Zack Orji Addresses the Problem of Drug Abuse Among Young Nigerian Entertainers

Veteran actor, director, producer and film-maker, Zack Orji, in a new interview with Punch talked about the problem of drug abuse in the Nigerian entertainment industry and how it is caused by poor parenting.

This comes following the recent drug related deaths of young Nigerian artistes in the entertainment industry and blamed bad parenting for the ugly trend.

In his words;

”I would say the problem of drugs in the entertainment industry especially with young musicians is a problem of poor parenting.

We must inculcate in our children a good moral compass. When they go wrong, we must not fail to correct them.

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We should not condone certain things and make our children feel like they can get away with certain things. That is one of the problems we have with the so-called influential people in the society.

They are always ready to bail out their children irrespective of what the children did, not minding the fact that whatever your son does to another person, that is also another human being.

A number of parents in America for example, who choose to be their children’s managers do that because of the bad influence they fear that they might be exposed to either from their peers, managers or other places.

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Look at Beyonce who started at a young age; in her early 20s, she was already an international superstar but she was being managed by her parents. That helped to guide her.

I know a number of young Nigerians who are heavily on drugs; some of them have gone for rehabilitation.

A lot of it has to do with poor parenting, negative peer pressure and a feeling of insecurity; believing that you have to do something to belong to a certain class.”

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Using himself as an example, the father of three children disclosed that he also took cigarettes and Indian hemp but quit the bad habits when he realized that they only caused him more harm than good.

”I quit smoking because at a certain time, it was no longer pleasurable. As a matter of fact, I discovered that anytime I smoked over the years, I fell sick.

I gave it up the first time for three years, then I relapsed but I finally stopped three years after I got married. I just discovered that anytime I smoked, I did not feel comfortable with myself, so I gave it up.”

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Finally, he advised the younger generation to always be independent.

”I am a very independent person. Most of my friends back in the university days belonged to one cult group or the other but I did not think I needed to belong to any cult to be somebody.

I did not think I needed anyone’s approval. Even though I received invitation from some of these cults to join them, I turned them down.

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Most of my classmates and colleagues were in cult but I turned them down. It is also a question of your own personal conviction about how you see yourself.

You must believe in yourself, that you are somebody and you don’t need anyone’s approval to live your life. You don’t need to live up to anybody’s expectation and that is the problem with a lot of young stars.”

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