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“ARUGBA”,TUNDE KELANI’S GREAT YORUBA FILM,A LANDMARK IN YORUBA FILMS PREMIERES-FROM THE SUN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA JULY,2008
By Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade
Sunday, July 20, 2008
BY TOYIN AKINOSHO
Kelani Caricatures OBJ In Arugba
THERE’s no mistaking the parody of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the action of Peter Badejo’s character in Tunde Kelani’s newest film, Arugba, screened at the University of Ibadan’s Arts Theatre last Wednesday.
In the presence of Obasanjo’s close aide, Afe Babalola, who was guest of honour at the event, one of the series commemorating the University’s 60th anniversary, Kelani presented the story of a king of an imaginary small town, somewhere in Nigeria’ s southwest, who makes a loud splash against corruption, rigorously prosecutes an economic reform and handily welcomes foreign investors. But the word on the street is that the fruits of the reform don’t trickle down, the Kabiyesi deeply distrusts people, including his assistants, believes in his own gut feeling and has enough weakness for women to compromise on his own core principles. The leadership portrait emerges as the key subplot in a love drama featuring the Arugba, the virgin who carries the sacrificial calabash during the Osun Osogbo festival and a young dancer intent on winning her. Bukola Awoyemi is fresh as a sea breeze as the Arugba and the movie benefits from its wide array of experienced stars, including Lere Paimo, Kareem Adepoju, Bukky Wright and Badejo, himself an accomplished artiste, who is making a debut in Nigerian movie project. There’s applause for Segun Adefila’s choreography and his direction of the winsome Crown Troupe in segments that feature as drama within the drama. But Adefila’s portrayal of the Arugba’s suitor is rather casual and comes up rather plain in this gripping, fast paced feature. Kelani is a brilliant arranger of pictures (the sequencing is consistently neat) and an ardent promoter of the Yoruba worldview. He’s also a gadgetry freak. The film is shot in High Definition format (with Panasonic P2 HD/DV) which can be outputted in 35-mm celluloid print. “The technology is getting more exciting,” the filmmaker enthuses. Arugba feels, like most TK’s other films, an intimate story telling, something gorgeous for the family around the dining table at home. But what stops this outstanding filmmaker from reeling out a grand, sky hugging, vast vista of a movie, with crowds that actually look like real crowds in big festivals, with festival rehearsal scenes that are close to frenetic preparations that actually happen before a mammoth feast like Osun Oshogbo’s, with picturesque sites that are comparable with Osun groves, and an airy landscape that take the movie outside of intimate, family drama? At the height on which he stands in African cinema, Kelani can raise the money for such a movie.
Osofisan, Ishola Tackle Fagunwa On Stage
THE playwright Femi Osofisan is directing the play Langbodo, Wale Ogunyemi’s adaptation of Daniel Fagunwa’s epic novel, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irumole. Akinwunmi Ishola, the professor of Yoruba studies, will be directing a stage adaptation of the same novel, in Yoruba. Osofisan is running rehearsals with his cast in Ibadan, whereas Ishola has camped his actors in Ile Ife. The premiere is August 15, in Lagos and there will be performances in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja. It seems likely that the Yoruba performances will run on stages in some key southwest cities. Chams, the electronic card company, is the sponsor.
CORA Holds Book Editing Workshop In October
THE Committee For Relevant Art (CORA), working in partnership with Bookbuilders Editions Africa, is hoping to bring back Dan Izevbaye, emeritus professor of English as well as Gbenro Adegbola, CEO, Evans Brothers, to address participants at the 3rd Workshop On Book Editing, which holds from October 22 to 24, in Lagos. “The two are quite popular with our participants,” says Chris Bankole, head of Book Builders and the workshop’s leading facilitator. “Everyone wants to hear Prof Izevbaye talk about editing a novel and everyone wants to hear Gbenro speak on the publishing process.” The Workshop On Book Editing was started last year for the purpose of developing a generation of fully trained book editors who are expected to energise the book industry. Participants are given a general overview of the editorial process, initial assessment of a book, copy editing, substantive editing, science editing, proof-reading, indexing, grammar and usage, cliches, Nigerian malapropisms. The workshop looks at the challenges in editing creative writing, both of children and adult fiction and has a do-it-yourself segment. Participation fee is N20,000.
