The film titled ‘Speak Up’ according to the movie producer is an advocacy tool for social change whose idea is to create a model for the government on how to effectively fight the menace which is ravaging the society.
Speaking during the audition of the novel serial movie in Abuja over the weekend, the director and producer of the film, Chris Oge-Kalu said that the issue of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) became prevalent in Nigeria during and after the lockdown occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
He said, “After the Covid-19 pandemic, there was the report that cases of sexual and gender based violence increased due to the lockdown and people found themselves staying together for too long resulting to violation of the vulnerable people who fall amongst women, male and female teenagers and children. There was therefore the need to create a model to be on ground to effectively fight the menace.
“Recall that sometimes last year, President Muhammadu Buhari had a meeting with relevant Nigerians including the National Human Rights Commission,, Ministries of Women Affairs, Information, as well as Justice, Legal Aid Council, Nigeria Bar Association, Nigerian Police, NAPTIP including the media where a committee was formed and mandated to come up with ways to fight the menace. It is in line with this that the Patriots Foundation came up with an effective concept of using films and movies to create a model that can be used to effectively tackle the challenges because it is also a global issue at the moment.
“Our target audience are the people in the receiving end to be able to speak up at all times as against the African tradition that discourages disclosure, since it is believed that when your child is sexually molested it becomes a reason for societal stigmatization.”
Also speaking, the chairman of the Patriots Foundation, sponsors of the project, Adamu Musa Adams who is also the CEO of Patriot TV said his group was moved purely out of patriotism to give back to the society.
He said, “We are moved purely out of patriotism. Love for ones country. There must be a country and there must be dwellers but if these violence are allowed to thrive then there won’t be a country. But we reckon that the best thing we can do is to educate the people. With adequate information, people will be well guided. When people know that a proactive joint task force is keenly watching, and commensurate punishment will be given for such actions, the increasing rate of sexual and gender based violence will drop.”
Over two hundred established and potential artists went through the audition.