A Nigerian filmmaker, Adekunle “Nodash” Adejuyigbe, has revealed the reason why he shot a Boko Haram themed movie titled, “The Delivery Boy.”
Shot multiple times in 2015 and 2016 by The Elite Film Team and produced by Something Unusual Studios, the film poignantly situates its theme on the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
During an interview with PREMIUM TIMES in Lagos on Saturday, Nodash said the movie represents the current happenings in Nigeria.
“I was told not to make this movie,” he said.
“Three of the actors I casted, and the production designer I hired, turned down the project after reading the script. They all agreed it was a good script but they felt uncomfortable talking about the things that, in the Nigerian society, we typically refuse to talk about.”
The movie’s sensitive plot nonetheless, the film earned him a standing ovation during its Nigerian debut at the 2018 Lights, Camera, Africa film festival that ended penultimate Sunday.
According to Nodash, people initially did not want him to shoot the movie with his personal funds.
“On the financial side of things people felt it was crazy making a self-funded movie that would likely not be allowed to screen in Nigerian cinemas. They felt it was more prudent to make the usual slapstick comedies the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood) was known for.
“But these are the exact reasons why I felt it was important to make the movie. I believe one of the main purposes of Art is to ‘tour guide’ the audience through ideas and places that they normally wouldn’t dare explore. I also wanted to present Nigerians/ Africans as I saw them.”
The movie follows the story of Amir, a young orphan raised in an extremist group who runs away on the eve of a suicide mission, taking his bomb vest with him. He has a mission of his own. On his way, he runs into Nkem, a young prostitute escaping a lynch mob for a crime committed while trying to get money to save her dying brother. Before the night is over, they traverse the underbelly of the Nigerian metropolis as they search for their identities, their stolen pasts, money, and any semblance of peace they can find.
Their journey takes them through the underbelly of the city exposing the hidden backside of the African society and its dangerous culture of silence in the presence of evil.
The Delivery Boy stars Jemima Osunde, Charles Etubiebi Oke, Kehinde Fasuyi, Jude Chukwuka and Jamal Ibrahim.
Explaining why he chose to cast a teenage orphan boy to play the lead, Nodash said it was based on his artistic judgment.
“People have different theories as to why a young Nigerian would willingly wear a bomb vest and blow himself/herself up and The Delivery Boy is my presentation of another possible theory. It is a theory that places the responsibility for this menace, not just on a few people, but also on the shoulders of every member of the Nigerian/ African society.
“A few years ago, Nigerians woke up to the reality that there was a terrorist group operating within the country and that some of their suicide bombers were Nigerians. Most people found this strange because Nigerians are regarded as some of the most self-preservative people on the planet. So why suicide?” he explained.
The filmmaker also added that the film seeks to answer questions like, “Who is responsible for creating these monsters that haunt us? And how would this story end?
Nodash is known for his unusual story telling abilities and his unique style of capturing images. He was the cinematographer in the movie “The Encounter” a short film based on true events, which won the Special Jury Recognition for Short Film at the African International Film Festival.
In 2016, he was also the cinematographer for Silence (2016), Gidi Up (2014), Season 3 and a Nollywood movie, “Isoken.”