Veteran Nollywood actor Chika Okpala (fka Zebrudaya) has called out foreign TV networks like Telemundo and Zee World for causing Nigerian viewers to ignore indigenous content.
In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, Okpala shared his concerns over sitcoms produced in Nigeria and their lack of sponsorship.
“Foreign soaps, like Mexican ones, Telemundo, Zee World and the rest of them have flooded our TV screens and our indigenous TV drama series are suffering. Popular programmes The New Masquerade, Cockcrow at Dawn, The Village Headmaster and others were left to slip away,” said Okpala.
“The dwindling economy is the major problem for production in this country and lack of sponsorship has contributed to the death of programmes. Without the economy being vibrant, you cannot push programmes forward. People cannot do productions without it yielding something substantial to take care of their families.”
Okpala believes sponsorship is vital to producing top-notch TV drama, saying that most of the old sitcoms stopped airing because they lacked support from sponsors.
Foreign networks are not helping matters because they have drawn Nigerian viewers to them, he claimed, leaving very little viewership for the indigenous sitcoms still airing.
Okpala insisted that if local sitcoms are produced and sponsored it will support the livelihoods of many more people, which will boost the country’s economy.
Okpala is best known for his role in 1990s sitcom New Masquerade.