Onyeabo ready with controversial film, “Tribe”

Onyeabo ready with controversial film, “Tribe”

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 12:16 pm



By Funsho Arogundade

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.

The film coming on the stable of IGOSTEVE Pictures is set to come to cinemas in Africa and the Diaspora in the coming weeks.

Obviously one of the most audacious film projects in Nollywood ever, ‘Tribe’ which commenced recording in 2010 in Ghana, employed the services of actors and crew members from eight African countries and Jamaica after a three-nation tour for auditions.

The action-packed film had on parade actors like 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 two hundred actors who traversed the luscious locations where the film was shot.

According to Onyeabo, known for many blockbuster films in the industry, ‘Tribe’ is described as the classic African story set in Africa about five centuries ago. It highlights values and vices that make the African continent an effervescent hub of activities, especially in the years of yore. It also employs the basic tenets of African culture, attitude, and temperaments to achieve what the African film industry has been yearning for.

“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,” Onyeabo said.

He added, “From greed, to betrayal, to bravery, to love, ‘Tribe’ is a film that has a good dosage of such emotions in a manner the 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.”

The producer continued, “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 story of ‘Tribe’ in Nollywood has had an interesting albeit controversial slant since it started in 2010.
At a time, the producer, Onyeabo, was remanded 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 the differences behind them and are currently collaborating to showcase the film to the world as Tribe also gets set to journey to film festivals around the globe.

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