Nigerian style of bad belle is beginning to creep into the very laudable movie project ’93 days’ being produced by the Amazon Bolanle Austen Peters and my very good friend Dotun.
For the first time in my writing career I am going to be heavily biased simply because of the injustice that is about to be unfolded. These duo Bolanle Austin Peters and Dotun Olakunrin with the enigmatic Director Steve Gukas came together to immortalize the efforts of not only Dr. Adadevoh but all the hard working and very passionate staff of the Fist Consultant Hospital in their fight against Ebola. That their efforts deserved to be preserved and celebrated cannot be contested hence the powerful decision by these three wonderful Nigerians to put the whole story on celluloid.
They not only decided to shoot a movie, but went on about it with the highest level of integrity and professionalism. A value that is not common currency in today’s Nigeria, before embarking on this journey, they got all necessary permission including the permission of some of the closest blood relatives of Dr. adadevoh the main participant in this saga.
After this they got one of the most legendary Actors Danny Glover at a tremendous cost and flew him into the country for weeks of shooting and editing. I was privileged to be at one of the shoots and watched with amazement the powerful talents both local and international brought together by this trio to tell this story. The shoot took them to so many parts of the country and involved grueling hours of hard work and pain.
At the end of it all, the Nigerian factor has now reared its ugly head. Someone somewhere claiming progenitor to Dr. adadevoh not minding the fact that this story is in the public domain is now claiming ‘right’ on the story. The fact that she shares bloodline with the late Doctor now gives her a platform to now want to throw spanners in the wheel of this progress.
Look let me state it very clearly here that this story is a national story. It belongs to us all as Nigerians. It’s a story that more than ever before throws the very positive values of Integrity, self sacrifice and patriotism into the mix, values Nigerians are not known for at the global stage. Nobody has a right on this story and I dare say that Dr. adadevoh in her courage was only a vessel God used to highlight these qualities as being part of the Nigerian DNA.
A story wildly reported cannot be said to be the copyright of an individual. People have the right to tell this story from any angle they want to. I have not yet gotten the details of this impending wahala but that will not stop me from beginning to shout and I I’ll shout even louder when I get all the details.
We must learn how to celebrate our heroes without fear of being taken to the cleaners. We must encourage people as they daily show uncommon courage. This has made other countries become great because of the selflessness of its Patriots and citizens and the way they are rewarded and celebrated. No doubt permission from the families of people to be depicted in vehicles like a motion picture must be sought and gotten and infact the final works in my own estimation must also receive clearance by the immediate families to make sure that there images and memories are protected before release to the public. This I am sure the promoters of this movie would have done judging from their pedigree.
But even this throws up some questions. If I was going to do a biopic of the Late Lawrence Anini would I seek permission from his family to depict him as he was? Would the family grant us permission to portray him for who he was, of course we all know the answer. So my point is that a national story must be freely told and depicted in such a way that truth is not compromised.
Like I said, I await more details, till then I have taken my stance and I really doubt if I will ever move from this position even as I consider telling my own Ebola story from my own angle permission or not.
*********************************************************************************Joseph Edgar is an investment banker who writes as a hobby. He comments on trending issues in Nigeria and around the globe from a satirical point of view. He blogs at josephedgarng.blogspot.com