Following the outpouring of emotions which followed her honest assessment of her husband’s tenure as Nigeria’s president, so far, the producers of Nigeria’s groundbreaking love story situated within military history and a very delicate period of Nigerian past were apprehensive of their request to have First Lady, Aisha Buhari at the premiere of the movie ’76. Like they have done since the movie was first conceptualized and they insisted on following every protocol (even though it took seven years and change of four Chief of Army Staff), they followed through with the request for the First Lady. Thankfully, she agreed to come. But for a last minute change in plans, she would have been there in person. However, she was ably ad fittingly represented by the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs Bolanle Ambode.
Mrs. Ambode said,, “This is one of the best things that I have seen made from Nigeria and HE Madam Aisha who insisted I must be here will get the full report as soon as I get back. I dropped everything to attend this event and it could not have been a better use of my time. I was glued to my seat.”
A very engaging narrative, the movie in part tells the story of the travails of a soldier’s wife. This is succinctly captured in a scene where Aunty Mary played by Ada Ofoegbu tells Suzzie (Rita Dominic) that the day a woman agrees to marry a soldier, she has unwittingly entered into the service of the nation as well. Mrs. Aisha Buhari would understand this sentiment having married a soldier who has found himself catapulted to the leadership of Nigeria twice, first as military Head of State and currently as President Muhamadu Buhari.
Ramsey Nouah in ’76’
The enduring agony of a soldier’s wife is not limited to the designation of the soldier, as the movie shows that an officer’s wife can be as traumatized as the wife of a soldier in the lower ranks.
Having made a good impression touring some of the best known film festivals in Toronto, Canada and London, the African premiere of ‘76 was eagerly awaited. As it turned out, the African Ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos was filled with some of the most distinguished guests whose vocations cut across all walks of life. They include but were not limited to Mahmoud Alli-Balogun, Kunle Afolayan, former First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Udy Umondak, television personality and public relations practitioner, former Head of State, Murtala Mohammed’s family represented by his daughter, Aisha Oyebode, Alero Edu, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Linus Idahosa and his wife, Stephanie, Managing Director of the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolass Vervelde and his wife, Kene Mkparu and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce.
Rita Dominic and Ramsey Nouah
The cast and crew led by co-executive producer, Adonija Owiriwa who also played Captain Jaiye in the movie were warmly received by guests who beseeched them for photo opportunities.
The premiere was a befitting homecoming for the film which debut in cinemas nationwide on November 25.
76-premiere to Aisha Oyebode nee Murtala, who heads the Murtala Muhammed Foundation was glowing with praises after watching the film. “You people have made an amazing film, unlike any other and what you did with the music is a work of art on its own. I’m speechless. Impressed does not even begin to describe the way I feel. You were brutally honest, but artistically true.”
Senator Ben Bruce who had earlier in the week predicted that the film would smash box office records raised his predictions even higher after watching the full film to say that “it would surpass USD2million in Nigeria and Ghana alone. It will appeal to the young, the old, women, men, lovers of comedy and lovers of history. It has pain, laughter, suspense and action. All tied up in one and it is so masterfully crafted, you don’t want it to end.”
An interesting part of the premiere was the protocol personnel who were dressed in an army look-alike uniform, while the band that was on the bandstand, Hidefinition Band, had its members dressed in the fashion of the 1970s to tally with the period of the movie.
Chidi Mokeme. And Ramsey Nouah
WHAT OBASANJO SAID TO THE ’76’ TEAM
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has lauded soon- to-be released military blockbuster movie ’76 which is produced by Adonaijah Owiriwa and Izu Ojukwu.
Obasanjo gave the commendation at a private screening held for him at his Presidential library in Abeokuta, Ogun State. The former President used the opportunity to reflect on the events of the past, and reiterated the importance of the unity of Nigeria.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL TEXT OF OBASANJO’S REACTION TO ’76’