Award-winning Nollywood actress, Toyin Abraham, has said she was hospitalised due to panic attacks resulting from the illegal circulation of her new movie, Malaika.
The high-budget movie was exclusively released to the cinema on December 15, 2023.
Abraham, who recounted how she stumbled on the movie on a social media platform, said she almost ran mad after she saw it.
Speaking to newsmen at the Federal Investigation Department of the Nigeria Police Force in Alagbon, Ikoyi, on Wednesday where some individuals arrested in connection with the illegal distribution of the movie were paraded, the actress lamented about shooting a movie close to N500m and seeing it leaked to the public.
She said, “If you look at me, you will know that I am actually not okay. I had to come from the hospital. I have been having panic attacks. It is not easy shooting a movie close to N500mi and you just see it out there.
“I saw my movie and another movie and I was like, am I dreaming? And they said, ‘No, you are not dreaming’. And the next thing, they put it on Telegram, telling people they are going to upload it by 12pm. I opened the link and I saw Malaika, I wanted to run mad, it was like my whole world was coming to an end in front of me.
“You know as a woman, I was crying and my manager said, ‘Don’t worry’, and he started making calls to my godparents, my husband and the Filmone team. So we started calling tech guys and how to get to Google. They had to call Telegram. So the next thing, they started breaking the links. Google started to send emails telling us that they had broken the links.”
Abraham recalled how she was desperate to the level where she had to start begging one of the culprits on Telegram.
She also claimed to have expressed surprise that “one of those guys had to tell me to send a mail to a particular email and I said, ‘On my film!’
“I don’t know what to do; this is my life, this is the only thing I do. That is why I decided to take it upon myself, upon manager and Filmone to fight piracy and this is not about me; not about Malaika, not about any movie in the cinema, not about tribe but about the creative industry. It is about the entertainment industry because this is the only thing we do.”
The actress further revealed that she had lost a lot of money due to the development, as people preferred to wait for the movie to be released for free online.
“I have lost a lot because even when you go on social media, you will see people saying, oh, we will not go to the cinema. We will wait for the movie to drop. Even fans abroad will say they are waiting for the meeting to drop and obviously, anyone who is waiting for such a particular thing will not watch the movie. But it is okay, I am doing well. It is not about the money now. It is about fighting a particular cause for the entertainment and creative industry which I am happy about,” she added.