Veteran Ghanaian actor Henry Harding, known in showbiz circles as Pattington Papa Nii Papafio, has advised artistes in the country to prepare for their future while they are still relevant in the creative arts industry.
The former Taxi Driver star was speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM, Friday, 22 May 2020.
His advice follows recent news about some veteran actors languishing and dying out of poverty after their stellar screen days.
For instance, veteran actor Psalm Adjetefio, popularly known as TT, in 2018, declared himself bankrupt.
Some of his peers have also called on the government and the creative arts industry, on several occasions, to make provisions for such persons.
Papa Nii told show host Benjamin Akakpo that: “Inasmuch as much needs to be done, it behoves everyone, during his prime, to be able to also lay his foundation”.
“Like footballers, like athletes, like artistes, you’re just like someone who is a banker or who is a producer or who is a presenter and as you go along the line, you need to also make sure that you’re able to improve your standard of living so that when bad times come your way, you will be able to meander your way through because I don’t think that once you’re an actor, at every time, you should be at the beck and call of others.
“You’re plying a trade and even fortunately for us, most of us were not professional actors, we had our own professions before we were acting so that when the need arises, that acting has somehow gone down or whatever, you shouldn’t be found wanting”.
“In short, once you’re on heat, you need to prepare yourself and that is what I feel. Even though I believe that what the government should also invest into it, it has not been able to do, because the government stands to gain a lot if they would be as serious as they should be in that direction. Apart from that, whoever comes into the fray must also know what it entails.”
He further advised people who want to enter into the acting industry to first have a profession they can fall on.
“That is why I advise people that you just completed JHS, you’ve completed SHS and say I want to become an actor. You must be a little serious. You need to have a vocation and ply it until the need arises that what you’re getting out of the acting will be able to sustain you,” Papa Nii stated.