Iconic Yoruba Movie, ‘TI OLUWA NILE’, Adapted To Stage



By Kazeem Akande

The legendary Yoruba movie, ‘TI OLUWA NILE’, written by veteran actor and producer, Alhaji Kareem Adepoju, popularly known as “Baba Wande”, is set to be adapted into stage, with the title: ASIYANBI: TI OLUWA NI ILE’.



The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ‘TI OLUWA NILE’ was originally penned in 1987 by Baba Wande, and transformed into a cinematic gem in 1993 through collaboration between the esteemed writer and Mainframe Production, under the skilled direction of Tunde Kelani.



‘ASIYANBI: TI OLUWA NI ILE’ is in support of ‘AROBA GROOVE’, an international cultural organisation, signaling a new chapter in the legacy of the cinematic masterpiece.



Akindeji Ibitayo, the Project Coordinator and Supervisory Producer in Aroba Groove, said at a news conference on Friday in Lagos that the stage play was about retelling stories and histories in a compelling and exciting style particularly of African origin.



“We took a deep look at the history of the country, the colonisation, independence, tribulations, challenges, our growth and evolution over the years and we came to a conclusion that Nigeria is really a God’s own country.



“So, what project can we use to portray this, here comes TI OLUWA NILE but in a different format.


“Coincidentally, Nigeria’s  recent democracy will be hitting a landmark period of 25 continuous years.


“What better time can the project fall into, and for characters such as Asiyanbi who are desecrating and flouting the laws and orders of the land, this is a project to let them know that there will be serious and grave consequences.


“Nigerians and the world in general should watch out for this,” he said.


Also, Dotun Taylor, Executive Producer of the project, said that the 30-year-old movie having captivated audiences as one of Nollywood’s most-watched and top-selling story in history, has left an indelible mark on the hearts of viewers.


“Now, with the upcoming stage production presented by AROBA GROOVE, the timeless story is set to be reimagined and brought to life in a fresh and dynamic theatrical experience,” he said.


According to him, the film intricately weaves a tale of intrigue, betrayal, and societal complexities, drawing viewers into a world where greed collides with tradition, and justice is sought through supernatural intervention.


The executive director said that the narrative follows the gripping saga of two individuals who conspire with a corrupt chief to illegally sell ancestral land to a petroleum company for personal gain.


Their deceit met with fierce resistance from the community and the intervention of the oracle, embodying the land’s sacred deities.


As the true ownership of the land is revealed and consequences unfold, the chief finds himself entangled in a web of challenges that test his fate and traditional standing, leading to a climactic showdown that will determine his ultimate destiny.


Taylor noted that with its cinematic debut, ‘TI OLUWA NILE’ garnered widespread acclaim and adoration, solidifying its status as a blockbuster and a cultural touchstone in Nollywood history.


According to Taylor, ‘ASIYANBI TI OLUWA NI ILE’ is prepared to take centre stage, emphasising the enduring relevance and resonance of the timeless story, underscoring its enduring impact on audiences across generations.


“Featuring a talented cast of Nollywood actors of Yoruba descent, the stage play promises to deliver a riveting and immersive experience that honours the legacy of ‘TI OLUWA NILE’, while pushing the boundaries of artistic expression.


“AROBA GROOVE’s visionary approach to reimagining this classic tale in a new artistic form underscores their commitment to fostering creativity and cultural enrichment.


“It set the stage for an unforgettable theatrical journey that will captivate audiences far and wide,” Taylor said.


In his remarks, Adepoju said he was grateful to be part of the historic project.


“This is a historic project, though I am the owner of the story, I must confess to you that I am more than grateful to be part of this project.


“If I am not mistaken and with my experience, this is the first time in this country that I am witnessing a story that has been adapted to a film been re-adapted to a stage play.


“I have not seen or heard it before in this sphere. I give progenitors and producers of this project kudos for their ingenuity.


“I am happy to be part of it in my lifetime, and I am fully in support,” the actor said.


Director of the project, Ropo Ewenla, that the movie is full of creativities, promotes cultural heritage and investigative in nature.


“I was a bit shocked when I was first contacted about the project, though I understand creativity is limitless.


“But this took me unaware sincerely, and since we have been on it, it has really been an exciting experience with the level of creativity, quality of team, cast and crew put together by the producers, I can assure Nigerians and the world that it’s TI OLUWA NILE redefined.


“It’s an experience that I believe everyone must witness and being the inaugural director of such a project makes me proud,” he said. (NAN)

Edited by Folasade Adeniran

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