The Silverbird Cinemas, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, was the preferred place as one of the darlings of Nollywood, Stephanie Linus premiered her debut directed flick, Dry; I want to be a girl again.
The movie which sheds light on Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF), a condition which affects women and girls, especially those forced into early marriage and childbirth drew very loud ovation from guests as it was first shown on Sunday, August 2, 2015.
The movie follows the story of Zara, a successful African doctor living in Wales, United Kingdom, who is determined to stay away from her horrific childhood memories which now threaten her commitment to
marry Alex, a gentleman she truly loves. Her adoptive mother, a missionary to Africa, found it impossible to make Zara to go with her on her yearly medical aid trips to Africa. When she, however, falls ill just before one of those trips and was therefore unable to make the journey, Zara discovers there is a strong possibility her long lost daughter might still be alive in Africa. She steered in a new direction to face and conquer her darkest fears from her unpleasant past.
Back in Africa, 13 year-old Halima’s poor parents make her marry Sani, a man more than double her age as his fourth wife. With no idea of sex or its intricacies, she goes through a dreadful ordeal as her new husband repeatedly sexually assaults her. Pregnant and after the delivery of her child, young Halima suffers a condition known as Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF). A health nightmare suffered by over 800,000 other women just like her, she is consequently ostracized and abandoned by her husband, family and community.
Finally, Zara meets Halima and marvels at the revelation of the tie that binds them, but that was just before the gravely maltreated teen dies from the condition.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s MICHAEL NWOKIKE was at the premiere which saw Nollywood A-listers and gorgeous looking guests on the black carpet. We spoke with members of the cast; here’s what they said…
‘It’s not just a movie, it’s a movement’ -STEPHANIE LINUS (DR. ZARA ROBBINS)
She scripted, directed and produced this flick – a phenomenal achievement! And she also played a critical role in the movie as Dr. Zara Robbins.
The visibly expectant thespian spoke to us on the movie and more…
What was the filming like, especially having to travel to different places?
Yes, we had to. People think it’s a strictly northern issue, but it affects everyone of us, even here in Lagos. So, it was imperative that we moved from place to place for the shooting. And I’m just glad that at the end of the day, we came up with a good product; and I just hope that it achieves what was intended which is to create awareness. So I don’t want it to just stop here, it’s not just a movie, it’s a movement.
How much work has your foundation, Extended Hands done in respect to this?
We’ve been able to put together funds to repair some of these women and we’ve done about a hundred women.
And what has it been like for you?
It’s been wonderful. You can imagine someone who has been going through this issue for close to 10 or 20 years and you do a 30 minute surgery and their lives are changed.