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Tribal Warfare Hits Nollywood

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By Ayodele Oluwafemi

Nollywood actor, Mike Ezuruonye has rejected the apology tendered by award-winning film maker, Kunle Afolayan, after he had accused Afolayan of tribalism and hatred towards Igbos.

Ezuruonye, in an Instagram, on Tuesday, shared a screenshot of a post suggesting that the apology of Afolayan did not meet the attribute of sincere apology and laced with “underlined pride.”

How the misunderstanding between Afolayan and Ezuruonye started

Afolayan, a popular film maker, had taken to his Instagram handle to share a screenshot of a message privately sent to him by a fan, which accused Ezuruonye of defrauding people, especially women.

The film maker captioned the screenshot with a Yoruba phrase which means “please help me, what is my business?”

Ezuruonye was angered that Afolayan shared such screenshot without his knowledge and the understanding that fraudsters impersonate Nollywood actors and actresses to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.

The actor accused the film maker of being tribalistic and habouring hatred towards the Igbos.

In a lengthy diatribe, Ezuruonye wrote, “The small respect I had for you is gone,yes I wrote u that in your sick DM.

U touched the wrong guy by posting this on your twitter and Instagram stories…

Guy, U buy wrong Market!!

“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 dont 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!!!!!”

View this post on Instagram

@kunleafo The small respect I had for you is gone,yes I wrote u that in your sick DM. U touched the wrong guy by posting this on your twitter and Instagram stories… Guy,U buy wrong Market!! 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 dont 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!!!!! Guyyyyy I don come meet u for anything for this life???…OMO HOLD YOURSELF O,before we for inside Nollywood go talk your matter outside..Rubbishhh Kunle U ARE TOO SMALL to bring me down with this stuuuuuupidddd unethical act…smh If u were wise ,wouldn’t u as a colleague call me ,ask questions before posting this Rubbish on your Instagram and Twitter?… WHO DOES THAT….Obviously u…🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🤦🏽‍♂️🙄🙄🙄Mtcheww DUDE,,,if u want a problem ,boyyyyyyy BRING IT ON …I’m so freaking READY!!!. I’ve never called OUT any of my colleagues on social media but NIGGA u messed up this time ..🙄🙄smh Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish Question Where were u when GOD CHOSE ME??? 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎 #alwaysfavouredinhisgrace #youtoosmall

A post shared by Mike Ezuruonye (@mikeezu) on

Response of Afolayan

The filmmaker, in a now-deleted post, apologized to the actor, noting that he was misunderstood and that he has been promoting inter-tribal relationships with his works.

Afolayan wrote, “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 labeled a tribalist in retaliation is very unfortunate.

“Honestly, I was misunderstood. 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.

“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.

“I have told Mike ‘I’m sorry’ since he found my post offensive. I am also apologizing to anyone who also may have seen things from his point of view. Ire o.”

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