humongous fees, they should go the producing routes like their colleagues at home and abroad. by the time we have more actresses like dorcas shola fapson, people will forget genevieve and co. but i still prefer nollywood actors/actresses of the 90’s (bimbo manuel, ramsey noah, omotola ekeinde, sandra achums, dolly unachukwu, regina askia, obot etuk, victoria inyama, RMD, bob manuel, francis au, ego boyo, hilda dokubo, eucharia anunobi, clarion chukwurah, sadiq daba, and many more) and i can never get over them.

    • halyma

      February 6, 2014 at 10:42 am

      This is the problem right here…when people who feel they have an opinion can not air it respectfully! SMH

    • Bossom

      February 6, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Once again lil miss perfect nene has to diss genevieve to get her point across. You must be a frustrated soul being that the more u hate d higher she rises. I bet you couldn’t get free money no matter what u did so u can’t deal. She can’t be a lazy person and warrant such respect from a thespian in the industry so maybe u r the lazy one who can’t see what’s right in front of her. Or maybe it’s d hate that blinds you, and to that I say stay blind cos she’s going nowhere but higher.

    • Leila

      February 6, 2014 at 11:06 pm

      Double gbam!!! Well spoken

  16. i no send

    February 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

    its only people that have brains that can understand what he said initially was actually praising them not insulting them so i didn’t really see why he had to apologise..but that is a very mature and intelligent guy right there

  17. Nominee

    February 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

    After reading the original comment, there is really nothing to apologise for but all the same its good he did. For peace to reign.

  18. nonye

    February 6, 2014 at 11:14 am

    there was nothing wrong in his original comment – he said the truth. Uche Jumbo and Funke Akindele have their own production companies. Heck! Even Rukky Sanda with her questionable acting skills produces the movies she acts in these days.

  19. Filmmaker

    February 6, 2014 at 11:45 am

    This is Just publicity Stunt by Obi, I’m yet to meet anyone that even read his initial comments on any blog Newspaper or website , it wasn’t even viral or semi-viral on twitter … all na cheap publicity hype

    • TheRealist

      February 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      LOL! I thought so too… as I never heard of any controversy until he issued his ‘apology’!

    • Bleed Blue

      February 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Hmmm…interesting perspective actually…

  20. halyma

    February 6, 2014 at 11:54 am

    This is the problem right here…when people who feel they have an opinion can not air it respectfully! SMH

  21. Berry Dakara

    February 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I personally think that the misquoted comment rings true, in that they really don’t act much anymore. And I agree with his suggestion that they fund their own movies. All the big Hollywood actors have their own production companies with indie films.

  22. Mariaah

    February 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    LOL.. He didn’t even say what the blogs were quoting! Haba! They couldn’t quote something positive along the lines of ” Gene and Omotola are professional, good actresses therefore nollywood producers can’t afford them anymore” Na the one wey the bros no talk dem dey chook for im mouth?? One of these days, I envision a big lawsuit; we are almost there.

  23. Love me Love me

    February 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    That back ground vision is ……. speechless

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