Popular filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan has offered a response in the form of a statement to actor Mike Ezuruonye’s accusation of tribalism.
Kunle who was called out by his colleague over sharing the screenshot of a DM that tagged Ezuruonye as a fraudster, revealed that the intention was to make fans desist from sending him such as he highly disapproves of it, a sentiment mirrored by his accompanying text on the screen shot; “E gba mi o. E wo ni temi?
Kunle Afolayan stated that prior to the social media outburst by Mike Ezuruonye, he had reached out to him via private message to clear any misgiving about the situation.
He also spoke on the tribalism jab thrown at him, noting that the array of Non-Yorubas he he has worked with in the industry over the years as well as those on his staff, takes away any credence from Mike’s claims.
“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 labelled a tribalist in retaliation is very unfortunate,” says Afolayan.
“Honestly, I was misunderstood,” the filmmaker says while shedding more light on the matter: “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.”
On how he has been promoting inter-tribal relationships through his works, Afolayan says the facts are there for all to see.
“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”.’
The filmmaker says he has offered an olive branch on the matter. “I have told Mike ‘I’m sorry’, since he found my post offensive. I am also apologising to anyone who also may have seen things from his point of view. ”