In the Nigerian movie industry, Aina Kushoro, CEO of Highwaves Video Marts popularly call KUSH, is in a world of his own. More often than not, he dictates the pace. He’s an MBA holder who left a white collar job to join the movie industry.
There is talk in the industry that it was when he joined forces with the marketing policy by Emeka Mba – led NFVCB that other marketers followed suit. He used to be the producer and marketer of all films by Wemimo films before they fell apart. By all means he is a major stakeholder in the Nigerian movie industry. In this chat with Showbiz Now, he bears his fangs and did not spare Wemimo, NCC and video rentals his venomous outburst. By the way, he used to be a big wig among video rentals and pioneered the movement that led to the forming of the Video Rental Association of Nigeria.
Movie rental is a curse
Movie rental is supposed to be a blessing because in overseas it is a blessing. But here, it’s a curse. Video rentals are not doing what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to pay recompense to the owners of the works they rent out, but they do not.
But they bought the videos in the first place.
As a learned person, you know that any product that is copyrighted must go through some channels. Owners of the work must be paid.
Censor’s Board permission
Censors Board gave them the license to start the business. There is a clause in their certificate that says the moment they want to start renting; they should contact the copyright owners. It is a curse simply because of the movie rental practitioners’ attitude. Most of them have duplicating machines in their shops; they buy one and duplicate 10 to hire out.
Between buying and renting
It is even better to buy than to rent.
His antecedent as a bigwig in video rental
I was not just a video rental practitioner; I was one of the very best. But then I was doing my business legally. I moved the idea of starting a video rental association. I was always going from one producer’s house to another to seek their consent with payment no matter how meager it was. Whosoever did not want to collect money usually gave us consent. But now, they are not paying anybody, and that is what makes it a curse.
The copyright commission must now come in.
Emeka Mba’s marketing policy
I’m a licensed distributor now and I know some of Yoruba marketers are licensed distributors as well. We know that the project is a blessing to us.
NCC is snoring
Emeka Mba is a blessing but NCC is not doing its work well. They should wake up from their slumber. They should call them to order. Rental business is not an illegal business it is what you do around it that matters. NCC is a toothless bulldog.
Cancel rental business?
If they cancel it, it will be very okay, but the problem is they can’t. I think if we let them know the extent of damage they are causing they could be corrected. When I was doing video clubbing, we were doing it with all sense of responsibility. But not again. The way they do video club these days is killing the industry. People are not buying movies the way they should, they now rent.
Which has been the most expensive film you have shot?
Ara by Wemimo. I thank God I made my money back. I shot the film for 5m and I didn’t make profit but I made my money back.
Producers sleeping with actresses
Don’t be deceived the story is the same all over the world. Doctors sleep with nurses either in UK or Canada. Sand producers sleep with contractors. So, what is the big deal if producers sleep with actresses? Will producers go and sleep with actors? We are all industry – related people, and chemistry will flow. If chemistry is flowing your first point of call is your neighbourhood. When you are on heat, it is your neighbours first before anybody else.
Morality does not come into entertainment. All our musicians now used lewd lyrics to sell, that shows you that morality is not in the industry. There is nothing called morality in our industry.
How many have you slept with?
That is personal.
Back for ground, money for hand?
I don’t do it. It is only God that can make a star.
What happened between you and Wemimo?
He was becoming too greedy and boastful and I’ve got to separate myself from him. He did 18 films for me, and they were all shot with my money. I’m talking about films like KKK, Ale Ariwo, No Rival, Oyato, Aye Jobele, Timba Taye Wa, Ofin Mose and so on. I was doing business with him as a brother, but he became too greedy for my liking. I will give him money to go and shoot movie and he will give me jacket as if he shot the movie with his money. I was only coping with him. That was the way I treated him. At the end of the day, he said all that money I gave to him was only borrowed from me. That was what caused the problem. He eventually laid claim to everything and I left. He has done it several times, but I said not anymore.
Is it true you are one of the biggest among Yoruba film marketer?
I don’t know.