top of page
Search
  • NZUKO

Living In Bondage

In 1992, against all odds, a small group of Igbo filmmakers revolutionized the world. Armed with nothing but a miniscule budget of one hundred and fifty thousand naira—which was raised partly through hawking ‘pure water’, biscuits, and pastries through Lagos’ congested streets and roadways—in addition to inexpensive, old-fashioned VHS camcorders, their professional degrees in film, and of course, their dreams, a team led by Okey Ogunjiofor, Kenneth Nnebue, and Chris Obi Rapu successfully wrote, shot, and produced the film “Living in Bondage” and gave birth to the Nigerian film industry as we know it.


Although made in the Igbo language and targeted specifically towards the Igbo people, “Living in Bondage” was hampered neither by the constraints of language nor culture, as it swept not only through Nigeria but the greater African continent as well. The film’s success was owed partly to the fact that it was the first of its kind. Ogunjiofor, the film’s producer, noticing the impracticalities of Nigeria’s ailing cinema culture, took advantage of the inexpensiveness of videocassettes at that time and mass produced the film straight-to-video, making it accessible to people of all social and economic classes.


Lacking professional film equipment and a sizeable budget, the group decided to focus on what indeed was fundamentally important: telling their story in the best and most professional manner feasible. With the brilliance and vivacity of actors like Kenneth Okonkwo, Rita Nzelu, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Nnenna Nwabueze, Ngozi Nwaneto, Ngozi Nwosu, and many others, they succeeded in making a film that was horrifically reflective of their contemporary society’s moods and attitudes. For the first time in history, cultism and money rituals—which were prevalently believed by ever-superstitious Nigerians as the root of the sudden wealth acquired during the eras that followed the oil boom—were publically seen on screen by average Nigerians, who were gripped with fear and twisting excitement as they engrossed themselves in the lives of the main characters Andy and Merit.


In addition to setting the stage for the growth of the home video culture in Nigeria [couldn't find continuation]


1 view

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page