Hollywood actor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim replies aggrieved N’Delta group
Nigerian born Hollywood actor,Hakeem Kae-Kazim who played the lead character in the controversial film, “Black Gold: Struggle For The Niger Delta” produced by Jeta Amata and also “Inale”, a debut production of the music maestro Bongos Ikwue is not pleased with the way and manner some aggrieved groups in the Niger Delta are going about the production of the movie.
An unknown group from the Niger Delta recently issued a warning to the embattled producer, never to bother releasing the feature film in Nigeria, as doing so would attract grave consequences for him.
But reacting to that warning, during his recent visit to the country, Hakeem who is known in Hollywood blockbusters like 'X Men Origins”: 'Wolverine', 'The Fourth Kind” and “Hotel Rwanda”, wondered loudly why any group would not want the film to be released in Nigeria.
For him, there is not wrong with the film. “I wonder why anybody wouldn't want the film to be released in Nigeria.” he said, adding “we are storytellers and we must be allowed to tell our won stories. There is nothing wrong with the film.”
In America, according to Hakeem, film makers are allowed to tell American stories, and the audiences like their stories. Therefore African film makers should also be allowed to tell the African stories.
“As Africans, we must be allowed to tell our own stories. We are not politicians, rather storytellers. And we should not be debarred from telling my own stories.” he fumed.
Describing “Black Gold” as a film that deals on “a particular issue in the Delta”, the Hollywood actor denied the fact that the film was an attack on any individual, or has something to do with politics.
“It is a different type of movie. It's not an attack on any individual, and also it's not about politics. Rather, it's about the people who are surrounded by these issues as addressed in the film.”
The N-Delta group had accused Jeta of producing a film about the problem in the Niger-Delta without proper consultations regarding the true state of affairs in the area.
The film, starring notable Hollywood and Nollywood actors like Tom Sizemore, Vivica Fox, Billy Zane, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Sarah Wayne Callies, Razaaq Adoti, Dede Mabiaku, x-rays fifty years of uncorrected oil spills and lack of clean-up which has destroyed the environment and ecosystems leaving the area almost uninhabitable while obliterating the livelihood of its residents costing them basic human rights such as health, access to food, clean water, and an ability to work. It premiered on February 24th at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos but the prevailing developments may have disrupted the plans of the movie producers to hit the cinemas across the world with the blockbuster.
It was produced by Starkid productions, owned by America- based Nigerian, Ori Ayomike and directed by Jeta Amata in collaboration with Suzanne DeLaurentiis.
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