Nigerian Films Indian Influence
am an NRI, translated into: no-real Indian. I follow Indian cinema in my quest to find only one million original films before humanity as we know it disappears. I will use the term Indian cinema sparingly because I only have access to Hindi films, not Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati and other languages.
I’m a cinema nomad, jumping all over the world looking for original stories. I was in Nigeria before I came to Mumbai. I left when stories took a different hue, the Hollywood hue. Royal Battle 2, directed by Adim Williams makes me wonder about Indian cinema and its influence.
I grew up in Durban where most movie theatres were owned by Indian businesses. Apartheid did not allow Africans to go to European places of entertainment like cinema, so we went to Grey Street, an Indian area to watch movies. I don’t know about Indian presence in Nigeria.
Royal Battle 2 has two scenes where the couple sing to each other, just like in Indian movies. Adim’s film has Taiwo (Olaide Bakare), a Yoruba princess, falling in love with Eze (Saint Obi), a medical doctor who is an Igbo prince.
The only problem is that she doesn’t know that because Eze, who is actually Dr. Joe in Lagos, ran away from his domineering father, Igwe Eze played by Emerchi Muonagor. The doctor is also on fed-up leave from his status-hungry girlfriend Kate (Stephanie Okereke).
The king, Oba Kabeyese (Kaine Segun) is mad that his daughter Taiwo is in love with Eze a commoner. The fact that he is a medical doctor who saved his second wife by performing a difficult operation in a clinic with inadequate facilities does not matter. Oba Kabeyese wants Princess Taiwo to marry a prince.
Taiwo and Eze meet secretly. Eze loves her because Taiwo says she wants to marry for love and not for status or class. Anyway, the Indian influence comes when they take turns, singing to each other.
I haven’t come across other Nigerian films like Royal Battle 2, so I don’t know the extent of the Indian influence on Nigerian films.
Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness The Novel.