ANA Pairs T.M. Aluko With Mandela At 90
THE Lagos Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), wants to celebrate TM Aluko’s 90th birthday by visiting him at home to read from his works as well as from writings of the South African sage Nelson Mandela. It’s not clear why Chike Ofili, the chapter’s chairman wants a pairing of the two men, in Aluko’s Apapa home, on July 26. Other than sharing the same age, the two grandfathers don’t come across as having similar priorities in the prime of their lives. Mandela is not a writer; his Long Walk To Freedom is a product of an extensive interview after 27 years in jail. Aluko did not lead a rebellion, although one of his novels, Conduct Unbecoming is a substantial effort at illuminating where Lagos went wrong and how a once carefully governed city ended up a chaotic urban sprawl whose leaders interprete the phrase ‘mega city’, as something hip when really it means uncontrollable. But you have to give it to Ofili. He looks for material where there appears to be none, just to keep the society, ANA in the public consciousness. He had actually led a team of writers to Pa Aluko’s house on the day of his birth, which was June 14. “Aluko, like Ekwensi, hasn’t been properly attended to in terms of literary scholarship,” Ofili says. “On July 26, we are giving him a home delivery.” Ofili is scouting for those who have Mandela’s writings and any South African resident in Nigeria who happens to be a culture enthusiast. His contact is firstname.lastname@example.org. He also appeals to ANA members who are 50 years and above “to be there by 2pm to partake in celebrating longevity in this season of deaths in the art family.”
© 2003 – 2007 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).
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10 Responses to ““ARUGBA”,TUNDE KELANI’S GREAT YORUBA FILM,A LANDMARK IN YORUBA FILMS PREMIERES-FROM THE SUN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA JULY,2008”
Bisi Afrika Says:
October 16, 2008 at 4:23 pm
hello, i will like to say well done to the master of all filme maker in nigeria today, which is TUNDE KELANI and TADE OGIDAN, they are mt role model because they produce and direct. Anythings you guys do i think is the best.
I use to appreciate people like LATE YOMI OGUNMOLA, MUYIWA ADEMOLA, ANTAR LANIYAN, ABBEY LANRE, SAHEED BALOGUN and my youngest Directoe and producer KUNLE AFOD.
As for me i will like to a great Script Writer & Producer Like TADE OGIDAN & TUNDE KELANI
Yoruba films is best.http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=BIB-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=160506016X&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
Bisi Afrika Says:
October 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm
To Mr. Tunde Kelani and Mr. Tunde i will like to have their contact, is very important to me, because i want to know more about you people and i also have a gift of write a good story.
Sir, i need your support by getting your phone No. or email address.
This is my own phone No.08051841122, 07025448278 or E-mail address email@example.com
Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade Says:
October 17, 2008 at 12:11 pm
Bisi Afrika,will send this to T.K. at his e-mail and he will reply you- oda? O se o.
olabode odeyemi Says:
November 6, 2008 at 10:06 pm
you’ve been known to produce GOOD FILMS,baba,one day our film will win an oscar award.this i pray .amen
November 23, 2009 at 5:31 am
can u pls link me up with Olabode Odeyemi, we went to high school together and have lost touch for over 21 years. I currently lives in Philadelphia USA. Thanks
adekunle abiola Says:
November 8, 2008 at 11:03 am
Kudos, Baba! I must say i know arugba will be a blockbuster like any of your films. Cant wait to see it, I really need to cause i need it for my project. Be good to inform me when u’re showing the film in any cinema in nigeria, pleeeeeease. Sky is ur beginning sir, Long life!
Durowade Najeem Olarewaju Says:
April 14, 2009 at 9:41 am
I think the movie industry can strive better with the likes of Tunde Kelani and Tade Ogidan being in the administative post.I mean they are just too great.I think that’s why you don’t see them producing movies anyhow like most of our young producers.They are the ICON of our time in Yoruba land.
December 7, 2009 at 9:53 am
Well done sir.
ls when will arugba get into the market for us to have in our homes?
January 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm
why are we african so obssessed to win an oscar, this goes to say we still do not believed that what we have is the best, we wait on the white man to approve it first before we believe it is good enough. What is with this winning oscar of a thing, by the way the oscar is not even a world award it is a hollywood award with just a section for best foriegn language movie, now does that translate to a world award, why can’t we take pride in what is ours, why can’t the amma(african movie academy award) be the highest award and honour to an african film maker, why must we always think that what we have is not good enough until the white says it is good enough, i believe the amma is what all africans should be hoping and wishing their film makers to win as their best and highest accolade.Before i forget i love tunde kekani’s work and i believe arugba is one of his best works.
