Ibinabo Fiberesima made history recently when she emerged the first female president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria. As expected, many notable actors and actresses attended her inauguration last Sunday at the upscale Rumours Night Club in Lagos.
For the first time in a long while, the event was well attended and the actual handing over took place in a warm and peaceful atmosphere. The turn-out signalled an end to the internal squabbles and controversies that had almost diminished the worth of the AGN.
In his farewell speech, the immediate past president of the AGN, Segun Arinze, described Fiberesima as the choice of an overwhelming majority of its membership.
Urging other members of the guild to put the past behind them, Arinze said, “This is a new beginning for the AGN. We must let bygones be bygones and give total support to the new president. Please, let us put an end to rancour and join hands to make the Actors Guild of Nigeria the best in Africa. History is made today as I peacefully hand over the mantle of leadership to (Ibinabo) Fiberesima.”
Nollywood diva, Genevieve Nnaji, led others to publicly declare their support for the new boss of the AGN.
“I gave the AGN a wide berth because of the previous crisis. Now, I’m back to identify with our new president (Ibinabo) Fiberisima. I’ve known her for a long time and I can vouch for her integrity and ability to get the job done. I’m glad that we’ve got the right person for the job,” Nnaji said.
In an interview with LIFE&BEAT, Fiberesima wasted no time in outlining her agenda for the Guild. “We are starting with a health insurance and pension scheme for actors and actresses in this country. It has never been done before. The motive is to put an end to the situation where actors go cap-in-hand to beg for money in times of difficulty.
“By the time we clock 100 days in office, the health insurance and the pension scheme would have been in place. As I speak with you, I’m just waiting for the data to ascertain how many actors and actresses are members of the AGN.
“It is not true that moviemakers and other stakeholders cannot gain access to the $200m Entertainment Endowment Fund with the NEXIM Bank. Some people have benefited from the loan. But we are seriously working on it. That is why the Federal Government has given us the You Win project.
“With You Win, it is easier to get funds for movies and other entertainment projects.
“As it is, my administration has a lot of work to do. I strongly believe that before the two-year tenure is over, some of the challenges facing the movie industry in Nigeria would have been professionally handled, trust me.”