As you’re reading this, beautiful Nollywood actress, Bukky Amos-Bello, is moving her charity train to Ekiti and Ondo States, Nigeria, after she had successfully covered her native Ibadan city distributing palliatives to several poor homes to cushion the pains of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.
Based in the United States of America, Bukky Amos, who initially relocated from Nigeria to the United Kingdom thirty years ago, is not your regular movie actor; although you can call it a drop in the ocean because of the enormity of poverty challenge among Nigerians who are her primary focus, Arewa, as she is fondly called, says she gives to charity the bulk of what she earns from her job and investments.
Information reveals that Arewa is reaching out to families with food packages, protective items like sanitizers and facemasks and complementing it with cash, through her pet project, Maria Oladapo Foundation, a not-for-profit scheme she launched in March 2020 in honour of her late mother, Mrs. Maria Oladapo, whom she said was her role model.’
‘This is my ministry; I give as I earn because I have realized that this is why God has blessed me. I’m not blowing my trumpet and I’m not doing it because I am richer than my mates; no, but I always wonder why keeping millions in my bank accounts doing nothing with them yet some people are hungry,” declared the producer of ‘Ajitannawo’, her 7th production that reportedly ranked among Nollywood’s sales chart Top-10 in 2017.
Asked what encouraged her passion for giving and if Nollywood was really the source of millions she expends on charity, Bukky, who was reported to have spent about N6 million of her personal money to feed 2,500 homes in Ibadan alone since the Coronavirus was declared in Nigeria, said she had always wanted to give to the poor because she had tasted poverty.
She also admitted the fact that Nollywood has not grown to the level of paying bills comfortably, stating that she earns her regular income as a full time healthcare worker and investing heavily in real estate.’.
‘I had always wished that I had a lot of money to give out because I had experienced poverty and never wished anyone to be poor. Honestly, this food distribution was not planned at all. I actually started the charity idea in Year 2000 when I spent about N12 million to care for widows and vulnerable children.
But when the Lagos lockdown started, I saw some video clips in the social media that brought tears into my eyes. People were running after food trucks, crying and begging for food and I saw people being forced to feed their young children with cassava flakes (garri).
I’ve regularly donated to various organizations and will continue to do so, but this is the first large-scale effort I’ve led and executed.
That is why my focus is on the very poor, and this Covid-19 challenge even provided the opportunity to identify and reach my main targets. Also, movie production does not pay my bills. Acting is my passion and I am also an ex international model. Additionally, I am a business woman, largely investing in real estate. And I’m also a healthcare worker.
You can say I’m a workaholic,” said the actress while she lampooned Nigerian leaders as ”being roguish and selfish for living lavishly off the ordinary Nigerians who elected them into power.’
“Bukky decried the insensitivity of Nigerian leaders to the plight of their subjects, although she affirmed that government alone can’t do it all. ”In the US, you cannot differentiate between a millionaire and poor person, we rub shoulders in stores and at restaurants.
Let’s agree that government cannot do everything which is why capable citizens have to stand in the gap, but Nigerian leaders are just not doing enough,” stressed the actress, adding that if an individual like her could give away over N6 million naira to feed persons she doesn’t know and without having anything to gain in return, then nothing stops the political leaders from the local governments to federal level from joining hands to care for poor Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the happily married mother of eight has disclosed that the charity exercise tagged, ‘Operation Feed the Poorest of the Poor’, which began on Thursday, 9th of April 2020, would be launched in Ekiti and Ondo States with the same vigour this week, hoping to spend about N6 million more.
Her next movie, ‘Sisi Maruwa’, is due for premiere soon while she plans to formally launch her Foundation in Nigeria, the UK, Ivory Coast, US before the year ends.