Gangs Of Lagos: Movie Producers Under Fire From Lagos Indigenes Over…
The Isale Eko Descendants’ Union is unhappy with how the Eyo masquerade was portrayed in the recent film Gangs of Lagos.
Tobi Bakre, Adesua Etomi, and other actors appeared in the film, which is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime Video. It was made by Jade Osiberu and Kemi Akindoju.
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A statement signed on Wednesday by the chairman of the union, Mr Yomi Tokosi, read in part, “In the movie, the unique Eyo masquerade indigenous to the Isale Eko community in Lagos was illegally and scandalously depicted as being used as a camouflage and subterfuge for murderers and gangsters operating in the Isale Eko area.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Eyo masquerade has been part of the unique cultural heritage of the Isale Eko community of Lagos since 1854 (179 years) and the Eyo is known as a masquerade for celebration in Lagos Island, and not an instrument of gang of criminals as illegally and scandalously portrayed. Most importantly, the movie brought the Eyo masquerade and the people of Isale Eko into disrepute, who are now deemed criminally-minded in the eyes of right-thinking members of society.”
The union lamented that its culture was “exploited in such a despicable and insensitive manner by Amazon Prime Video to the detriment of the Isale Eko community.”
“The illegal and scandalous depiction of the Eyo masquerade in the movie is actionable and has been lodged by the IDU with the National Film and Censors Board, including other major stakeholders,” the statement said.
Lagos Govt Weighs Into The Situation
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government also expressed displeasure with the promoters of the “Gangs of Lagos” film/series over what it described as “cultural misrepresentation” as well as portraying the culture of the state in a derogatory manner.
In a reaction by the state government, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf said the Ministry, being the regulatory body and custodian of the culture of Lagos State, viewed the film/series as a mockery of the Heritage of Lagos.
According to Akinbile-Yussuf, “We are of the opinion that the production of the film ‘The Gang of Lagos’ is very unprofessional and misleading while its content is derogatory of our culture, with the intention to desecrate the revered heritage of the people of Lagos.
“It is an unjust profiling of a people and culture as being barbaric and nefarious. It depicts a gang of murderers rampaging across the State”.
The state government maintained that “the Adamu Orisha, popularly known as the Eyo Festival, is rarely observed and only comes up as a traditional rite of passage for Obas, revered Chiefs and eminent Lagosians.”