Friday, May 29, 2015

Nollywood actor Ernest Asuzu spotted Begging at Shoprite? Leila Djansi advises stars on planning for future


Nollywood actor Ernest Asuzu has reportedly been spotted begging at Shoprite in Surulere Lagos. According to Daily Independent, he was spotted in a Manchester Unitedjersey, blue jean pants and bathroom slippers. Azuzu who suffered stroke some time ago and still limping was practically begging shoppers [for] money to eat!’ Ernest Asuzu reportedly confided in Daily Independent ‘that the president of Actors Guild, Ibinabo Fiberesima and some others are aware of his condition but have refused to come to his aid.
The news has led Ghanaian film maker, Leila Djansi leaving some advice on her blog, regarding palnning for the future. She wrote:
My phone’s annoying buzz woke me up at 1am today. Someone from Ghana, calling to tell me something completely random. I was so pissed because, when I wake up from sleep, going back to sleep is near impossible.
Anyway. I started surfing the internet in Nigeria, cos I am really fascinated by General Buhari and what his leadership spells for Nigeria and Africa as a whole. There I came upon this article: Nollywood Actor Begging for Alms
The effontry of this actor. I feel bad he has a stroke and all but really, blaming other people is niether here nor there. It’s no one’s fault you did not fortify your future.
We live for today a lot in Africa. Friends flock around you when you have money to spend. You go places in an entourage. You pick up the tab everywhere you go. Immediately you hit on hard times, these very people find every reason to avoid you.The actors flying business class, buying expensive bags and shoes and cars… I greet you. Are you investing? Are you paying into a pension scheme? Do you have life insurance?
I had this experience. I was always picking up the tab when a certain friend and I go anywhere in Ghana and one day she told me about the landed property she bought. I had none. It was as though someone had woken me up from a slumber! I winked at my PA who reads me like a book and she said “Aunt Leila, I forgot the purse with all the money in it at home”. The very expensive and various meals this friend of mine ordered were quickly reversed knowing she had to pay for herself. As hungry as were, my PA and I settled for a bottle of coke each.
I felt so betrayed. Here I was thinking I was being a nice friend, being a christian, helping and not asking for anything in return. Ain’t nothing christian about what I was doing. All it was was foolish.  Quickly, I rearranged my life. I made certain decisions. I bought land, built a poultry farm, got rid of my numerous staff and shut down my office in Ghana. I didn’t need it. I don’t live in Ghana. The staff in the office were not bringing in anything. I had to tell them where to supply DVDs to. They couldn’t come up with that themselves, neither were they interested in following up with our vendors. To them, “Aunt Leila” is rich. She needs to keep us around and pay us no matter what. Parasites. I was paying their phone bills, transportation, lunch, plus salaries. When I decided I was done doing that, you only get commission, some quit (thank God). See what I mean?
Right after that, I also learned that if you give yourself to people cheaply, they lose respect for you. That’s a given. You need to receive your due. Know what you are worth and make sure you get that. Know what people are worth and only give them that, nothing more, nothing less. Let them call you bitch. “All name be name”. The homeless kid I gave a big room to in my office left, leaving a 2000ghc electric bill. Be weary of desperate people. Help people, but help them from a distance.
Last month, the president of the actors Guild of Ghana castigated the government for neglecting aged actors. Excuse me, how much, in taxes did the actors, when they were younger, pay to the government? Life is give and take. When he was president of the actors Guild, did he wander by SNNIT and inquire about pension plans for members? What happens to the 30ghc each incoming member pays?
What is the purpose of the Guild?
Do producers take permission from the guild to use its members? Are members taxed to pay into a pension and health plan?
Have they considered upping the membership fee to 200ghc a year, where 70% goes into a pension plan and 30% stays to manage affairs of the guild?
If you think that people will be around to support when you lose your shine, then you must be really shortsighted and delusional. People are around you when you are bright and shining. When the shine fades, they go chasing after someone else who is shining.
Success is like a corpse. It attracts all kinds of people to mourn, eat, drink, make new friends, but it always goes into the earth alone, to rot, and become nothing but a memory.
The ant is the smallest of animals, but it is the smartest!

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