Entertainment, Interviews, Videos

‘Waje Starring In The Movie, Tunnel, Was a Blessing’

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– NIKE and ADEJUMOKE ADENLE

Two sisters, Adejumoke Olatunde and Nike Erinle (Nee Adenle) are the executive producers and writers of the soon to be premiered blockbuster movie, Tunnel, vivacious singer, Waje’s first ever film.

The Adenles spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly on the choice of Waje and why it’s a must to watch when it finally hits the cinemas.

What inspired you guys to make this movie?

Adejumoke: It’s to let people understand that there are two sides to everybody – there’s a smiling side and there’s a crying side. That neighbour you see smiling during the day, you don’t know if she cried overnight. That’s why we think it’s important to tell people the story in a dramatic form.

Tell us about the movie?

Nike: The title of the movie is Tunnel. It is an inspirational story. It is the story of Lade’s (played by Femi Jacob) journey to self redemption, his travails and the difficulties he passed through to discover himself. The main cast include Nse Nkpe Etim, Femi Jacobs, Patrick Doyle, Lepacious Bose, Waje and a host of others.

Why should people watch this movie?

Nike: Our movie stands out because of our story. There are a lot of good movies out there now but what we have is a unique story with a long lasting message. It’s a movie you will watch and want to watch again and again. There are so many wonderful scenes that will captivate the viewer. For example, the accident clip where we made sure it looked perfectly real.  There’s 2D animation in the movie, we paid attention to every detail, wonderful script, wonderful cast and crew. It’s drama mixed with suspense, action, comedy and emotions. So it’s a total package and that’s what makes it stand out.

How did you get Waje to feature in the movie?

Adejumoke: I would say Waje came as a miracle. The producers, Grace and Stanley went to Calabar for an event and they were on the same table with her. They got talking and that’s where Waje indicated her interest in being in a movie, and they told her they were about to shoot. I had never met her before, but when she came, she blew my mind away. Waje is very humble and she is someone I really enjoyed working with. We have that diva mentality in a lot of celebrities, especially in the entertainment industry. But Waje is so down to earth. I don’t know if it’s because she grew up in Benin, but she was a blessing.

Being your first time, how was the experience?

Nike and Jumoke: The challenges were much. Being our first time, a lot of people could not really understand where we were coming from. We used to criticise Nollywood, we just sit down and criticise endlessly but when we got in, we found out the reasons why some of those things were done the way they were.

In Hollywood, you can shoot only one scene for five days until you get it perfectly. Those five days is a lot of money, actor’s time, feeding, accommodation and other costs. By the time you do that for all the scenes, it can take you up to six months and that is what they do but they can put in 100 million and know that they will get 500 or 600 million. But here in Nollywood, we’re still begging people to come and see our movies.

What people don’t understand is that if Nigerians are not patronising Nollywood movies, investors would be scared to invest much. Funding was difficult when we started but we fell back on family. Our dad was our main sponsor with support from our husbands. And in the end we thank God because it’s been a learning curve.

What’s the budget of the movie?

Nike: I do not want to disclose it. Not because we didn’t spend money, but I don’t want people to start saying we spent too much or questioning the figure. But let’s just say we spent far more than we would spend putting a lot of things in place because we wanted to get it right. Warri people say, ‘soup wey sweet na better moni kill am.’ So na better moni kill this movie.

Do you plan to continue in the industry or you are done?

Nike: It’s not a touch and go, entertainment is a very powerful vehicle with which you can influence people. And if we don’t step up now, you’ll be getting all sorts of people sending the wrong message. You see porn movies reigning now and finding their way into our markets. If we do not take our stand, we’ll start seeing movies about gays and before you know it, we’ve lost it.

When is it coming out?

Nike: We plan to release it by the grace of God by November.

You guys are married. How do you cope?

Adejumoke and Nike: it’s not easy but thank God we have understanding husbands. Mutual understanding is very important among couples. In fact, we got funds from our husbands to execute this project. Our parents too were very supportive.

What is your impression of the industry?

I have new found respect for every one that has picked a camera to do a movie in Nigeria. We’re trying to build it now though, I know the government has put down some money. So some people are building structures. But you find out that the pioneers had to forge a way where there was no way. They did it by force and made a way and those movies ended up what we know as Nollywood today. But I believe it’s time and that is why I tell people that Nollywood is about to explode. The movies are getting better, it’s like everybody is saying we can do better. Big kudos Nollywood because they make magic.

 -RASHEED ABUBAKAR

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