INTERVIEW: I didn’t earn a dime from ‘Residing in Bondage’ – Okey Ogunjiofor

interview:-i-didn’t-earn-a-dime-from-‘residing-in-bondage’-–-okey-ogunjiofor

Many who observed the history-making Nollywood film, ‘Residing in bondage’ released in 1992, must were questioning where ‘Paulo’ (Okey Ogunjiofor), the man that lured Andy into occultism, has been all these years.

With a target of simplest a hundred thousand properties and at N300 per reproduction of the film, as the producer, Okey became certain he would strike gold after ‘Residing in Bondage’ became released.

His prediction became actual as over 750,000 copies of the film were provided all over Nigeria.

The son of M.C. Ogunjiofor, a accepted Nigerian poet, sculptor, and creator of the neatly-known – Anthology of Neatly-liked Igbo Verse, Okey’s dreams never materialised. His sponsor and companion reneged on their usual agreement of sharing the proceeds equally after he would gain recouped his investments.

On this interview, first and major published by mytori.ng, the worn actor recounts his horrendous experiences in filmmaking and his most up-to-date venture, ‘Amina’, which has been 25 years within the making.

Residing in bondage

Okey hinted that he bought his inspiration for the film ‘Residing in bondage’ which became released in 1992, from a exact-existence ride.

The worn actor recounted that the foundation for the history-making film became borne out of his working ride with the then neatly-known wrestler, Energy Mike, who provided video protection for a supposed cultural pageant.

Essentially basically basically based on Okey, the pageant became for a team of opulent, outmoded cultural folks that had what they known as a pageant at the handball pitch of the Nationwide Stadium in Surulere, Lagos. He became paid the sum of N7,000, which became a large quantity of money all around the leisurely 80s.

Minute did he know It became an occultic birthday party. The actor stated the attendees of the pageant donned masses of regalia and were all tied from their torsos down and wore beads all-spherical their palms and waists.

The one who had invited him to shroud the tournament started to woo him into joining the team. When he later chanced on what the team became about, he vehemently objected to the invitation. The actor became warned that if he did now not be a a part of the team, issues would never be all factual for him. This became the foundation for the film, ‘Residing in bondage’.

Okey, who became fashionable as ‘Paulo’, the role he played within the film, stated that the film made it now not easy for him to are residing a usual existence, as folks hated him for his role within the film.

He stated, “folks wanted to stone me for luring Andy into the occult to abolish his swish companion, believing that, in exact existence, I became a cultist. I might doubtless well well not board public transport. I needed to gain some semblance of safety, rent an correct home, somewhat than being a squatter.”


Thrice overwhelmed

With the exception of for social stigma, Okey became indeed residing in bondage. After producing the film ‘Residing in Bondage’ which became believed to gain netted at the least N20m at the time, the actor became tremendously exploited by his partners and became sadly remunerated the sum of N3,500 as allowances from logistics.

“I didn’t earn a dime from residing in bondage, I became a novice. I became a hungry boy from the streets who did now not gain somebody to plead his region off, who did now not gain any view or ride in alternate or filmmaking, because (this home-film alternate) had now not been performed sooner than…. (I became facing a) more experienced (businessman) who observed every loophole and explored them,’’ he stated.

Moreover to ‘Residing in bondage’, the resilient actor persisted to manufacture other motion pictures in 1995 despite ride, his motion pictures were most productive sellers at the time. They incorporated ‘Nneka the gorgeous serpent’, “Brotherhood of Darkness’, and ‘when plant life turn dim’.

Alternatively, the legend did now not change; he persisted to endure from what he described as “a trailblazer with others taking the glory and reaping from my mistakes, correcting the mistakes and standing firm.”

Okey narrated how he had suffered mountainous losses from doubtful and horrendous entrepreneurs.

He stated, “I would borrow money to manufacture a film, retract the empty cassettes, dub the materials into the cassettes, print packets for the cassettes, and offers the entrepreneurs to promote. On my return for my share of the agreed proceeds, to defray my price and gain some income and accomplish returns on investments to my investors, the marketer would remove me to his warehouse where the packets were stacked, and the total copies brought to him might doubtless well well be there. All. Because we would count, one after the opposite.”

“What normally came about became that the marketer would remove your film to mass manufacturing studios, the packet to printers, and mass manufacturing of a multitude of copies of the film and packets might doubtless well well be performed. That’s the model that’s provided out there. So, in spite of all the issues, the marketer would allow you to bear in mind that your film has now not moved.”

Breakthrough

He stated his first leap forward came in 1996, after the then First Lady, Maryam Abacha, returned from the Fourth World Conference on Women folks Motion for Equality, Pattern, and Peace, in Beijing, China.

Okey despatched proposals to accomplish a film on the existence and times of Queen Amina for the space of job of the First Lady’s venture on women empowerment initiatives.

At the same time as the proposal became accepted, the First Lady’s Put of job did now not fund the venture, somewhat he became given advice letters which facilitated his meetings with excessive compile rate folks and concerned events to serve make certain that he produced ‘Queen Amina’ and accomplish it the most acceptable memoir.

The inch

Okey, throughout the serve of a researcher, commenced the daunting investigations. Alternatively, in 1998, when the then Head of Deliver, Sani Abacha, died and became succeeded by Abdulsalam Abubakar, he persisted working with the First Lady, Fati Abubakar.

He accepted that he and his researcher visited thirteen emirs. ‘‘We travelled in each space there is history, on appropriate, faulty and unsafe roads. Oh, we travelled. From Dass to Kano to Bauchi to Jos to Ilorin to places in Kogi Deliver to Suleja to Abuja,’’ he stated.

