4:32 pm - Saturday September 23, 7139

Revealed! America’s BLACK PANTHERS’ Hollywood movie is an Intellectual Theft from ‘Amazons of Africa Women Warriors’ 90minutes full-length film-Femi Lasode, award-wining producer, Afrika ‘n Vogue/Even-Ezra Studios …True story of the war between Dahomey and Egbas of Abeokuta in in the late 19th Century * ‘It’s a huge cultural product that generates revenue, assist in the promotion of tourism *Movie will be subtitled in English, French, Yoruba and Beninoise languages * Bloc buster movie won award at the ‘Documentary without Borders’ Documentary Festival * Quote: “It has been asserted that this African story was the basis of Hollywood’s ‘Black Panthers’, mega box office hit. While the ‘Black Panthers’ story is fiction, the ‘Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors’ story is factual. Hollywood, over the years, has often been accused of stealing African stories, only to bring them out in their own way” *GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU, AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief


Revealed!

America’s BLACK PANTHERS’ Hollywood movie is an Intellectual Theft from ‘Amazons of Africa Women Warriors’ 90minutes full-length film-Femi Lasode, award-wining producer, Afrika ‘n Vogue/Even-Ezra Studios

…True story of the war between Dahomey and Egbas of Abeokuta in in the late 19thCentury

* ‘It’s a huge cultural product that generates revenue, assist in the promotion of tourism

*Movie will be subtitled in English, French, Yoruba and Beninoise languages

* Bloc buster movie won award at the ‘Documentary without Borders’ Documentary Festival

* Quote: “It has been asserted that this African story was the basis of Hollywood’s ‘Black Panthers’, mega box office hit. While the ‘Black Panthers’ story is fiction, the ‘Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors’ story is factual. Hollywood, over the years, has often been accused of stealing African stories, only to bring them out in their own way”

Femi Lasode, award-wining producer, Afrika ‘n Vogue/Even-Ezra Studios, a familiar name in Nigeria’s movie industry is an A-list producer whose film has always become a referral point in creative movie production. This former President of the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria, PMAN, owner of Afrika ‘n Vogue/Even-Ezra Studios discusses with GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU, AMERICAN Foreign Bureau Chief on reasons Hollywood’s Black Panthers’ movie is an intellectual theft of ‘Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors’, plans to ensure the film is a tourism revenue spinner, and many other issues:

NAIJA STANDARD: Can you tell us your deal with Benin Republic government regarding the bloc buster movie: ‘Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors?

With the ever increasing urge to preserve West African History, promote tourism to the West African heartland and increase the export potentials of the Yoruba and Dahomey people, I firmly believe that the use and promotion of cultural products as a veritable tool, will assist in achieving the above-stated objectives. With this in mind, I believe that a professionally produced cultural film will go a long way, in not only documenting the history of the two neighbours – Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, and Abomey, in Benin Republic, but also be used as a cultural product that can assist in the promotion of tourism and export.

NAIJA STANDARD: How long was the project before it finally materialized?

It took a long time. On the global scene, the proposed movie “The Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors” will give an insight into one of the great developments that occurred during the dreaded period of the ‘African Slave Trade’, as well as throw light on the events that led up to its eventual abolition. In summary, the proposal is for a joint-venture in producing an epic movie titled “Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors, the war between Dahomey and Egbas of Abeokuta” which is on the drawing board. The proposed motion picture, a full – length feature film of 90 minutes, is to be produced from the original screen play with the working title “Amazons of Africa´- the war between Dahomey and the Egba People of Abeokuta “.

NAIJA STANDARD: How does the movie enrich the African culture of Benin Republic and the continent of Africa?

I enclosed an Award Winning documentary, on video, titled “Amazons of Afrika Women Warriors” produced by Afrika ‘n Vogue/Even-Ezra Studios, which provides a background to the proposed movie story. We are looking for partnership and co-production in order to make this fascinating story a reality on film.

NAIJA STANDARD: Why the title: Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors?

