Entertainment

Cast and crew speak on the movie, Eko, the blessing of Olofin

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EKO, the blessing of Olofin, an epic movie centred on the story of Lagos will soon hit the screen.  The most talked about movie has 500 cast. It was shot in Ifo, Ogun State, Badagry and Eko.  ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with the producer, Fola Onifade; the director, Femi Bright and other lead cast of the movie.

‘It’s the first part of a trilogy’ – FEMI ONIFADE, Producer
Can you tell us about the movie?

FEMI ONIFADE

FEMI ONIFADE

The movie is entitled Eko, the blessing of Olofin.  It’s actually the first part of a trilogy and tries to tell the story of Eko (Lagos) as we all know it now.  We started with departure from Ife by Olofin, that is where the Season One ends.
Season Two started with King Ado and then with the current king.  So, the third party of Trilogy will be Eko, the government in power.  This will look at the governors or governments that have ruled in Lagos till date.
Tell us what inspired the movie.
The first inspiration was, there is this notion that Lagos is a no man’s land.  I think we came out to correct the impression and notion.  Actually, Lagos is owned by the descendants of Olofin.  We call them the Aworis and they have now spread to other parts, we have them in Ogun State. So, that’s the inspiration.
During the shooting of the movie, you would have experienced some challenges.  What was the major challenge during the production of the movie?
The major challenge was housing and feeding over 500 people for like two months. That was a big challenge.
So, who are the cast for the movie and why did you make that choice?
To start with, Olofin was played by Yemi Blaq.  We chose him specifically because he has never done any Yoruba movie before and he actually did a wonderful job on that.  Then, we went for Adaye, Bukky Wright for Aina Agan, simply because she has a face that people can easily tag and Iya Awero played Mama Olofin.  Then Iya Orisabunmi, Leye Adeshile, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, Bimbo Onogide, Bisola Badmus.  We have well over 50 well known stars.
Shooting a movie with over 50 Nollywood stars must have cost you a lot, how much did the movie gulp?
(Laughs) I have always avoided this and try not to answer it.  You can imagine shooting with the kind of camera we used for two months and to feed 500 people for two months and house them for two months, that is a lot of money.  So, it’s a lot of money, let’s put it like that.
So, what next should we expect from you being the producer of such movie?  What’s you next project?
The next project of course will be the second season of this movie.  It’s a three season film.  The second season will feature the kings of Lagos. There you have, Ogogo, Jide Kosoko, Oga Bello, Yinka Quadri and a whole lot of them will be playing kings in the second part.  We’ll start with King Ado, that will still be played by King Wasiu Ayinde, Oba Ajabaru, Oba Ologunkutere, about 26 kings in the second movie.  So, you can expect wonderful cast and a mind-blowing movie.
A movie of that calibre is something really challenging.  So, how do you intend to maintain the standard of the first season through the second and third seasons?
Like the Yoruba would say, ‘the head that we used while we are young is still there.’  So, the efforts that we used to achieve this one, we will still use it and improve upon it to bring a better movie.

Being close to nature was fantastic’ – YEMI BLAQ (Olofin)
How did you join the train of Eko, the blessing of Olofin?

YEMI BLAQ

YEMI BLAQ

I was in Asaba when I received a call from someone who said he was the coordinator of the movie.  I did my investigation about the movie.  When I got the script, I went through it and decided to get on board.
Tell us about your role in the movie.
I played Olofin, the founding father of Lagos who travelled from Ile-Ife with his wife in search of a child.  They got a virgin land and decided to settle down there.  That was how Lagos was formed.
Can you share some of your challenges on the set?
The language.  I speak Yoruba fluently, but the script had proverbs for everything.  That was a bit tasking.  I had to learn a lot of things but shooting it was interesting.
What about your experience?
Getting close to nature was fantastic.  I got close to some people on set.  The movie is historical.  I know it will change the face of Yoruba movie genre when it comes out.

‘I love the traditional aspect’ – LANRE HASSAN (Mama Olofin)

LANRE HASSAN

LANRE HASSAN

How did you join the train of Eko, the blessing of Olofin?
I was contacted by the producer of the movie, Fola Onifade and the director, Femi Bright. They both told me about the movie and my role, so I fell in love with the script.
Tell us about your role in the movie.
I took the role of Mama Olofin.  It is the prayer of every mother to have her grandchild but in this case, there was none.  So, being the mother of Olofin, I tried all I could and even went as far as calling on my group members but all to no avail.  But later I was told my son has to leave the village before he can bear children.
Can you share some of your challenges on set?
It was not much for me because I am used to the traditional aspect of acting.  The only challenge I faced was I had to leave location late at night in a very bushy village to the town.  That was the only thing.
What about your experience?
It was a lovely one because we were lucky to be accepted by the villagers of that town.  They gave us a warm reception, always happy to see us and that alone gave us the courage to carry out our work.

‘The rain disturbed us’ – FEMI BRIGHT, Director
How did you get the role of a director in Eko, the blessing of Olofin?

FEMI BRIGHT

FEMI BRIGHT

I was called by someone that they needed a screen player. I went and I got the job, played my role.  Later, I also learnt the role of a director was vacant, I applied and I was chosen.
How will you describe the experience?
It was quite an experience.  It was challenging, the movie had a lot of cast and we were on it for a couple of months.
How challenging was it directing the movie?
We started shooting in April but rain disturbed us.  After setting up everything, rain will just start.  So, we had to shift it till another month.  Another challenge was waiting endlessly for some of the cast.  Some people came late to set.
Who did you enjoy working with?
The two lead actors, Yemi Blaq and Kehinde Fasuyi.  The two of them gave me what I wanted.  I also enjoyed working with the other cast as well.
How rewarding was it financially?
I was paid something that was comfortable for me, no regrets at all.

‘The location was stressful’ – LEYE ADESHILE (Tade)
How did you join the train of Eko, the blessing of Olofin?
I was called by a friend who happens to be the brother to the producer of the movie.  I would say, I got the role on a platter of gold.
Tell us about your role in the movie.

LEYE ADESHILE

LEYE ADESHILE

I played the role of a friend to Olofin called Tade.  We migrated from our origin to find a treasure for the Olofin and the wife.
Can you share some of your challenges on the set?
The location was stressful because we had to move from one place to another but I enjoyed myself.
What about your experience?
It was a fantastic experience for me because I had the opportunity of meeting new and relevant people both in my field of work and outside my field.

 

‘Interpreting the Yoruba proverbs was quite tasking’ – KEHINDE FASUYI
How did you get a role in Eko, the blessing of Olofin?
I was at home when I was called. I was told they don’t want a regular face in the Yoruba movie genre.  I am an actress but not with the Yoruba movie genre.
How will you describe the experience?
It was a wonderful experience. I was not into Yoruba movies, but after reading the script, I was able to connect with the character.  It was quite interesting.
What were the challenges on set?
The first was speaking Yoruba, the proverbs and all that.  I am a Yoruba girl but it was quite tasking.  You just have to pronounce every word the right way.  I had to call someone into my home to go through the script with me, interpret the proverbs until I understood the script.
Can you tell us about your role in the movie?
You cannot talk about the story of Lagos without talking about Ajaye and Olofin.  They were husband and wife.  Ajaye was actually a God-sent soul mate.  They had difficulty bearing children.  After consulting an herbalist, they were told to relocate before they could have children.  They had to move from one place to another before they eventually had children.  It was a character that was sad at the beginning but it ended up happily.  There was light at the end of the tunnel at the end of the day.
–  SHADE METIBOGUN, DOLAPO AMODENI and OYINKANSOLA EKERIN

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