Things you didn’t Know About Nollywood’s Epic Movie, “Living in Bondage

Image result for living in bondage

Director: Chris Obi-Rapu

Producer: Okechukwu Ogunjiofor

Screenplay: Kenneth Nnebue and Okechukwu Ogunijofor

Language: Igbo with English subtitles

Year of release: 1992

Lead cast: Kenneth Okonkwo, Nnenna Nwabueze, Kanayo Kanayo, Ngozi Nwosu, Bob Manuel-Udokwu and Rita Nzelu.

It was the film to beat. Released in 1992, Living in Bondage afforded Nigerians an opportunity to see a homegrown production. At the time, most of what Nigerians purchased to watch at home were Hollywood, Indian and Chinese films.

More than two decades after this home movie was released, it remains a classic. The movie was shot for N150, 000.

While it is not the first Nigerian film to be produced, Living in Bondage is widely recognised as the film that led to the evolution of Nollywood.

A supernatural thriller, the plot centered on comedy, drama and suspense.

The film also shot its lead cast from relative obscurity to superstardom. Even though in hindsight, the film fell shot technical wise, Nigerian movie lovers could not be bothered.

Shot straight to VHS when it came out, Living in Bondage chronicled the actions of a man who kills his wife as a ritualistic act to gain wealth and power, but is tormented when she returns as a ghost to haunt him.

Recently award-winning Nollywood actor Ramsey Nouah and entertainment/business mogul, Charles Okpaleke, teamed up to remake the movie. The duo purchased rights to the movie from Kenneth Nnegbue, and the film will be shot in three continents – Africa, Europe and America.

While the lead cast of Living in Bondage have gone on to become superstars and active players in Nollywood, the crew have kept a very low profile.

PREMIUM TIMES profiles the crew to find out what they have been up to in the recent.

Chris Obi Rapu

A veteran Nigerian filmmaker, he was presented with the Legend of Nollywood Award in Benin City, Edo State on January 2. It was the first the veteran filmmaker will be honoured for his contributions to the Nigerian film industry. Skipo as he is popularly called, is a retired Controller of Programme at the Nigerian Television Authority. Due to NTA’s policy against private practice, not a few are aware that Mr. Rapu shot the movie under the pseudonym, Vic Mordi.

He was also paid N10, 000 to shoot Living in Bondage. Shortly after the production was wrapped up, he left for the United States upon retiring from NTA.

Before travelling to the United States in 1995, Mr. Obi-Rapu directed other classics such as Circle of Doom, Evil Passion, and Taboo.

He bagged a degree in communication and a graduate degree in organisational psychology and was on his PhD dissertation when he decided to return to Nigeria to shoot a film a few years ago. These days he shuttles between the United States and Nigeria.

Okechukwu Ogunjiofor aka Paulo

With a target of only hundred thousand homes and at N300 per copy of the film, Paulo was certain he would strike gold after Living in Bondage was released. His prediction was correct as over 750,000 copies of the movie were sold across Nigeria.

The son of M.C. Ogunjiofor, a renowned Nigerian poet, sculptor, and writer of the famous – Anthology of Modern Igbo Verse, Paulo is currently an evangelist and the Managing Director of Videosonic Studios Group.

For now, all Mr. Ogunjiofor is concerned with is winning souls for God through his films.

Kenneth Nnebue

Now known as Brother Kenneth Nnebue, his now defunct production company, NEK Video Links, oversaw the making some of the most popular and most lucrative Nigerian home video films. They include ‘Glamour Girls’, ‘The Maid’, ‘True Confession’ and ‘Lost To Lust’.

In 2014, the Federal Government conferred him with the Member of the Federal Republic.

These days, he runs Bro Kenneth Nnebue Film Evangelism.

Premium Times

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s