Was almost home last night when I noticed a man leaning against a car, lighting a cigarette, shirt collar turned up. I drew my car closer closer to him, stared and called out, 'Don Pedro'. He looked up. It was Don Pedro Obaseki, Theatre Arts Ph.D. holder, Film and Trouble Maker. He and I have had several occasions to clash on panels on TV programmes and Arts discussions where we were both guests. Both of us shouting at each other mostly while cameras rolled. Obaseki has a tendency to make his points while standing over you.
He said he hadn't slept in the same place for three nights running.
Don Pedro's started with the acquisition of old film houses in Lagos, formally the exclusive preserve of the Pentecostal Churches. He intends to revive Community Cinemas, apparently. But the issue that causes him to be careful where he sleeps and has made him relocate his family abroad is his introduction of mobile film sellers kiosks around the country.
No longer will the 'Idumota boys' who've held the film industry by the ...ahem... be able to do so. The vending of films can be done on the streets now, breaking the stranglehold of the marketers who have accelerated the growth of the industry but also brought in mediocrity in many places.
It's prevented people like me from 'dabbling in the dew' all these years, the men in movie power appreciate only by their own standards. Obaseki called his move, "Interventionist", and I agree.
So well done, Don Pedro. May you find the strength and grace to continue. It's a New Era.