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Friday, 17 February 2012


 Declared one of the strong men of the African film industry, Justus Esiri has indeed earned his fame. He attended Urohobo College and later went to Germany to study engineering where he developed an interest for theater. Thus he began his acting career on stage in Germany. He was the only Nigerian male performing on stage in the years 1968/69. He also worked for voice of Nigeria VON, German Service as a translator. He was performing on stage in Germany when a delegation from Nigeria invited him to perform in Nigeria in a Government sponsored program, when he went to Nigeria, his homeland, he never went back to Europe.
His fame was launched widely for his role in the ever popular African TV series, the village headmaster where he played the "Headmaster".

One of the surviving movie veterans in Nigeria, Justus Esiri is advocating that each local government area in Nigeria should have a film village or call it Community viewing centers. This he said can only tell that our film industry is developing. Justus who spoke with us on set a Pressing Forward production.

The Maguda Kingdom did talk on the industry the fore fathers dreamed of. On the film villages, he said,” Let there be at least one cinema house in every local government area in Nigeria. Then each state government begins to produce films to take care of the youths, training the youths into taking part in different areas of the industry; in acting, producing, directing, cameraman, makeup artistes, and costumier among others. That is about eight professions in just one industry.

That will mean opening up the villages because you have to use them to shoot the films instead of having a film village somewhere in Lagos or Abuja where not everybody can access.” And if this could solve the issue of unemployment in Nigeria, Justus opined,” It would have done so much. We should train people for these jobs and then we would be world beaters. We should not be the way we are; retrogressing. And we must also stop that of over shooting of movies where we mind only of quantity and not quality. This is the dreams we had when we started the film industry in Nigeria, for with movies we can cement our social cultural, political, religions, educational, economic and traditional barriers.”

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