According to Omoni Oboli, her upcoming comedy movie "Wives on Strike" is nothing like Spike Lee's satirical musical drama "Chiraq."
Following the release of the official trailer of Omoni Oboli’s “Wives on Strike,” reports surfaced that the movie which is about a group of women who decide to deprive their men of sex for the sake of a cause, was copied from the Spike Lee movie, ‘Chiraq’.
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Reacting to the reports, the filmmaker revealed that the the movie concept came to her about four years ago when she wanted to do a movie about women going on strike, but just couldn’t find a sensible reason for the strike.
“We felt there was no sense in making comedy, just for comedy sake. At least, that’s how I think, and I like to stick to what I know and leave others who are better at their own areas of expertise to do theirs. So when my husband and I wanted to do something concerning the Child-Not-Bride issue which was steaming up back in 2013, we decided that we had found a good enough reason for the strike. I wrote the script, and when we were ready we started principal photography in April 2014.” The actress said.
She further revealed that she got to know that the women in South Sudan were suggesting a sex strike to end the war in their country after her shoot.
“The idea of going on strike was just fantasy and wishful thinking, not knowing that it had really been conceived by other women in practice, or by other filmmakers and playwrights in theory,” Oboli also stated.
According to “Being Mrs Elliott” director, she heard of ‘Chiraq’ for the first time in 2015, when her husband sent her the trailer last year. The filmmaker also revealed that she saw the headlines coming, headlines like “Omoni Oboli copies (or steals) from Spike Lee’s Chiraq for her movie,” or, “Nollywood is at it again! Copy! Copy! Copy! Omoni Oboli has joined the bandwagon of Nollywood producers who steal original works and make it their own”.
She went further to explain that the fact that one person presented it first does not always mean the other person copied.
"Spike Lee commenced principal photography (that means he started shooting) in June 2015, and released in select theatres on December 4 of the same year. Heaven forbid that Spike Lee would copy little old Omoni Oboli, “who is in our Nigeria here!” How can that happen?! If I had released it first on October 1st, instead of ‘The First Lady’ like I did, then Spike Lee was definitely being artistic and the similarities were just mere coincidences, but since I decided to release later, then I ‘definitely’ (beyond a shadow of a doubt) copied Mr Lee. Case closed!," she said.
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According to the actress, most Nigerians are always in a hurry to diminish the importance of any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, spite, conspiracy, or competitive feeling.
Omoni who has never met Spike Lee, stated that if she wanted to copy a movie theme, it would be safer to go for one who isn’t as popular as Spike Lee.
The comedy film which will hit cinemas on April 8, features Nollywood talents, such as Uche Jombo, Chioma Akpotha, Ufuoma Mcdermott, Kehinde Bankole, Kalu Ikeagwu, Julius Agwu, Kenneth Okonkwo and many others.
The actress shared screen grabs from various Instagram pages, showing shots and videos from as far as a hundred weeks ago.
Watch "Wives on Strike" trailer below.