Death of Junior Pope, others what insurance could have done

Junior Pope Odonwodo

Temitayo Akpan

The entire entertainment space, and by extension the larger society were roused by the tragic and devastating news of the boat mishap of the 10th April, 2024 on the Waterside of River Niger Cable Point Asaba which claimed the life of the upwardly mobile Nollywood actor,
Junior Pope Odonwodo aka Junior Pope and 4 others.

As at 11th April 2024,news had it that a total of 8 survivors had been rescued
This sad news came on the hills of several similar unpleasant stories about physical incapacitation and death of men and women of the Nollywood with stories of miseries in their trail.

It has remained a shock that despite the fact that actors by their professional calling , are supposed to bring joy to other men, regrettably they had to bear the brunt of several melancholic stories, which to all intent and purpose could have been avoided and reduced .

Aside from repeated stories of misfortune that seem to constantly hit the entertainment space ,the rising importance of this sector to Nigeria economy can not be underestimated .in 2023 alone, motion picture and music recording accounted for 154 billion of Nigeria’s GDP, drawing more attention to the sector as one of the nations cash cows if properly mined. This also
underscored the need for the required attention to be paid by the guilds, as well as strategic institutions to the welfare of their members..

From the point of view of a RIsk manager, the sad narrative that surrounds the recent death of the actors calls for a rethinking of the place of a risk management or insurance for sustainability of the sector.

Specifically ,one is curious to ask why the actors and crew members embarked on such a trip without life jackets or the presence of the medical team to accompany them on such a risky voyage for for preventive or proactive measures.

Whilst it may seem that one is literally trying to shut the gate after the horse had bolted off, especially on this event in focus, it’s important to re underscore the place of insurance with the primary aim of averting the minds of the regulators and the umbrella guilds in the Nollywood to better protect their members from unforeseen circumstances.

Begging areas of insurance that could be considered by all Nollywood actors would include: writing of will, Pension planning, provision of.Life Assurance covers for the benefits of receiving compensation by their immediate families in the event of death; Medical Health Insurance for cases of critical illness.

Similarly, they need protection for their equipment against theft and damages particularly at locations under property or all risks insurance. In recent times issues of libel, copyright, piracy and contractual social or relationship liability are increasing and they could be insured against while not forgetting contingency insurance in the event of unexpected stoppage of projects that could lead to loss of profit.

This piece should not be completed without strong admonition to the insurance industry to also step up their product offering to the entertainment community as a way to achieve it’s much desired penetration and increased contributions to the Nigerian Economy.
The times are passed when insurance operators remain lethargic or constrained to traditional insurance, if they actually meant to achieve any tangible relevance. They must be able to provide tailor made products that would be sexy enough to satisfy the needs of the entertainers and by so doing bring them to the conveyor belt of insurance patronage.

For the family of Late Junior Pope, all this deaths are unfortunate and sadly could have been averted.

May the Almighty rest their souls .

*Temitayo Akpan is promoter of Insurtainment*

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