The latest offering from prolific Nigerian producer Mo Abudu and her production company EbonyLife had its long-awaited premiere on Netflix on Friday.
Òlòtūré is the story of a young female journalist who goes undercover as a prostitute to expose a human trafficking syndicate. What she finds is a world of exploited women and ruthless violence.
The crime drama boasts of a robust cast that includes Sharon Ooja, Omowumi Dada, Omoni Oboli, Blossom Chukwujekwu and Wofai Fada.
Director Kenneth Gyang said he was inspired by stories of sex trafficking and made the film to tackle the global problem while also ensuring it was entertaining and appealed to a wide audience.
“I had a conversation with a friend from Malta about the wave of Nigerian women coming to his country. He wanted to understand the psychology behind the scores of Nigerian women leaving their country,” Gyang said in an interview with The Guardian.
“These stories and conversations informed the film. With Òlòturé, I got to make a film about the global problem of sex trafficking. With recent stories filtering from Libya about slavery, it is important that Nigerian filmmakers add their voices to the conversation.”
Òlòtūré is part of a groundbreaking deal Abudu signed with Netflix back in June, making Ebony Life Films the first African production company to have a multi-title deal with the streaming giant. It marked Netflix’s entry into the Nigerian market and its commitment to finding talent on the African continent.
“The conversation started months and months ago, we’ve been talking about it for ages. But it’s the first of its type on the continent, it’s never been done,” Abudu told The Hollywood Reporter.
“We are the first African production company that Netflix has signed a multiple title deal with. I pray there are many more, because it will be great to see so many more filmmakers and storytellers empowered on the continent, but we are the first.”
Other films and shows produced by Abudu and heading for Netflix include a legal series called Castle & Castle, a sequel to hit film ‘Chief Daddy’, ‘Death and the King’s Horseman’, which is a feature based on a play by Nigeria’s first Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka, and an adaptation of Lola Shoneyin’s book The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.
By Rita Osakwe