Veteran comic actor, Chika Okpala, better known as ‘Zebrudaya’, has said that foreign television channels like Telemundo and Zee World have won Nigerian fans over to the detriment of local channels.
He said due to this, indigenous drama series were being ignored.
“Foreign soaps like Mexican soaps, Telemundo, the Zee World and the rest of them have flooded our TV screens now and our indigenous TV drama series are suffering. Those popular programmes the New Masquerade, Cockcrow at Dawn, The Village headmaster and others were left to slip away.”
The legendary actor disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria. He added that the lack of sponsorship has hindered production of most television series in the country.
The 68-year-old actor also noted that old TV series were left abandoned because sponsors withdrew.
He said: “The dwindling economy is the major problem of production in the country and lack of sponsorship has contributed to the dearth of programmes on Television stations in the country.”
The actor expressed optimism that if those programmes were still being aired, actors, actresses, producers, directors and many Nollywood practitioners would be employed and people would be entertained also.
“The private sector complained about the economy and without the economy being vibrant, you cannot push the programmes forward.
“People cannot do productions without it yielding something substantial to take care of their families.
“If you engage an artiste and he performs for free today, tomorrow he may not because he has to pay his bills. He has to pay his rent and take care of other things.”
Popularly known as Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo alias ‘430’, he hit national prominence through the New Masquerade, a comedy series that aired on the network service of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, in the late 90s up until 2000.
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