Pulse.ng logo

"Ghetto Dreamz: The Dagrin Story" A biopic that fails to capture a rapper's life

Six years ago, 'Ghetto Dreamz' failed to properly capture the life and times of the rapper.

  • Published:
Dagrin play



Oladapo Olaitan Olaonipekun, also known as Dagrin, was memorialized six years ago by Ope Banwo in a biopic released a year after his shocking and tragic death.

Titled "Ghetto Dreamz: The Dagrin Story," the biopic was based on the true life story of the Late rap artiste, who passed away on April 22, 2010, following a ghastly motor accident.

Today, April 22, 2017 is exactly seven years since the rapper passed away.


The biopic "Ghetto Dreamz" follows Dagrin's personal life, his struggles, challenges, success and ultimate tragic death.

Before "Ghetto Dreamz," the Nigerian film industry was yet to produce a biopic chronicling the life and times of any Nigerian musician.

In 2011, exactly a year after the rapper's death, "Ghetto Dreamz" was released, becoming the first Nigerian biopic.

play Daniel Ademinokan 


Initially, Lancelot Imaseun, who directed movies such as "Reloaded" and "Private Sins" was in the talks to direct the movie.

However, the biopic which was written and produced by Ope Banwo, was finally directed by Daniel Ademinokan.

The production of the movie which reportedly cost 20 million naira was funded by Stingomania, an entertainment company owned by Ope Banwo.

play Ope Banwo.

The biographical movie starred Trybson Dudukoko as the late rap artiste, alongside Doris Simeon as his girlfriend. It also starred Rachael OnigaPaKasumuKenny St. BrownJaywonGabriel Afolayan and Oyindamola Odesola.

The casting was met with mixed reactions as Simon was too old to play the role of Dagrin's girlfriend.

In an attempt to shoot an authentic biopic, the producers bought the exact Nissan Maxima in which Dagrin had the ill-fated accident that claimed his life.

The car was bought for a sum of 400 thousand naira. Unfortunately, the car which was expected to be kept in a museum after the movie, is currently abandoned in Lagos State University  due to a misunderstanding between the school's SUG and producers of the movie, who had brought the crashed car to the institution as a side attraction during a screening in the campus.

Dagrin play



Described as a misrepresentation of the late rapper's life, the Biopic suffers as it fails to properly capture the life and last moments of the rapper's life.

It woefully failed to capture the spirit that held the country's attention following his death.

The unimaginative production and inattention to little details by the producers left many with the sense that the Dagrin biopic was simply a move to extract whatever profit or glory they could from the life of a young man who was on a rapid journey to success.


The movie made its debut in Nigeria on Friday April 22, 2011 at the Silverbird Cinemas, Victoria Island, Lagos. It also had an international premiere on on July 16, 2011, at Odeon Cinemas, Greenwich, London.

However, Dagrin’s parents, his manager Tunde Peters, his producer Sossick and one of his close friends YQ did not attend the premiere of the biopic. Their absence further fueled reports that the late rapper's family weren't in support and involved in the making of the biopic.

Successful biopics such as "The Social Network," "The Aviator," "Notorious," were successful because family and friends of the icon played a huge role in making sure their stories were properly.


For every perfect biopic that tells the captivating life story of an icon, there's always thousands of less impressive narratives that fail to fully grasp the story of these legends; "Ghetto Dreamz" was one of those surprisingly disappointing biopics.

"The New Edition Story," a 2017 biopic which follows the R&B/pop group from their humble beginnings as kids in Boston to global mega-stardom took 10 years to become a reality, while "Ghetto Dreamz" took a year.

The Dagrin biopic was a rushed project, shot at a time when the Nigerian film industry was still struggling to get its fiction stories right.


Despite its mixed reception, "Ghetto Dreamz: The Dagrin Story" is an award winning movie.

It won the 2012 Nollywood Movie Award for Best Editing, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Costume, Best Rising Star, Best Soundtrack and Best Director. 

A biopic should exhaustively chronicle what you know and thought you knew about an Icon  - "Ghetto Dreamz" failed to achieve that.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.