First Nigerian lesbian film due to be released despite FG warnings – WHO WINS?

copyright PAMELA ADIE/BBC Photo
copyright PAMELA ADIE/BBC Photo

copyright PAMELA ADIE/BBC Photo
copyright PAMELA ADIE/BBC Photo

Two Nigerian film Producers risk imprisonment should they ignore the warnings of the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and go ahead with the lesbian movie expected to be released very soon.

READ ALSO:  Angry youths carry corpse of motorist chased to death by JTF to Osun Govt House

Producer Pamela Adie and director Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim are determined that Ife (meaning “love” in the Yoruba language) reaches a Nigerian audience, but the NFVCB says it will not be approved as it violates the country’s strict laws on homosexuality.

International premiere
To get around this, the filmmakers are planning a surprise online release to catch the regulators off-guard. The NFVCB, however, is diligently monitoring all digital platforms to prevent the movie from getting out.

According to NFVCB boss Adebayo Thomas, Adie and Ikpe-Etim could be jailed for promoting homosexuality in a country where same-sex relationships are forbidden and can carry a 14-year sentence.

READ ALSO:  80 affiliates to join TUC in mother of all protests next week

They are organising a private screening in the commercial capital, Lagos, at the end of the month, for which they believe they do not need to get permission.

Ife will also get an international premiere in Canada in October.

Adie said the aim of the film was to show an accurate picture of lesbian and bisexual women in Nigerian movies.

If a lesbian woman does appear in a standard Nollywood movie they are often portrayed as being possessed, influenced by bad friends or forced into homosexuality and always needing “saving”, she told the BBC.

READ ALSO:  JUST IN: Obaseki replies Tinubu over Edo election

“You rarely see stories about LGBT people, especially about queer women that speak to the realities of our lives.

“Ife was made to bridge the gap and to get the conversation going in Nigeria.”

Coming out to a Nigerian mother
Ife is a story about two women falling in love as they spend three days together. They “then have their love tested by the realities of being in a same-sex relationship in a country like Nigeria”, according to the publicity for the film.

If July’s trailer, where sex is hinted at but not actually shown, is anything to go by , then Ife certainly pushes the boundaries of telling the LGBT story by Nigerian movie standards.

READ ALSO:  BREAKING: Reject Obaseki as he rejected 14 lawmakers in Edo – TINUBU

copyright PAMELA ADIE/BBC Photo
copyright PAMELA ADIE/BBC Photo Two actors on the set of Ife are sat on a couch.  Image captionUzoamaka Aniunoh (L) and Cindy Amadi (R), seen here on set, play the two women falling in love

In one shot, the two protagonists, Ife and Adaora are in bed talking about love and the challenges faced by LGBT people especially within their families.

Their conversation forms the spine of the teaser for the film.

“I told my mum first, took her about a week to come to terms with it,” Ife, played by Uzoamaka Aniunoh, says talking about revealing that she was a lesbian.

“Which is short for a Nigerian mother ,” interjects Adaora, played by Cindy Amadi.

READ ALSO:  INSIDE LIFE: Popular Pastor shots wife dead after days of signals

“Is it too soon to say I might be in love with you?” asks Adaora as they cuddle.

“We are lesbians, this is the perfect time,” answers Ife.

‘It has to be censored’
Homosexuality is an extremely contentious issue in many parts of Africa and Nigeria is no different.

It is a highly religious and traditional society and its influential Christian and Muslim organisations oppose homosexuality.

VIDEO:  VIDEO: Killer Pastor threatens to kill wife before he shot her dead recently

As a consequence, Nigeria is one of 30 countries on the continent where it is criminalised.

The legislation outlawing same-sex relationships was passed in 2014 and built on the colonial-era prohibition of sodomy. Police in Nigeria have cracked down on people suspected of homosexuality, forcing most into hiding.

Ikpe-Etim quote
The feeling of being sidelined and the need to challenge beliefs that homosexuality is immoral is what inspired director Ikpe-Etim to take on the project.

READ ALSO:  INSIDE LIFE: Why I disrupted my wife and her boyfriend’s wedding in Lagos – JILTED HUSBAND

“Before now, we have been told one-sided stories. What we are doing with this film is normalising the queer experience, we are normalising the LGBT romance.

“It will begin to erase that shame that LBQ [lesbian, bisexual and queer] women face,” she told the BBC.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in Africa is becoming increasingly vocal and visible, thanks to the internet providing a space for films, talk shows and websites. ‘We shouldn’t be written out of history.’

READ ALSO:  Policy Statement on Advert, Press Release, Interview, Others – SOJ WORLDWIDE ONLINE NEWS

Presentational grey line
But that has not stopped filmmakers from getting into trouble with authorities.

The head of the NFVCB said there was no space for Ife or other homosexual movies in Nigeria, citing the law.

“There’s a standing law that prohibits homosexuality, either in practice or in a movie or even in a theatre or on stage. If it’s content from Nigeria, it has to be censored,” Mr Thomas told the BBC.

READ ALSO:  INSIDE LIFE! Girl, 14 with mentally derange parents, lived, raped, abused by Area Boys at a dumpsite – LAGOS STATE GOVT ATTENTION NEEDED!

He said that whatever the platform was, “as long as it’s Nigerian content and it’s telling a Nigerian story, then we have a right to it”.

Who wins the cold war between the producers and Censors Board, only time will tell.



Editor’s Note:  Advertise your products and services on our page to get maximum patronage.
Contact us on 08023851511, 09053330641 or for your advert placement, Press Release, Conference, Interview, Media and Publicity at minimal charges.

Nigerian army is our army, support them to win the war on terror.

SOJ WORLDWIDE…an ONLINE NEWS with a difference (c) September 16, 2020

Written by Adesoji OMOSEBI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Angry youths carry corpse of motorist chased to death by JTF to Osun Govt House

WWE: Reigns & Undertaker Vs Mcmahon & Mcntyre – A MUST WATCH!