- A former gubernatorial candidate, Tonye Princewill has enunciated the need for an individual not to depend on politics
- Princewill who recently exited the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) said he was already established before venturing into politics
- He further highlighted some of his projects in the entertainment industry as well as filmmaking
Rivers, Port Harcourt - Tonye Princewill, a former Rivers State Governorship candidate under the Action Congress and the Labour Party and a close ally of Rotimi Amaechi, has explained why it is wrong for an individual to depend on just politics to survive. He said such was the reason he had decided to invest in politics, entertainment, and tourism.
In an exclusive chat with Legit.ng, Princewill said he joined politics. At the same time, he was already established in other areas of endeavours, saying that it would have been very difficult to run for the office of the Governor against the “Odili machine” in 2007 if he was not already doing something else and doing it well.
Responding to a question on his multiple careers and where he is heading, the prince of Kalabari Kingdom said he is comfortable with where he is because it gives him rest of mind.
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“Let’s see how it goes. Maybe I’m there already. I like where I am. I’m not one thing. Most people know me as a politician. But I have to remind them that you don’t run for Governor against the Odili machine in 2007 if you were not already doing something else and doing it well.”
Concerning his journey across political divides, Princewill said he is seen differently by individuals in politics.
According to him, while some see him as an Alaibe boy, others see him as an Atiku boy. Some even see him as an Asiwaju boy and, more recently, as an Amaechi boy.
“People have tried to pigeonhole me first as an Alaibe boy, then as an Atiku boy, next as an Asiwaju boy and more recently as an Amaechi boy. They would be right, and they would be wrong. Truth is, I’m the Amanyanabo’s boy, and for those who know the Kalabari Kingdom, the largest clan in Ijaw land, that makes me simply a son of the truth.
“All these political heavyweights that I’ve had the privilege of understudying, all know that I will tell them the truth as I see it at any time, on any day. That independence of thought came about because none of them feed me.
"Even though each and every one of them has made contributions to my life and I am grateful to them for that and for opening my eyes. One day maybe, I will be given the opportunity to do far more than I’m doing now, but till then, let me face what’s in front of me.”
Linking his political journey to his role so far in the entertainment industry, he said:
“That is my new movie 77, which is the sequel to 76, my many business opportunities I’d neglected because of politics, a Kingdom that needs me, and, of course, the 2023 elections that are a turning point for Nigeria. I may not be contesting, but politics is too important to be left to politicians. When I said that, I meant it."
Princewill speaks on new movie
Speaking on what inspired him, and he chose to produce the 76, the politician said the image of Nigeria was key in whatever he gets involved in, whether politics or entertainment.
“Most people who know me for politics wonder about the connection, but it’s more than obvious to me.
“Both our political leaders and our entertainment industry project the image of Nigeria, which matters to me too much. If you are travelling the world, you will be bothered about the state of affairs in Nigeria, and you will truly want to do something about it. Unless you don’t have a conscience.
“Someone who sees our leaders see them as representing us. Someone who sees our movies or our music will see them as representing Nigeria. So if you feel you have a different story to tell, it’s up to you to go ahead and tell it. I’ve never been a fan of simply complaining. It’s not a strategy.
"So this is what, I’m doing. Telling my own story. Showing my own version of events. I grew up in a time where people questioned where your money came from, where men had integrity and people were generally content with what they could afford.”
Explaining the narrative behind 76 and 77, Princewill said the synopsis was nothing else outside Nigeria. He said the story was about what that time represents in the country's history.
“76 and 77, the new movie we are doing, show you what that time represents, and we felt it was very important to tell. Particularly with 76, we wanted a different angle to the regular narrative. We wanted to go behind the uniform and look into the home. Soldiers are, first of all, humans too.
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“We wanted to take the audience to a place where they could relate. And talk to them through the eyes of a soldier’s wife. Movies with strong messages that tell you authentic stories and teach you valuable lessons; that’s what attracted me to 76, and when I saw the script for 77, I jumped in again straight away.
“The scriptwriter for 77 is a genius. Add that to Izu Ojukwu’s genius cast and crew and we have the tools to make history again. That’s all an executive producer can ask for. “
Recall that Tonye Princewill recently dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC, over the controversial Muslim-Muslim tickets, saying that his former party showed no respect for Northern Christians and others.
Since he resigned from the APC, Princewill hasn’t made public his new political choice, keeping people guessing on his next line of action.
Princewill is generally known as a close ally of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Amaechi, who ran in the presidential primary of the APC against Tinubu, has said little or nothing since Shettima was picked as Tinubu’s running mate.