From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A veteran actor, Olusegun Akinremi, popularly known as ‘Kanran’ in theatre circle, has said that unless sterner measures were taken against the menace of piracy in the country, artistes would continue to die in penury.
Kanran, who blamed the Federal Government for handling the fight against piracy lightly, observed that several artistes whose intellectual property were pirated, had suffered financial losses and even untimely death.
He, however, urged the National Assembly to pass a bill that will prescribe death as the maximum punishment for anyone found guilty of piracy. This, according to him, will not only deter piracy but protect means of livelihood of many creative minds.
The Thespian gave this position on Thursday in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, while briefing journalists on the programmes to commemorate his 50 years on stage.
The actor noted that it was disheartening to see artistes who have laboured to project the image of the country, die in penury tasking government at all levels to institutionalise welfare packages for them.
“Artistes who are change agents, mirrors of the nation and tools of information should not be allowed to wallow in abject poverty and die in penury. Actors and actresses should not be allowed to die before they are appreciated. We are tired of being used by politicians during campaigns and abandoned afterwards.
“In other climes, artistes are like demi-gods and well appreciated, but here, we are left to die and then government will help bury us in multi-million Naira casket. Imagine an artiste who could not afford three-square meal while alive being buried in gold casket! That is unfair. We want to be appreciated while alive, not when we are gone”. He said.
On the activities lined up to celebrate the 50th anniversary, Kanran, disclosed that the event scheduled to hold between July 10th and 16th at National Theatre, Lagos, will include a stage drama, Oba Makin, workshops, book launch, beauty pageant, awards presentation and unveiling of 76 acres arts city project.