Òlòtūré: A Journey Into The Underworld of Human Trafficking
Every year, thousands of Nigerian women receive false promises of a ‘better life’. If they leave their country, they are told there is a high chance of finding a good job, but, the sad truth is many of them are trafficked into prostitution. Sex trafficking is big business.
The UN migration agency estimates that about 80 percent of Nigerian women who arrive in Italy are destined for prostitution.
Trapped on a terrifying journey, an undercover journalist, Òlòtūré (Sharon Ooja) sacrifices everything to expose the truth. In her quest to expose the truth about sex trafficking and the lives of sex workers, she is taken on a journey of no return.
Set in Lagos, the titular film draws its main character into the lives of the women she must pretend to be, she finds friendship with Blessing, Linda, and Beauty, the prostitutes she lives with. However, the rookie reporter bites off more than she can chew when she finds herself in a dire and life-changing situation with a top politician during a party.
Unbroken by what she has to endure, the experience further hardens her resolve to follow the story to the end hence her signing up to be trafficked to Europe. Alongside her close friend, Blessing and Blessing’s younger sister, they are bound on a journey of no return.
Directed by Kenneth Gynag and written by Yinka Ogun, the film boasts of a well-picked cast of Sharon Ooja as the titular character, Omoni Oboli, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Omowunmi Dada, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, Wofai Fada, Beverly Osu, Bukola Oladipupo, Pearl Okorie, Ikechukwu Onanaku, David Jones David, Sambasa Nzeribe and Omawumi Megbele.
The film pays great attention to detail and it is commendable that although it is not a documentary but a creative piece, the Mo Abudu produced movie leaves no stone unturned in depicting the deplorable lives of sex workers. The cast also brings their A-game in getting into character and giving the audience a surreal experience.
Òlòtūré is a must-see for all and a wakeup call to the society about the need to pay more attention to the issue of human trafficking and sex work in Nigeria.
Speaking about Òlòtūré, Mo Abudu says,
“Tackling a controversial, globally-important topic like human trafficking was a challenge – but one that needed to be taken on. Òlòtūré explores a world very few people know anything about and had to be dealt with in a particular way,” she says. “It’s not a documentary, but it addresses real issues most of our society doesn’t see, harnessing the talents of some of the country’s top actors and filmmakers to produce a film that is both intelligent and profound – and breaks bold new genre and stylistic ground for Nollywood.”
The film is set for cinematic release in Nigeria later this year and will also be available on streaming platforms.