After unveiling new programmes for its 20th anniversary, Africa Magic took a giant leap with the production of an action thriller series.
The new series titled ‘Lahira’ tells the daring story about the insecurity in Nigeria through the young character of a brave Nothern girl.
Built on the theme of insurgency, the action-packed series premiered on Thursday at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos, with the attendees complying with the ‘combat chic’ dress code.
In attendance were the President of the Director’s Guild of Nigeria- Victor ohai, Comedian Bovi, Zeb Ejiro, Robert and Gloria Young, Yemi Cregx, Sandra Essiene, Bade Smart, Sunday Afolabi and representatives of the army Brigadier General Ojogbane Adegbe.
Speaking about the series, Busola Tejumola, Executive Head of Content and West Africa Channels, MultiChoice Nigeria, described the series as an extraordinary project for the Africa Magic platform.
“This story is very dear to our hearts because it speaks to a part of the country and an unspoken series of occurrences that no one shines any light on. We hear about the insurgency in the news, but we don’t feel the experiences of those there.”
She went on to appreciate the Nigerian army’s support and advisory roles during production “I’d like to thank the Nigerian military. We made this happen with their support, and we wouldn’t have been able to pull it off authentically without them.”
Bravery, Action, Reality
Focusing on the sad reality and challenges of terrorism, insurgency, and survival in Northern Nigeria, ‘Lahira’ tells the story of a brave young girl whose village gets destroyed by armed men.
This destruction forces the girl, Lahira, into an IDP camp, but her stay is short-lived as the same insurgents who obliterated her home also stormed the IDP camp and abducted her and other young girls.
Doctor Louis Michel, the head of the IDP camp, becomes the insurgents’ target.
In captivity, the fearless Lahira stages several escape attempts and stops at nothing to liberate herself and the other girls.
In doing so, she becomes an insufferable plague within the camp. Meanwhile, a special military team – the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) squad leads the search for Lahira and the girls while Doctor Louis must continue trying to evade abduction.
Created and directed by Peter Fada, the 13 episodes series was produced by veteran Nigerian filmmaker Justice Atigogo and featured a diverse cast of actors from across the country, including Norbert Young and Gloria Anozie-Young, among others.
Unfortunately, the main character Lahira was absent from the premiere due to health issues.
Labours of our Heroes past
The military, who supported the production from start to finish and provided advisory and protective services for the cast and crew while they shot in Nassarawa, also had representatives at the watch party.
Brigadier General O. Adegbe represented the Chief of Defense and gave a short speech, commending Africa Magic for telling the very challenging story of Lahira.
Speaking at the private screening, Mr Adegbe, the Director of Psychological warfare for the former aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, thanked Africa Magic for asking the army for support in putting out this story.
“In those days, you don’t mention what happened in the trenches, but it’s a new military. We are fighting a war where you cannot call the opposition an enemy – we call them adversaries, bandits and terrorists. I’m so highly pleased to watch the show being scripted and screened.”
Mr Adegbe pointed out the need for civilians to care about armed forces members.
“We sit here in Lagos, trust me, a very nice place; you probably don’t care about the North-east, but we forget that we have a representative, not from the North-east, that would have died; that’s how we are connected. Somebody is representing your local government, your state in the military.”
Adegbe, who stated he could recall the face of soldiers under him who died from 1997 to 1999, urged people to care more about military members and thanked everyone that took part in the movie.
“As I’m standing right here, I remember the faces of soldiers who died between 1997 to 1999, and that’s what we signed up to do. We sacrifice our lives to keep the citizens safe. So, thank you to Africa Magic and the production crew for telling these stories and bringing them to life through Lahira.”
He also requested that the entire room observe a minute silence for the dearly departed heroes of the armed forces.
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‘Lahira’, whose production was backed by the Nigerian army, from the first episode set an utter display of the military prowess of the Nigerian army in response to threats within the society.
The first episode also evolved into action thrillers production with a great attempt at costumes, combat and sound to accompany the already suspense-filled storyline.
‘Lahira’ is set to start airing from 4th April and will air every Tuesday at 9:00 pm on Africa Magic Showcase.
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