Lagos State Government has criticized promoters of the “Gangs of Lagos” movie for cultural misrepresentation and for portraying the culture of the state in a derogatory manner.
‘Gangs of Lagos’ is a crime thriller about Lagos reality.
It features Tobi Bakare, Pasuma, Zlatan, Iyabo Ojo, Yhemo Lee, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Bimbo Ademoye, Chike, Yvonne Jegede, Yinka Quadri, Chioma Akpotha, Toyin Abraham, among others.
The movie, produced by Jade Osiberu and Kemi Akindoju, premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 7, as the first Amazon Original Movie from Africa.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf said the Ministry, being the regulatory body and custodian of the culture of the state, views the movie as a mockery of the Heritage of Lagos.
Akinbile-Yussuf expressed her disappointment with the promoters of the movie, Osiberu and Akindoju, for portraying the Eyo Masquerade as a gun-wielding villain while adorning the full traditional regalia.
“We are of the opinion that the production of the film ‘The Gang of Lagos’ is very unprofessional and misleading while its content is derogatory of our culture, with the intention to desecrate the revered heritage of the people of Lagos. It is an unjust profiling of a people and culture as being barbaric and nefarious. It depicts a gang of murderers rampaging across the State,” the Commissioner said in a statement.
She maintained that the Adamu Orisha, popularly known as the Eyo Festival, is rarely observed and only comes up as a traditional rite of passage for Obas, revered Chiefs and eminent Lagosians.
Akinbile-Yussuf added that the Eyo Masquerade is equally used as a symbol of honour for remarkable historical events.
According to her, it signifies a sweeping renewal, a purification ritual to usher in a new beginning, a beckoning of new light, acknowledging the blessings of the ancestors of Lagosians
VAM had earlier reported that a Lagos prince, Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu has demanded immediate withdrawal of the ‘Gangs of Lagos’.
Shodipe-Dosunmu described the movie as an ugly, hate filled mockery of the Lagosian heritage, adding that it is not only a distortion of Lagosians culture, but ethnic profiling of the people as criminals and murderers.
He called on the National Film and Video Censors Board and all appropriate authorities to ban the movie and impose the most punitive sanctions on its promoters.