This is a narration, in movie format of the historical tale of the activities of amazing ‘Women Warriors from West Africa’- Dahomey to be precise, in the late 19th Century. It has been asserted that this African story was the basis of Hollywood’s “Black Panthers”, mega box office hit. While the “Black Panthers” story is fiction, the “Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors” story is factual. Hollywood, over the years, has often been accused of stealing African stories, only to bring them out in their own way.

NAIJA STANDARD: What lessons do you think African leaders and the black community can learn from your movie?

The lessons include: co-operation and co-ordination of cultural production activities, amongst the several sub-regions in Africa, Importance of pooling together cultural resources, in order to enhance Africa’s global cultural products export and the need to document African History, in drama form, for the benefit of generations still unborn.

NAIJA STANDARD: Do you intend having the movie subtitled in other foreign languages for higher audience aside English language?

We intend for the movie to be dubbed, as well as subtitled, in English, French, Yoruba and Beninoise. The award winning documentary, “Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors, which precedes this movie project, was subtitled in French. In fact a number of my audio-visual projects are sub titled in French.

NAIJA STANDARD: When do you think the black community can witness the release of this movie?

Still on-going and almost completed.

NAIJA STANDARD: Are there other grants you received from international bodies in ensuring the movie comes alive?

We are discussing with a number of International Grant Donors such as UNESCO, under the “Slave Route Project”. But we have not yet been able to secure a production grant, hence the intended collaboration with Benin Republic. We are still investigating possible US and European Grant Donors.

NAIJA STANDARD: We heard you were sick sometime ago, what was the nature of the sickness and how are you feeling right now?

I am really surprised to hear that, although I have been managing diabetes for decades.

NAIJA STANDARD: Finally, do you intend to partner the United States Embassy in Nigeria, aside the Benin Republic government to successfully see to it that your movie becomes educational reference point for the black community and Africans in the Diaspora?

Partnering with the United States Government is a continuous process. Just recently, the documentary version, titled “Amazons of Africa, Women Warriors”, won an award at the “Documentary without Borders” Documentary Festival. There is still a lot more to do to bring this project to the attention of the US Government.

Documentation is very important in the life of man. Through documentation we can live in the past

and bring history to the present. We all know that the area known as Nigeria, today, has many

ancient stories embedded in oral tradition. In historical times, there was no other form of

documentation then, because there was no resources for such. But today we have the resources and

the technology to gather Nigeria’s rich stories of ancient empires and glorious cultures, and

document them particular on film, for the sake of future generations.

Technologically, the world is growing and Nigeria, indeed Africa, must grow with it. Today, the

Electronic media has attained a high innovation and there is a need to put Nigeria’s rich stories on film

as a way of bringing her story to life. Watching the re-enactment of Nigeria’s glorious history, on

screen, gives us a better understanding of our past. We need to put our story on film so as to capture

the past and bring it to the present through the most modern means, which is “moving images

with sound”. A picture is said to be worth more than a thousand words.

Furthermore, We need to educate the world so that it can fully fathom the Nigerian’s true identity

in relationship with other peoples of the world, and appreciate what we represent or what our

creation implies within the cosmic order.

By exhibiting Nigeria’s past on film, we are telling the world that Nigeria has a rich heritage, which

we are proud of. Nigeria is rich in culture. The aesthetics that surround our culture is quite

magnanimous therefore we need to exhibit our cultural empowerment to the world in order to tell

them that we cherish and appreciate our God-given treasures. We are the people to propagate our

culture; nobody can do it for us.

We must support Nigerian historical films that have originality, ingenuity, and are also rich in content

and presentation. We must encourage our people to patronise our films. We must support the

production of such films, financially and otherwise, so as to encourage more of such productions.

CERTAINLY, Good journalism costs a lot of money. Without doubt, only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government. We are ready to hold every corrupt government accountable to the citizens.

To continually enjoy free access to the best investigative journalism in Nigeria, we are requesting of you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

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