By David Adebayo
The wait for the much-anticipated movie, “Elesin Oba”, The Kings Horseman, is now over as the movie is set to hit Nigerian cinemas big time from October 28 to November 4.
According to a statement by EbonyLife on Wednesday, the movie which is based on on real-life events in Nigeria in 1943, will feature in various cinemas to include EbonyLife, Film house, Genesis and VIVA in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja and Akure, amongst others.
Set in the Oyo Empire, between sunset and sunrise, the king’s horseman, Elesin Oba, must commit ritual suicide to follow his deceased master into the afterlife.
His best intentions are derailed by his sexual desires, which leads to catastrophic consequences and ends in a deadly clash with the British rulers of the day.
The horseman is unable to fulfill his ultimate commitment to the king, leaving his spirit to roam the earth, thereby spelling doom for the land and its people.
The original “Death and the King’s Horseman”, was a stage play written by Prof. Wole Soyinka, who won Africa’s first Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. It is the first time that one of Soyinka’s works has been made into a feature film.
The screen adaptation was written and directed by the late Biyi Bandele.
The film stars Odunlade Adekola as Elesin Oba, Shaffy Bello as Iyaloja, and acclaimed musician Olawale ‘Brymo’ Olofooro, making his screen debut as the Praise Singer.
They are joined by Deyemi Okanlawon, Omowunmi Dada, and veteran actors Jide Kosoko and Kevin Ushi. Also featured are Jenny Stead and Mark Elderkin as Jane and Simon Pilkings, Langley Kirkwood, and a special appearance by Ajoke Silva and acting legend Taiwo Ajai-Lycett.
Co-founders of FilmOne Entertainment, Kene Okwuosa and Moses Babatope, are enthusiastic about the release.
“There is a new wave of indigenous epic dramas steering the course of African storytelling on to the global stage, and we believe that Elesin Oba will make a massive, positive impact for our continent.
“We are excited to partner with Ebonylife Films in bringing this masterpiece to the big screen,” they said.
Mo Abudu, CEO of the EbonyLife Group and executive producer of the film, said: “In filming Elesin Oba, we chose to stay close to the original work, which is already well-known globally as a great example of African drama.
“It’s an honour to see this compelling introduction to African thought and tradition on screen.
“Its interweaving of European and Yoruba ideals, to depict universal themes of cultural responsibility, has never been more important than now.”