With the last straw, Kemistry speaks truth to power
She was amongst the many screen personalities who joined the recent #EndSARS protest. Not only did she join in the protest at the Lekki Toll Gate point, actress, producer, voice over artiste and On-Air-Personality Kemi Adekomi also dedicated her social media handles to sharing her thoughts on the issue of police brutality.
While at this, an idea popped up. The idea was for her to make a movie on the subject of police brutality and all the other issues around the #EndSARS protest. Determined to speak up against police brutality but using the medium of film, Kemistry Diva or Kemi as the actress is simply called, got the script ready, raised funds and mobilised the cast and crew. Together, they hit location to tell the story of human right abuse, extortion and extra-judicial killings of Nigerians by operatives of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The timely movie is titled The last Straw and the Chief Executive Officer of Kemistrydiva Productions hinted that her production company is getting set to release the film soon.
Dedicated to those that Kemi described as ‘fallen heroes’ who were allegedly killed by operatives of the disbanded SARS, Kemi who runs an interior concern revealed that The Last Straw was inspired in whole by the last national protest.
“Yes, it was inspired by the agitation on social media and the street protest which now fired us up the more,” she says, adding, “I believe that it is high time we spoke out against that unit and it’s harassment, killing and all. It was long overdue and as a filmmaker, the loudest way I could speak up is to make a film that shows exactly what we are talking about. I am hoping that government and the leadership of the police force will see the film and truly understand the pains of Nigerian youth.”
On the idea behind making the movie, she said, “it’s to let both the police, government, politicians, Nigerians and even foreigners understand what we were all about during the protest; how it hurts and why we were asking for a better police force. I intend to put it anywhere and everywhere everyone can see it. It also doubles as a memorial for all those who died in the hands of the disbanded unit of the police force.”
Although best known as an actress, Kemistry has also earned some credits working behind the scene but mostly as a producer. Her last effort as a producer was Vendetta, but she has been part of other film projects either as associate producer, line producer or executive producer.
“I have signed some films as producer. However, my previous films were not made to address specific situation or inspired by real life events like The Last Straw. Those were purely for entertainment only, which includes the much talked about movie Vendetta.”
An actress and voice over artiste, Kemistry said she ventured into production not necessarily to make money, but because of her passion for the profession. Although she acknowledged that as business, practitioners ought to make money off it, but revealed that she is driven more by passion.
“Some of the things I do are for passion and not for money. For example acting; it’s just one thing I have had passion for and been doing since I was in primary school. Don’t forget that apart from acting, I am an OAP, a professional Master of Ceremonies and I am into interior designs. So, producing movie for me is just another business side of me.”
A microbiology graduate of the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ogun State, Kemistry who revealed that her first love has always been interior design, never really practiced as a microbiologist. The closest she did was a stint at a pharmaceutical company. She later had a stint in a print media organisation and then a health insurance company. It was while at all these that she decided to try her hands on acting.
She joined Nollywood and found the actor Keppy Ekpeyong and the actress and producer Lilian Amah Aluko as ready mentors and role models.
“No one actually inspired me to be actor, but when I wanted to join Nollywood proper, Mr. Keppy Ekpenyong and Mrs. Lillian Amah Aluko were my first point of call. But I spoke to some established actors and filmmakers as far back as 2004, but for some reason back then, they couldn’t help me find my feet. So, I let it go until some years back when I came in full force. I had some set backs at first, but because I was determined not to fail again, I held on to my passion and the rest they say is history,” she recalled.
With over twenty movies to her credit and some others still at various stages of production, Kemi agreed in answer to the question on how rewarding being a movie practitioner has been, that it has been rewarding, though she insists the reward is both financial and passion-wise.
“I am feeling fulfilled so far, but my pocket isn’t fat yet ooo. But seriously, being an actor isn’t very easy though. It has its challenges especially for those of us who combine other stuff to the profession. The gains are relative, depending on each individual. But for me though, more gain than pains. So, I am happy.”
Star of some critically acclaimed movies such as Suspect Zero, Embassy Series, Street Kid, Truce, A Rough Ride, Once Upon A Lion, Vendetta, On My Honour, Lola The Movie and Forbidden, when Kemistry is not working, she spends her off screen periods reading and staying in touch with the family.
“I read a lot; I have e-books. I also like board games like scrabble and of late I realised that I enjoy visiting leisure places, which I really didn’t enjoy before. But hey, I am so loving it now,” she enthused.
As for her likes and dislikes, she said, “I like humour; anyone who knows me knows I love to laugh a lot. I love realness and I love to work. I dislike dirtiness and laziness and backbiters; I generally run away from negative vibes. Some say I need to try to stand firm in situations, but by nature, I would rather walk away from anything that gives me stress; it weighs me down or kills my creativity. But I love to laugh sha.”
On her career ambition, Kemistry offers this two liner: “to be a filmmaker with a difference, to own of the biggest interior design firms in Nigeria.”