The Media Screening of the Historical movie “The Chronicles” which is based on facts and truth produced to change the narratives and correct the misconception about the Mbaise people took place at Ozone Cinemas. The popular adage “when you see a snake and an Mbaise man, spare the snake and kill the Mbaise man” emanated from the 1970’s band “The Oriental Brothers”. However, many are unaware of what transpired among the band members that led to the coining of the misleading adage.
Produced by Frank Ufomadu and directed by Caliph Ibn. Uzar, the Chronicles while dealing with the genesis of the adage also unveils interactions our ancestors had with the British Imperialists when they landed our shores through Calabar via Opobo through to the 21st century during the advent of High life music in the 1970’s. The story is recounted through three generations; the Colonial era, Post colonial era and the 21st century as told by a grandmother (Onyeka Owenu) to her grandchildren who were constantly being taunted by their classmates in school having believed that people from Mbaise were wicked
The Chronicles is Mr Ufomadu’s second movie, the first being ‘The Storm’ in 2016. He is royalty, an indigene of Ahiazu Mbaise Local government in Imo state. He was concerned about the negative impact the adage and story had on his people and in the quest for the truth he carried out an extensive research to get the accurate information of what transpired back then. He left no stone unturned as he visited various Elders in different communities in Mbaise. It took three years to shoot the film because the Narrator who was the oldest indigene in Mbaise was One hundred and ten years old when they began speaking with him on the subject. As a result of his age, they had to make do with whatever information he could provide at any point in time.
Mbaise is known in the Eastern region of the country for having many priests. According to him, it stems from the first resistance the Mbaise people put up against the British Imperialists which prompted them to return home. Having reinforced, they returned and carried out a genocide that sadly wasn’t documented. Sensing the horrendous act was about to ruin their relationship with other Eastern communities, they called in the Catholic Priests who came and preached about Christianity to them. The Catholic root was subsequently established in Mbaise which gave rise to many indigenes being taken to Europe for further training as priests. Mbaise soon became the Headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, hence, it is common to find a priest or Reverend sister in a family in Mbaise.
The initial production budget for the movie was N20million but at some point it was used up prompting the infusion of an additional three million to wrap it up. On why he opted to make it a movie and not a documentary he stated “ I found out that the youths we have today don’t even read again but the moment you put your story via the TV medium say on Africa magic, they’ll stay glued to the TV. Hardly will you see them tune into Discovery channel which if it had been a documentary would have aired on that channel, but they won’t watch it. So I thought about the best way to reach the Target audience and I realized it was through film. They like going to the cinemas and watching Africa magic movie based channels. If I later on do a documentary then anyone who has watched the film and wants to learn more will then be keen to watch the documentary”
The Chronicles was shot in Oyo, Imo and Lagos. It stars Onyeka Owenu, Segun Arinze, Victor Osuagwu, Collins Talker, Daniel Lloyd, Giovanni Grossman, Avinanash Bhavanni, Okey Jude, Felix Omorkhodian, Zikky Aloy.
The movie opens in cinemas across Nigeria on November 9th 2018.