The Women Of Chief Daddy’s Empire
In a society where polygamy is practised, it is not an aberration to have male money moneybags, who claim to be married to one ‘legal wife’ having other women to whom they are equally ‘married.’
In some cases, the legal wives found out in time and are able to get the ‘errant’ husband to confess their ‘sins.’ In some other instances, it is death that lifts the veil off the faces of the unsuspecting and trusting wives.
Lady K, played by Joke Silva is one of such wives.
She only realises her billionaire husband’s level of infidelity after his untimely demise. Other women swoon in claiming to be Chief Beecroft’s wives.
Their unceremonious entries set off a series of actions that eventually add up to give the Temidayo Abudu and Queen Martins-produced flick a must-see.
One important ingredient that makes Chief Daddy a sumptuous offering is the quality of its cast, especially the women, whom individually have blinding star power.
Speaking on the making of the film, Joke Silva says “I am glad it was approached from the comic angle because it is the kind of thing that will rip your heart to pieces. For lady K. she was not the character that was laughing in the film because she was the one in front of the headlines. She was the one getting all the punches all the time.”
To her, the Nollywood film is improving in its storylines, great stories are now being explored like Fifty from the stable of Ebony life. “ I love the story, and I love the photography” she added with a smile.
Silva has been active in Nollywood, Hollywood and theatre and projects that if the film is done in the theatre it will be very successful because it is dramatic.
She notes the difference between working in Nollywood and Hollywood but states that there has been notable improvements. She says, “I honestly believe that we are beginning to close the gap. Some of the issues we are facing here is, there are kinds of various equipment and various things we don’t have but we create them.”
Silva’s character in the film is translated so well. The emotion and reactions and dialogue are delivered seamlessly, that one wonders if there is a line between Joke Silva and Lady K. In reality, the characters are antithetical, Lady K does not have any similarity whatsoever to Silva. She says, “No matter how much I love him I will not take that. That’s the difference and I think that’s the beautiful thing about the film, the storyline of Chief Daddy is that she never knew. It’s after he dies.”
Ebony Life explored the storyline of Chief Daddy in such a way to elicit laughter but not trivializing the experience of real life people that are facing the same experience.
The film boasts an ensemble cast that have their characters highlighted and explored.
Nollywood has recorded different phases in its existence, there have been the old Nollywood with the traditional-themed storylines and then the indigenous films that highlight plots peculiar to the tribe. The industry has undergone changes and improvements in stories, equipment, lighting and production.
Shaffy’s career started in the 90s with her stint in Love me Jeje. Her poise, beauty and qualities will leave one shocked and ashamed that an accomplished woman with a tight schedule is so patient and down to earth that one might be compelled to wish she was part of their bloodline.
She played the role of Nike Williams, Chief Daddy’s second wife, who comes into the picture after the death of the billionaire.
The choice of Joke Silva and Shaffy Bello as wives was informed by their unmistakable beauty and class, which the film portrays is the billionaire’s preference.
Making the film was interesting and seamless, as co-actors lit the production time, making it a fun experience. The cast made up of seasoned actors like Patience Ozokwor, Nkem Owoh, Falz, Bisola Aiyeola, among others made the work interesting. She added, “You will laugh, you’d not cry but you will be sad for some characters but then you will laugh the most which we really need right now in this country.”
Nollywood has evolved into making quality films to the delight of the audience as they clamour to actually see a Nigerian film in theatres and Cinema. This is a milestone considering how Nollywood started.
Some Nollywood films have gained recognition and acclaim that they are even streamed on iTunes and viewed internationally. Ebony Life is one of the film companies dedicated to ensuring quality by being deliberate, planning and using a stellar cast to ensure that the message in the film is clearly communicated.
Her role as a housekeeper in the film was quite a deviation from her stereotypical character of a wicked mother-in-law and stepmother. She stepped outside the confines of the label to play a role very different from what fans and the audience are used to.
On her role as a housekeeper Madam Bert, she says: “I felt good playing this role. I needed to tell people that I am just acting. I am not what the films are portraying me to be and by God’s grace, it shows I am elastic. I can take any role whether good or bad.”
She has been in the industry for decades and admits there has been a huge change in the industry.
Speaking on her experience in making the film, she notes that it was interesting being a member of the cast, “It felt good being part of the film with better equipment. It is quite different from when we started.
“When we started earlier in the industry, we didn’t have good equipment but now we have everything that we need to make good films and we have good companies taking it upon their shoulders to shoot good and quality films. The stars put in all their best as well.”
Ozokwor says the movie is relatable and reflective of what happens in the society.
“Real life people are faced with the problems highlighted in the film and their experiences can leave them numb and sometimes incapable of making decisions that meet expectations, but she advised that, when such things come your way, calm down because it reminds you too that one day you too will leave and you are leaving the whole property for people who didn’t suffer for it.”