Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), veteran Nollywood actor and commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State is definitely one of the most respected and celebrated stars in Nigeria!
However, in an open letter written to our much-loved RMD by Warri rising star, Comedian Olokpa, he made some weighty accusations against RMD stating that he failed the state, who had high hopes that he was going to help re-brand and re-position entertainers back at home.
Read the open letter below:
It’s with pains in my heart and with disappointment that I decided to write you this letter. Our hopes were high when you were brought into the Uduaghan government as Special Adviser on entertainment and Talent development and later commissioner for culture and Tourism about 7 years ago. Entertainers in Delta were happy that a veteran has come back home and also in a better position to reposition entertainment in Delta state. Because even before coming into government, you have being trying all by yourself to develop entertainment which gave birth to MADE IN WARRI. It was a proud platform for Warri entertainers coming together to showcase themselves.
It became one of the most anticipate show then in the country because that’s where you get the real warri comedians. I remember the out going governor do attend even before he became the Governor. And so, you can see where am coming from with this my Open letter.
You happens to be one of the most respected Nollywood actor in the country and beyond. The mention of your name makes the ladies go gaga with the way you play romantic roles on movie set. And so, so much was expected from you as a commissioner. Sir, before I go further, please ask yourself, did you meet up that expectation? Can you boast of any achievement all through your tenure?
Sir while you answer these questions, let me continue…The first project you embarked on was DELTA TALENT QUEST (DTQ). The aim was to discover talents in Delta state and promote them and so entertainers came out in their numbers. A special house was built in Asaba specially for this project just to mention how serious you took that project. The project was broken into Comedy, Music, dance and movie.
I participated in the Comedy Audition but was not among the finally 20 comedians they picked but my close friend Koliko qualify. That competition made even Comedian I go laugh to go and buy his car because he felt he was being insulted by one of the officials.
I still remember how almost all the comedians in Delta state came out to slog it out with themselves and be the lucky winner of a brand new car, 1million and other benefits. I qualified for the second round but lost out in the final selection but my close friend Koliko make the last 10 into the house. That competition alone brought lots of comedians together, friendship were built from that day. I still remember Razor, Woko, Aboki, Young chief, akuji, Apostle Handsome Boy among others.
I was also privilege to attend the finals where my friend Koliko came second with a cash gift of 500k and only that competition changed his life up till today. The talented young man that use to put on old clothes suddenly became a SHINE SHINE BOBO, a young man with not even 5k in his account suddenly saw 500k in his account.. it was not much of a surprise when he started buy shoes, chain, suite and every other thing to look packaged. And so you can see what that project you initiate brought to us as entertainers in Delta state. In fact some of us started waiting eagerly for the next edition. I MUST WIN THE NEXT EDITION mentality came into most of us.
But after all the maiden Edition of comedy, Music, dance and movie edition was done, it became that last time DTQ was ever mentioned. No explanation was given as to why the project was stopped but a Top comedian recently during a chat said about 300million is still being budgeted for that every year and part of it is now being use to finance One of the BIGGEST CONCERT IN WARRI. But it still remains an allegation sha but you can’t ignore every allegations these days most especially in Government.
Now sir, the tenure of our governor is coming to her end in few months and am trying to fish out your achievements but have not being able to. First, the DTQ project did not achieve its aim as was planned from the beginning. Let me explain a bit sir. All the winner are all hustling on their own to make ends meet which ordinary wouldn’t have been so if you did some follow up after giving them cash.
the winner of the comedy edition, I hear he now sells bread in Sapele and no longer doing comedy except once in a while. The 1st runner up Koliko: The young man have grown to be one of the most sorted after comedian in WARRI but not NIGERIA which would have being possible if you did some follow up. What is Koliko Market value compare to his pair in Lagos with even lesser value? Sir a well packaged, not too funny comedian in Lagos collect 50k to 200k per wedding but give all your winner of DTQ 20 to 30k for a wedding, they will not only crack jokes, they will also dance till the end of the marriage. The difference between Lagos and Delta is packaging and media exposure and I will come to that later.
What about 2nd runner up Young Chief: the young man have being hustling to make a name for himself. All these things would have being much easily if you had plan for them after winning. The project gave them fish and not how to catch fish. What about Ejiro that won the singing category? The golden voice is what I call her. Her voice can bring peace to a trouble nation. She is an all ready made material that just needed to be introduce to the world. But sir the last time I heard from her was running a live Band. Imagine how Tiwa Savage, Omawumi would have end up as live band artist. sir, should I say another wasted talent?
I don’t even know of those that won Dance and Movie categories but I also think they ended up somehow doing other things. The only people that still benefit a bit are Koliko and young chief who you sometimes invite once or twice to asaba to perform. And the worst part is that when you pay comedians coming from Lagos atleast 500K, they pay our DTQ winners 50k and someone still cut the money before it gets to them.
So you see if there were other words I can use other than disappointment about your tenure I will definitely use it. Sir you have being in this industry to know how things works but you just sat down, collected your salaries, bonuses plus all the CORNER MARKINGS ( only warri boys go understand )
There are certain things I know you could have done and I don’t know why you didn’t do them. First, you became popular in Nollywood because of the media. We watched your movies and watched you on Tv and that’s how your fan base increased. Now you coming back from Nollywood to become commissioner of Culture and Tourism should know that to promote people’s Culture is through the media and then people start coming to see what they have being seeing on TV, internet and any other platform.”