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Doris Simeon’s advocacy movie on malaria, abuse goes to the roots

By Shaibu Husseini
18 December 2016   |   4:19 am
It is not too often that filmmakers take films back to where they were shot and shown to the local community, who usually queue up in cinemas to see such films ...
Doris Simeon

Doris Simeon

It is not too often that filmmakers take films back to where they were shot and shown to the local community, who usually queue up in cinemas to see such films or get them at local shops in DVD’s. In most cases, they don’t get to see the final films at all.

But actress and producer, Doris Simeon, has just completed work on a short film titled The Victims,’ which was shot in the Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos. The popular and award winning Yoruba-language actress will lead her crew back to Ogba with the completed film to entertain the local. Simeon explained that the decision to take the movie screening first to the community, where it was shot, was to “allow members of the community have firsthand feel of the movie and get its message” before the movie starts touring.

Scheduled for December 20, 2016, members of Ogba community will see the short movie The Victims, which is about malaria scourge. The advocacy movie addresses the danger of self-medication, the implication of raising children in unhealthy and dirty environment and child abuse.

The Victims stars Simeon in the lead role of Elizabeth. A single mother, Elizabeth is forced to escape from her abusive stepfather and a weak mother. She leaves home with a child, which she had from a rape incident by her stepfather. In the struggle to survive and care for her child, which she passes for her ‘sister,’ Elizabeth finds it difficult to muddle through life’s harsh realities. The child eventually dies.

Shot with verve, not preachy, with attention paid to details, The Victims is a production of DS Productions and Popwyne Enterprises, with direction from Ibrahim Salami. The film highlights the ills of child abuse and the high mortality rate from malaria scourge in Nigeria and Africa. More importantly, it stresses the importance of education and information on environmental and health related issues.

With a deep passion for building and nurturing the ideas of young people and their creativity, Doris, who has featured in over 100 Nollywood movies, explained that the movie project is an offshoot of a Global Women in Media Influence Campaign on Malaria and Child Abuse, which she started as soon as she was named an Ambassador of the United States-based Women in Media Network (WIMN USA).

Simeon further explained that the movie is her first project under the campaign, adding that the idea “is to use films as a toolkit for advocacy with thematic key areas like rape, women and child abuse, malaria and general health issues.

“The issues of rape, women and child abuse and malaria are becoming rampant in our society and if not quickly checked, we might lose our children to these negative vices permeating the globe. So, we believe that access to the right information will help people living in not-so-developed communities to stop endangering their lives through self-medication and patronage of quack health practitioners. We have provided the information they will need in the short movie, which we have also made to be entertaining.”

Also, Simeon, who has a couple of charity commitments, including the Feed A Child (FAC) project, hinted that after the Ogba run of the movie, there are plans to take it to schools and communities across the country.

According to her, “We are hoping that after the tour and private screenings, we will be able to raise enough awareness and resources to produce a full body of works which would be available to the world at large.”