Cover Stories, Interviews

Omoni Oboli speaks on Wives on Strike’s success

-Grosses N51 m in 2 weeks

Talented movie maker cum actress, Omoni Oboli is sure enjoying the rewards of hard work. The pretty actress’s latest work Wives on Strike has grossed over N51 million in 17 days.

ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with her on the success of the movie and more…


Congratulations! We heard your movie, Wives On Strike grossed N51 million in 17days. How does it feel?

Thanks! Yes it did! I couldn’t be happier. It’s not often that you see the results match the efforts you put into your work, but in this case, the results surpassed my efforts and expectations, let me not lie. So I feel blessed.

How did you perform the magic? 

I really don’t know. I just kept doing what I do normally for all my movies, and God’s favour simply kicked in and here we are. The one thing I can say is that I tried to be consistent with the efforts I put into my work, and also learn from my mistakes each step of the way, so that I don’t keep towing the same lines which were unsuccessful and expecting a different result. It paid off and it was by grace, no magic.

Did you envisage the movie will become a success over night?

With movies, you can’t really predict the extent of the success. You can know for certain that a well put together production with a relatable storyline would generally rake in money, but a success of this magnitude isn’t easy to predict. So, no, I didn’t envisage this much success with this movie.

How did you come about the story line?

We wanted to make a movie about wives on strike, but we couldn’t find a good enough reason for the women to go on strike that would be believable, or at least understandable. When the issue of the child bride came up back in 2013, we decided that we had found our reason. That’s when I decided to write the story. I also wanted to tell it as a comedy, even though it was a serious message so that it could reach a wider audience.



What about the choice of cast?

When I write stories, I tend to see the actors in those roles. Not that I eventually use those actors that I thought of while writing, but that’s where I begin the process of casting. The characters I used, Uche Jombo, Chioma Akpotha, Kenneth Okonkwo, Kalu Ikeagwu, Julius Agwu, Ufuoma McDermott and all others were so apt for the roles. They brought their talents to work when they came on my set. I chose them because I knew that they would deliver the lines in such a way that I would be able to bridge the gap between presenting serious issues and delivering comedy. That way I can give my audience the entertainment and the message without losing the balance. I’m so glad I used them, because nothing pleases a writer more than to hear actors deliver lines like they actually owned them.

Can you describe the experience while shooting?

It was fun while shooting, but also very intense for me because I had so many roles to play. I had to be the actor, the director and the producer while on set. So while my crew laughed a lot while filming, I was always gearing up for the next scene after each scene was over. It’s a tough job! It’s my love for it that keeps me fired up.

Will you say you have recouped the money invested in the movie as well as profits?

Well, we have to wait till the movie runs its course at the cinemas, because that’s when I get my cheque. From the figures we’ve done so far, I can say that we’ve started making profit.

What was the greatest challenge you faced while shooting?

Same as most of our movies; trying to give the best movie production value on a very tight budget, and in my case, while also being the actor, director and producer at the same time. You can only experience it first hand to understand it.

What is the secret of producing a successful movie?

One, you must have a very good story. Two, you have to write a very good screenplay that tells that story beautifully. Three, you have to have a realistic budget. Four, you have to assemble a good crew. Five, get the right actors who will deliver your lines and are disciplined during production, so they don’t run your production over budget. Sixth, set aside enough money for your marketing. Your success is determined by what your goal for your film is; Is it for monetary gain, or simply to educate, or to let people know that you can shoot a film, or to fulfill a lifelong dream to be called a film maker, or to change the society regardless of the number. Whatever it is, you have to know what your goal is for making the film, and then assess it at the end to see if you became successful in doing it. Whatever the reason, Nigeria benefits from the employment and training that movie brings. Lastly, always listen to sound opinions from people who are ahead of you or just started as long as they are sound. Also listen to experts in different aspects of film making, and most especially, pay attention to those to whom you’re selling your products, your audience. Know what they want and what’s trending for them.

How best can movie makers recoup their investment from movie making?

Keep your budget as low as you can without compromising on the quality of your work, and pay attention to what your audience likes to watch and who they like watching. There’s no sense in making a big budget movie without a robust marketing strategy that would rake in the money you spent at the very least.

What next should fans expect from your stables?

I’m a an actress and a movie maker, so watch out for more movies that are definitely coming soon from my production and others I’ll be working for and with.


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