Veteran actor, Lari Williams, in a report that went viral on Tuesday has cried out that he is going blind and homeless.
The actor who appealed to government and kind-spirited individuals to help him out of his predicament debunked reports that the Lagos State or the Federal Government gave him a two-bedroom flat as he was recently evicted from his three bedroom apartment by the landlord who told him he needed the house for something else.
Williams, a recipient of National honour in the report by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that that he was only conferred with a Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) honours by the government; without any cash backing.
While expressing sadness at the way veterans are in Nigeria with no help in sight, the thespian said; “We served this country and helped to build the entertainment sector that a lot of people are benefiting from today, but there is nothing for people like me to show for it. Most of us are left unsung because of the kind of structure that is being run; we should be having benefits like the civil servants. In other climes, artistes live on government subventions and are structured in such a way that they earn from their creative works.”
Williams added that government should carve out an enclave for entertainers to live and thrive.
“Nigerian cultural policy should be looked into so as to fashion out ways that can benefit the government and the practitioners. The present government should be very careful in whom it will appoint as ministers, that it will sent to the arts sector. We need hands-on individuals to be made ministers. Government needs to have time for the creative sector so that it can have a voice; arts has been the unfortunate ministry. If it is well structured, then we can stop dying poor. Look at Femi Robinson who played the second headmaster-character in the Village Headmaster, a Nigerian television drama, Dan Maraya Jos and others, they all died with nothing. We are not handing over what we have in us to the next generations because the room was not created for that,” he said.
Lari Williams came into limelight by featuring in the popular soap opera, The Village Headmaster in the 1980s. He also featured in other television series, such as For Better for worse, Ripples, Memorial Hospital, Jagua Nana’s Daughter and Living for Tomorrow.
Among the home videos he has acted in are; The Lion Man, Witch Doctor of the Living Dead and Cry for Freedom. He also acted in stage plays, such as Isibru Ekperi, Awero, Home to Ajegunle and The Trophy.