By Henry Iheanacho
Ace Nigerian filmmaker and producer, Kunle Afolayan has apologized to Nollywood star actor, Mike Ezuruonye who insinuated that he’s a tribalist.
Recall that Kunle Afolayan had shared a screenshot of a DM post where Ezuruonye was accused of scamming women. The filmmaker also attached a caption that read “Help Me, He wants to kill me”.
This however did not sit well with Ezuruonye who described Afolayan as a tribalist that always hated the Igbos.
On Sunday, September 27, Ezuruonye took to his Instagram page to drag the director for sharing the DM that portrayed him as a fraudster.
“U now acting like u don’t know impersonators are using Actors/Musicians/politicians /celebs fake profiles and videos to Defraud people world over???? Or haven’t u seen the ones caught in my respect and even jailed for impersonating me by @officialefcc ????.
“Why am I surprised, you’ve always HATED IGBOS. Are we going to forget in the Press ur statement years ago saying “IGBOS are the ones spoiling the movie industry..U don’t like casting them.” Well this IGBO ain’t like u cos he was born in Lagos and speaks flawless Yoruba. And loves the Yoruba people U Tribalistic human!!!!!” he wrote.
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In his response, Afolayan said he intended to “jocularly send a message to purveyors of fake news and unproven allegations that they should free him and by extension his other colleagues of such mindless allegations.”
“While I did not see my innocent reaction to an indicting post by a random IG follower as capable of further hurting my friend and colleague, Mike Ezuruonye, to be labelled a tribalist in retaliation is very unfortunate,”
“Honestly, I was misunderstood,” the filmmaker says while shedding light on the matter.
“My reaction, which was rather spontaneous, was to chide the IG follower who appeared to be reporting the actor to me. And I merely asked (in Yoruba) how all of that was my business. It was like saying ‘when did I become an officer of the law’. Obviously, my colleague took the context of my post wrongly and angrily accused me of tribalism.
“I do not know what gave birth to such misrepresentation. However, while I am famous for living and promoting everything that my tradition stands for as a Yoruba man, I have maintained a mutual friendship with people of other extractions, Igbos especially. It is therefore not in the interest of both of us (Mike Ezuruonye and I) to politicise our emotion with tribal colouration. For me, this is undeserving of our other friends, and goes to offend the sensibility of genuine relationships we have each cultivated with people of other tribes.”
Speaking on how he has been promoting inter-tribal relationships through his works, Afolayan says the facts are there for all to see.
“The ideals are reflected in the themes and plots of my movies, some of which include; The Figurine, The Bridge, Phone Swap, Omugwo, and Roti.”
Afolayan also said he has offered an olive branch on the matter. “I have told Mike ‘I’m sorry’ since he found my post offensive. I am also apologising to anyone who also may have seen things from his point of view. Ire o.”