Temi Otedola makes acting debut in citation
Following in the footsteps of Simi Adekunle-Gold, Chidinma Ekile who have starred in Kunle Afolayan’s films, daughter of Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola and fashion designer, Temi Otedola is marking her debut in the Nigerian movie industry with Afolayan’s soon to be released movie, Citation.Citation is an academic related film that explores the subject of decadence in the educational sector, the prevalence sex for grade in African Universities. The movie revolves around a female postgraduate student who has to find a way of dealing with the awkward situation of sexual harassment from her lecturer. Temi plays the lead character Moremi.
Despite her family’s fame and her success in fashion business, Temi had to prove that she could play her part. She disclosed that she spent a month auditioning and has been in constant discussion with the filmmaker in the past six months on the development of the story.Afolayan known for scouting new talent said that he was impressed by Temi’s audition, promising to release a monologue she did a while ago.
“I shared the idea with her last year and was looking forward to her interpretation of the character which will see her speak four languages.Afolayan, who disclosed that he started working on the movie in 2018 before the explosive sex for grade documentary by the BBC, said, the movie will be shot in three African countries: Nigeria, Senegal and Cape Verde. He stated that pan-africanism is dear to his heart and therefore the film will feature other African actors like the prominent Ivorian actor Bienvenu Neba and Ghanaian actor Adjetey Anang.
Afolayan hopes that Citation, which was written by Tunde Babalola, will create awareness on the different forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private sphere.On why she took up the role, Temi who will be acting alongside A-list actors such as Sadiq Daba, Joke Silva and Ini Edo, said, “I’ve been watching Mr. Afolayan films for forever; from Figurine to October 1, to Phone Swap. When I was actually introduced to him, I told him that I acted throughout my years in school; acting is actually my first passion in life. And he told me that a movie in coming out and that the lead character is a girl of my age, who is a university student.”
She continued: “The storyline is something relatable and relevant to what’s happening today, not only in Nigeria, but all over the world. So, it’s a story that’s close to my heart. I felt I could really bring that character to life. On why she’s kept the creative side of her from the public for so long, she said, “for me, it’s all about timing, so, for me until this movie had come, I don’t think I would have entered into this arena of creative work, but this script is perfect for me. I’m so happy that I waited for this time. With Kunle Afolayan film, it means I am starting at the top. So, I’m just so humbled to have been given this opportunity.
“The message is to tell women that we are hearing their stories, that we believe them. Women are being harassed in several ways. On leaving fashion for acting, she said, “both of them are still very close to my heart; I will always be designing and doing fashion, but also, this is my one true love. So I’ll continue acting.”
Speaking on the movie, Gabriel Afolayan who will be appearing in his brother’s film for the first time, said, “I have done one movie with him (Kunle) before now, but it’s a short film with Sahara Group, but for real feature film, this is one of its kind and I’m super glad to be part of this, and not judging from the aspect of him being my brother, this is about the subject matter, it’s one of those things we need to address.
“Not just talk about it but to proffer solutions. I don’t like celebrating problems. We may say that Nigeria is bad, but do you have a solution? talk about it, talk more on solutions.”
On his role in the movie, he said, “the character’s name is Koyejo, an undergraduate who is also an athlete, apart from the fact that he’s a medical student, he is a stand up guy. He stood against all injustices on campus and he’s the love interest of the main character entangled with her lecturer.”He continued: “The character is a very fun one. Apart from the fact that it is quite expressive, it’s the way I love to be as. So, Koyejo is that character that I connect with a lot, in a whole lot of level because I was once a students as well. Citation is a movie trying to proffer solutions.”
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