Destiny Etiko, the popular Nigerian actress, has said that being a Nollywood practitioner does not guarantee that one will be wealthy.
In an interview with Saturday Beats, she said, “Nollywood gives some people money while it does not give others money. It depends on the extent to which the masses love and want to see one. That would determine one’s pay. It is not every entertainer that has money. Some people are just trying to package themselves. Nollywood does not pay that much. But, if one is known, one will have money.”
Speaking on why she decided to place the child of her gateman on a scholarship, Etiko said, “Each time I came back from work, she was always seated by the gate with her parents. They don’t have basic appliances in their home. Anytime I go out, I endeavour to buy her something. Sometimes, I give her mother money to buy things for her.
“One day, I asked her mother why her daughter was not going to school. She answered that she and her husband did not have money to train her in school. That was why I decided to take up the responsibility (for her education). I told her parents that I will train their daughter till university level. I decided to train her on my own, so that her parents can look up to her in the future.”
On if her humble background was the reason she decided to help the underprivileged, the actress said, “Maybe. (But), not just my humble background. Ordinarily, I love to help people and I am very compassionate.”
Etiko also stated that the money she uses to run her foundation comes solely from her pocket.
She said, “I have not started soliciting for funds from anybody to run my foundation. All I have done regarding educating the girl child and poverty alleviation from my personal funds. That is why I don’t do it often.
“Some people have approached me for collaboration but when I saw what they were bringing, their money was nothing compared to what I spend. I wondered if these people wanted to publicise their names or if they really wanted to help. Also, being a brand ambassador to a company that produces diapers and sanitary pads gives me a platform to help many people. When I want to help people, I solely use my money.”
Addressing the assumption that actors do not usually help their sick colleagues but prefer to show off on social media, Etiko said:,
“I cannot categorically say if the statement is true or false. However, I don’t think there is oneness (unity) in Nollywood. Aside from that, we have an association and a president. If our president comes out to say that one of our colleagues is sick, and everyone in the industry should contribute, I am sure everyone will do that.”