Nollywood braces tribe, Onyeabo’s ‘controversial’ film

A scene from the film

A scene from the film

After five years of painstaking work, involving shooting and post-production, Tribe, the highly anticipated film directed by multiple-award winning filmmaker, Ifeanyichukwu Onyeabo, is ready for the cinemas.

Coming on the stable of IGOSTEVE Pictures, the film is set to come to cinemas in Africa and the Diaspora within the month of April. Obviously one of the most audacious film projects in Nollywood, Tribe, which commenced recording in 2010 in Ghana, employed the services of actors and crew members from eight African countries and Jamaica after a 3-nation tour for auditions. The classic African story was set in Africa about five centuries ago.

The movie employs the basic tenets of African culture, attitude and temperaments to achieve what the African film industry has been yearning for.

According to a statement by the producers, the film highlighted values and vices that make the African continent an effervescent hub of activities, especially in the years of yore.

“From greed, to betrayal, bravery, love, Tribe is a film that has a good dosage of such emotions in a manner cinema lovers would be glued to their seats. After all the years put into the work, nobody would expect anything less than a classic from us.

“We went out of our way to get the characters that will interpret the roles, the way we wanted. That took us to three African countries of Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. After the casting, we also embarked on another mission of training the cast to fit into the roles. The film has very impressive martial arts skills on display as was typical of the African society then, so we brought in experts in this field to train majority of the actors,” the statement said.

Although the film is reputed to have consumed millions of Naira, the producers are keeping mum on the financial implications, preferring to humbly call it ‘a story that deserves no resources to be spared.’

The action-packed film had on parade actors, including Peter Bunor (Nigeria), Fred Amugi (Ghana), Peachman Akputa (Nigeria), Amanda Ebeye (Nigeria), Kofi Djabi (Jamaica), Ekow Blankson (Ghana), Kafui Danku-Charles-Dean (Liberia) and Williemena Pinky Appleton (Liberia) alongside over 200 others who traversed the luscious locations where the film was shot.

Available snippets of the film indicate that fans would find the dialogues, sound, lighting, plot, action and acting interesting.

According to Onyeabo, known for many blockbuster films in the industry, “Tribe is an African story that cannot be pigeon-holed to any African country. Tribe, as a film evolved its own language, which is spoken and understood by the characters. They established a culture that is unique to them, while being acceptable in most African communities.”

The story of Tribe in Nollywood has had an interesting albeit controversial slant since it started in 2010. For instance, it led to the remand of the producer, Ifeanyi Onyeabo, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following disagreements with his partners. But he was subsequently absolved of any wrongdoing by a law court, which also asked that an unreserved apology be tendered to him (Onyeabo) for being illegally remanded. It is, however, interesting that five years after, he and his partner have put their differences behind them and are currently collaborating to showcase the film to the world. The film is set to journey to festivals in Cannes, Durban and Berlin.

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