Award-winning Nollywood actress Toyin Abraham has disclosed that she was hospitalized due to severe panic attacks triggered by the unauthorized circulation of her latest movie, “Malaika.” The high-budget production was exclusively released in cinemas on December 15, 2023.
Recounting the distressing experience during a press briefing at the Federal Investigation Department of the Nigeria Police Force in Alagbon, Ikoyi, on Wednesday, Abraham expressed deep emotional turmoil after discovering her movie being illicitly distributed on social media platforms.
“I saw my movie and another movie and I was like, am I dreaming? And the next thing, they put it on Telegram, telling people they are going to upload it by 12 pm. 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,” Abraham shared with newsmen.
The acclaimed actress, visibly distraught, spoke about the impact of the illegal distribution on her mental well-being, stating, “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 N500 million, and you just see it out there.”
Abraham, who described the leaked movie as a project close to her heart, explained how she, along with her management team and Filmone, actively engaged tech experts to combat the piracy. They approached platforms like Google and Telegram to break the links and halt the unlawful distribution.
Expressing her dedication to combating piracy in the creative industry, Abraham emphasized that the fight goes beyond her individual projects. She underscored the collective responsibility to protect the entertainment and creative sector from such infringements.
The actress disclosed significant financial losses due to the movie leak, with potential viewers opting to wait for free online releases. Despite the setback, Abraham remains resolute in her commitment to raising awareness and advocating for a piracy-free creative industry.
“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 movie to drop,” she lamented. “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.”