February 6, 2010 at 10:42 am
hello,my name is toyin Akinrosoye am a scritwritter am i want to lent how to direct a yoruba films,sir help me out
FROM TUNDE KELANI’S BLOG
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
ARUGBA Goes Mobile
Right now, I feel like a recalcitrant, sober, itinerant husband creeping into bed after a long, unexplained absence from the matrimonial home. I cannot explain it and I am not going to try but why is writing sometimes so tedious? I envy writers who have to write with deadline looming all the time. They are nothing short of super humans. However, they continue to be my inspiration and hopefully they will dash me some more to write regularly. One thing for sure is that there is enough to write about as we embark on the special screenings of Arugba, our latest film in fifty seven local government councils and development areas of Lagos State. I can confirm authoritatively that it is a reality. It was flagged-off yesterday 17th February, 2009 with a packed press conference held at the Press Centre of the Lagos State Secretariat. My speech follows.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are gathered here today to flag-off a very important journey, a set of premieres of our latest film Arugba in each local government and development area of Lagos State.
Physical contact with the audience is a filmmakers delight and this opportunity to observe and interact with the audience of Arugba is most appreciated. I must therefore acknowledge the visionary leadership of His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fasola, the Executive Governor of Lagos State for providing this opportunity to screen the film Arugba in each of the 57 Local Government councils and development areas of Lagos State. By doing so, the Lagos State government is opening up an important communication channel between the government and the governed. This feed-back channel, in accordance with modern approaches to governance will avail government a vital insight into the feelings of the people of Lagos State. Modern approaches to governance puts a lot of emphasis on interactivity as interactivity with the governed ensures inputs from the people in the governance process. True development cannot be achieved without the input of the people, after all, development is fundamentally about people. This set of screenings will surely fulfil this important purpose.
I am delighted to inform you that Arugba has been selected in competition at the approaching Pan African Film and Television Festival FESPACO 2009 holding in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 28th February to 7th March, while The Women of Color Arts and Film (WOCAF) Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, USA has already programmed the film to feature at this year’s festival from 19th March to 22nd March, 2009. For me however, it is gratifying that we have this opportunity to show the film to its primary audience before it goes out to the international community.
The Film Arugba is yet another effort to state a case for our language and culture in a fast globalising world. It touches on wide ranging issues such as gender equality, HIV/AIDS, good governance and many other contemporary issues, all within the context of traditional
and contemporary Yoruba culture. The heroine moves smoothly between the two sides of the same culture coin, functioning as the votary maid in the traditional Osun festival yet, a key figure in her secular University. She combines traditional virtues of chastity with modern life skills that enables stand against the distractions of modern living.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I invite you to join me in flagging off the screening of Arugba in the 57 Local government councils and special development areas of Lagos State.
Posted by Tunde KELANI at 11:01 AM Labels: Arugba
I am excited about the film ‘Arugba’ and just can’t wait to watch the complete movie. I tends towards the cultural(not surprising as I am a reporter on the arts and culture desk)I believe the society will be better if we are able to go back to our cultural values which has been eroded by colonialism and the greed of our current crop of ‘rulers’ who can not speak the truth!
March 18, 2009 7:55 AM
The y river said…
I love this too.
March 18, 2009 8:23 AM
This post has been removed by the author.
April 4, 2009 8:19 AM
I grew up knowing my first interest to be in acting more because Baba Ade-Negro’s Theatre Group were rehearsing close to my family house in Ado-Odo then in late 1970s.
Today, as an experienced screen writer, actor and producer, I featured in “Arugba” as Pastor, I felt on top of the world.
TK’s contribution to Nigerian, African and by extension global film industry is immesurable.
Well done Baba.
You are our pride.
Yele Balogun, the producer of “Aramanda” (The Amazing God), directed by Jare Adeniregun, acted the role of Pastor in “Arugba”.
April 4, 2009 9:41 AM
I am so dying to see this, hopefully we would get the originals here in the states, else i will have to send for it from home.
May 20, 2009 12:28 PM
Adekunle Falae said…
When Is Arugba going to be avaialable
June 7, 2009 2:59 PM
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▼ 2009 (2)
► July (1)
Ayantunji Amoo Goes Home
▼ February (1)
ARUGBA Goes Mobile
► 2007 (2)
► February (1) To Lapland And Back In Five Days
► January (1) When Reality Overtakes Art
► 2006 (1)
► December (1) Year 2006 – a retrospective…
Tunde Kelani holds a Diploma in the Art and Technique of Filmmaking from the London International Film School, London. After many years in the Nigerian Film Industry as a Cinematographer, he now manages Mainframe Film & Television Productions, an outfit formed to document Nigeria’s rich culture. Tunde Kelani has worked on most feature films produced in the country in his capacity as a Cinematographer and Director.
View my complete profile