Award-winning filmmaker, Adekunle ‘Nodash’ Adejuiyigbe urged Nollywood screenwriters to engineer better realities for Africa through their stories.
Adejuiyigbe said this on his Instagram page @i_am_nodash in an open letter to screenwriters where he detailed lessons from the 2019 Carthage International Film Festival. His award-winning film ‘The Delivery Boy’, an interesting love story that explores the back story of terrorists, represented Nigeria at the festival.
“Dear fellow writers, you see those keypads, the ones on your computers and phones? They are actually not keypads, they are triggers on the strongest nuclear weapon of all, the weapon called “story”. But this is the beauty of being an African writer in a time like this. For every page you write you have to go a mile within your own self. For every conflict your characters face, you face 20 within your own soul. So the African writer is essentially a character in a story that won’t end in his/her lifetime’’.
Adejuiyigbe noted that the writers and Nollywood might face challenges while trying to write better stories about Nigeria and Africa, however, he encouraged them to rise to the challenge. “Those stories became narratives and those narratives became filters through which we see ourselves and this distorted worldview is what we call reality’’ he emphasised.
He added that the process of inspirational writing was the difference between a writer and a journalist. “So if ‘reality’ is simply the handiwork of other writers, then our jobs as African writers is not to describe that reality, nope, our job is to engineer a better reality into existence.”
According to him, it is a journalist’s job to assess and report Africa but it is a writer’s job to build it. “Where are the resources to build with? Where do we draw inspiration from? I mean, we were punished for speaking our native languages in primary school weren’t we? He posed.
One may ask, how do we expect writers who were raised to think lowly of Africa to write stories that empower Africans? This is a big responsibility because the story is the foundation of all creative projects. If the story has no magic, the best directors, actors and cameras cannot save it.
NAN reports that Adejuiyigbe’s acclaimed Nollywood film, ‘The Delivery Boy’ snagged Best Performance in Visual Effects award at the 2019 Africa Movie Academy awards.