BY MICHAEL CHIMA EKENREYENGOZI
When Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian diplomat, visited Nigeria, it wasn’t just another visit from a West African brother to another West African country. He brought EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) that almost changed the medical history in Nigeria. But for the grace of God and the eternal vigilance of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh and her team, the about 20 deaths from Ebola recorded in Nigeria would have been more.
The movie chronicles that great episode, which also sadly took the precious lives of Dr. Adadevoh and some of the best medical staff practicing at the First Consultant Hospital.
“The film will show the important role the doctors and staffers of the affected hospital played in containing Ebola, as well as an educational insight with informative perspectives on the Ebola disease. It will bring a new perspective to the courage and sense of duty Nigerian medical practitioners put into their daily work as symbolized by the supreme sacrifice of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh and her colleagues who died with her,” said Ralph Nwadike, the writer and producer of the film which he started working on immediately after the First Consultant Hospital was opened in September 2014, after it’s decontamination, where he went to seek permission and approval from the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Benjamin Ohiaeri, to begin work on the film.
Tunji Bamishigbin, lawyer, writer, producer and director will be directing the project, and interestingly, Tunji and Ralph are returning to collaborate on the Ebola story after years of working together as leading TV producers and filmmakers in Nigeria. Ralph said they are making this film, because of it’s national and global importance and the need to achieve and emphasize the true value it deserves, with a world view on the Ebola epidemic. Certainly, the eyes of the world will also be on Nigeria because of this film. Ralph, who recently returned to Nigeria from a Federal Government sponsored Master’s Class in Film and Television production at the world famous University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), said he needs to present a final tape to his Professors so as to show them what a better filmmaker he has become, after the world class training he got from them.
Ralph and Tunji have collaborated on previous popular TV dramas such as “Fortunes/Megafortunes” on NTA Network, “Palace” on A.I.T Network and on the bestselling movies “Most Wanted“, the film that discovered Genevieve Nnaji and Ibinabo Fiberisima.
“Most Wanted” was the first Nigerian movie to sell over a 1,000,000 copies of DVD’s. They also went on to produce other blockbusters such as “Contractors”, “Camouflage”, “The Godfather” and many others.
No doubt, the coming together of Ralph Nwadike and Tunji Bamishigbin spells something great for the Nigerian film industry and indeed the cinema world.
Soni Irabor, the ace broadcaster, is also involved as one of the Executive Producers, and Dr. Freeman Osonuga, the Nigerian Doctor who served six months in Sierra Leone, saving the lives of the victims of the deadly EVD, is one of the Executive Producers, as well as playing a prominent role in the film in his debut role as an actor.
Interestingly, Dr, Freeman Osonuga is billed to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on a scientific expedition, and will be the first ever Nigerian to visit the International Space Station (ISS) before the year runs out. He will be there for about six weeks, overlooking the world as he goes a step further to finding cures for some of the world’s deadliest diseases.
In a chance meeting with Ralph Nwadike, close to his new Lekki home, he informed Nigerians Report Online that there will be a world press conference, where the original title of the film will be released, as well as the unveiling of some of the prominent actors starring in the big budget film.
Information reaching Nigerians Report Online has confirmed that celebrated top Nigerian actor, Paul Obazele, will play Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian.
There’s no doubt that interesting filming times are here again as the accomplished filmmakers, Ralph Nwadike and Tunji Bamishigbin, return to Nollywood.