The hurdles

It became indeed an uphill job for Okey as he accepted that no-one genuinely wanted to confer with him in regards to the memoir of Amina. He hinted that at some degree, it gave the impact that there became a conspiracy against that girl.

He stated “Even after I went to the Zazzau and Kano Chronicles to study the period that Amina reigned, the thirty-four years of her reign became absent. You can stare where the reign of Bakwa of Turunku, King Nikatau, her father, ended, but you can now not stare (records) of 1 other particular person reigning for one other thirty-four years except the following king came. Then you can ponder whether or now not some folks desire her reign obliterated from history.”

“It looked that there were some fears that males did now not need to speak the memoir of how a girl-dominated or expanded or developed the far and enormous Zazzau Empire which transcended (so many territories). At the fresh time, it’s thirteen emirates, but it completely became formula, formula bigger than that, in currently, and she or he had (intensive) impact up to the northern ingredients of Africa.”

He wondered why an awesome girl reported to gain performed such monumental exploits, but there is not any monument anywhere in Nigeria named after her, except a small statue at the doorway of the Nationwide Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos… And, perhaps, the Amina Hall in about a of Nigeria’s universities.

The gentle-spoken filmmaker stated about a of the drawbacks for the initiatives were a result of the scarcity of moderately necessary cooperation from concerned events.

“After we presented our letter to about a of the emirs and the custodians of history we met, they didn’t need to tell ‘No’ to Trendy Sani Abacha, but they were reluctant to speak me (and my researcher) all I needed to perceive. They tried to brush apart us without announcing it. In some instances, I might doubtless well well be requested to wait on, that I would shortly be viewed, and it might doubtless well well remove as prolonged as seven days of ready. Every morning, I would resume from my resort to (originate up the ready sport).

“From time to time I might doubtless well well be pressured and wouldn’t leave to (high-tail and wait on myself, to lead clear of a instruct) where I would be taught that I became known as, and I became out. You bear in mind that while you happen to miss this sort of possibility, you might doubtless well well now not sigh that you were now not known as, it might doubtless well well be that you were known as but you were now not on hand, and then who knows, you might doubtless well furthermore impartial now not be known as again,’’ Okey narrated.

Eventually

Alternatively, he endured the instruct and saved the faith. Okey became resilient. He stated the leap forward for the film came after he had met the Emir of Zazzau.

“After awaiting some time for the (then) Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, he directed us to about a historians and that became how we bought to (now leisurely) Danmasanin Kano, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Sule. The identical thing came about in Zaria after ready so many days, we were directed to the manager historian, (now leisurely) Ahmadu Fatika (Sarkin Fadan Zazzau and a minister in Nigeria’s First Republic).

‘‘I became also referred to Nuhu Bamalli, (who became as soon as Nigeria’s international minister), a literature specialist and the Magajin Garin Zazzau – his son, His Royal Highness Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli is now the Emir of Zazzau – who talked with me for thus many days, and gave me a handwritten advice on his letterhead, which he stated I might doubtless well well use to beginning out any door anywhere I needed. That became a leap forward on this inch.”

Lifelines

Okey did now not impartial ride breakthroughs. He became also given lifelines that facilitated the compare and kind of the film.

“When the John F Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts came into the image, they gave me some money throughout the serve of Masoma African Basis for The Arts led by Mrs. Sylvia Bello, the chairman and Mrs Funke Akinyanju, Board Member and two of their high artistic directors which incorporated Alicia B. Adams, travelled with me to the total emirates, the doorways opened sooner, even regarded as one of two of the emirs became more relaxed. That became what the involvement of the People did, alongside the formula.

Essentially basically basically based on Okey, in 2014, when the federal executive rebased the Nigerian economy from the putrid twelve months of 1990 to 2010 and made up our minds to crimson meat up the Nollywood alternate, he utilized for a producing grant, and it became authorized.

He stated he primitive allotment of this funding to high-tail for training at UCLA (College of California Los Angeles) where he had instructors equivalent to Barbara Boyle, Joe Rosenberg, Neil Landau, Donald Martin and John W. Simmons.

It became after he had returned from UCLA that he started the groundwork for the manufacturing but funds were now not ample for the venture, but it completely became ample money except some other investors might doubtless well well advance into play. He also bought a mortgage from the Monetary institution of Alternate.

Queen Amina

Okey solid a crew of 86 from Nollywood and at the least 1000 actors from Kannywood, in a repeat to bridge the gap between the north and the south by formula of the inventive divide.

He stated that the event of the memoir hinges on the indisputable truth that it does now not matter how far folks try to end Amina’s title from being heard.

Okey stated “At some degree, folks were foundation to discuss how she became supposedly wayward; that she would remove males in, gain intercourse with them in a single day, and within the morning, abolish them, but no person is announcing that Amina did all these issues because there became the outmoded machine and custom of the folks, which resisted the rulership of a girl, and so, oftentimes, planted surrogates or what you might doubtless well furthermore name enemies who speculated to be lovers; and she or he would remove them in and continuously chanced on that they were armed and plotted certain booby-traps for her to be exterminated.

At any time when she chanced on that; being a militia strategist, vivid that any enemy you reduction alive methodology that your existence is in hazard; she would earn rid of them. This persisted up to a diploma when she stated she would now now not marry. Then the discuss of her being a hermaphrodite started hundreds of stories, but it completely became all thanks to the gender prejudices that males had.

It became a period of whole feminine subjugation, a timeless season of wars and terror in each space. For a girl to be equal to all males and remove her gain became worrisome to hundreds of parents.”

It has taken the filmmaker 25 years to accomplish the film from 1996 – when the compare started – to 2019.

The put up-manufacturing became performed in 2019 and it became marketed to Netflix. ‘Amina’ is now ready for originate to a global platform on November 4, as a Netflix Long-established.

This interview became first and major published by mytori.ng

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