Ajaga has been confirmed to begin its principal photography – Here is everything we know so far.
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Ajaga (Yoke) is a drama feature produced by Adenike Odubawo, who also plays a lead role in the title. The title explores the themes of deceit, heartbreak, and abuse. According to the producer, the title was meant to be a family drama, but during the filming process, the production team saw the need to throw in a bit of comedy because of the strong emotion in the story, which took about four weeks to develop.
“The best time to have told this story was two decades ago,” Adenike said while commenting on why there’s the need to tell the story. “I decided to tell it now because no one has ever told this very version. I am telling it now because I can afford to tell it now.
Though the story should have been told two decades ago, she affirmed that it is still extremely relevant in today’s world because the audience or anyone in the world will be able to relate to it either as a victim or villain.”
Also corroborating that the film is relevant in today’s world and will resonate with the audience, Carol King, a cast member, says that Ajaga is a film that all family members can watch together. “It’s not only entertaining. It’s quite insightful and educative,” she said.
She said further about the story, “For me, I would say the fact that my character’s way of thinking is so different from mine. I call a spade a spade, no matter whose ox is gored. I would never condone abuse of any kind under the guise of religiosity, so trying to say some of my lines without wincing was a challenge.”
“I like thematic subject matters. Life is not always hunky-dory or about glamour. There are some very dark sides of life, especially for the girl child, which are often not addressed. Helping to tell the story of the heroines who have spoken out and those who have fought for them, not caring what society would think or do to them, is very gratifying for me.
This project came to me just a few days after a certain doctor was jailed for life for sexually abusing his wife’s relative, who is a minor. I could not help being involved in this project. Kudos to everyone who has worked hard to make the script a reality,” Carol added.
Speaking on the category of people who would love the film the most, Femi Jacobs, a key cast member, says that women will appreciate Ajaga more. In his words, “Churching is very familiar to Nigerians. But I think women generally, and especially younger women in the general society and the church specifically would love to see this film.
Especially since we have had a number of opportunities to take a closer look at what’s happening to our women in those religious corridors. Women make up about 70% of church people, although it’s the men who populate the leadership more.”
Femi Jacobs spoke about the challenges experienced while bringing the script to life.
“I am very careful about story handling in treatment. We don’t want it to seem like we are “dragging” the church and labelling them all bad. I wanted to walk the story journey as fairly and as naturally as possible. I also needed to stay central without watering down the subject matter.
It’s not a convenient conversation to watch if you love the church as I do, but I am glad we are the ones telling the story. One thing needs to be made clear though. A crime has been committed, and a crime is different from a character sin. We wanted that distinctive line drawn, too. It’s a delicate story,” he said.
Regarding why he got involved in the production, Femi explained that as a person who grew up in the church, he has several story ideas about the space and that it is an opportunity to be a part of the production telling such a story.
Produced by Adenike Odubawo, Ajaga is directed by Remi Ibinola and line produced by Mo’ Fakorede. The project has Biola Ladipo as director of photography. It features star actors, including Femi Jacobs, Adenike Odubawo, Tope Olowoniyan, Carol King, Jaiye Kuti, Tomiwa Sage, and Lola Smart.
Helmed by Remi Ibinola who reveals she is excited about everything. From the story to the acting.
Ajaga is expected to head to the box office with a release date coming soon.