– a film by Azubuike Erinugha
Worried by the agonizing realities often times awaiting unsuspecting Africans who travel to Europe and other parts of the world in search of greener pastures, The Champion Sportsman, a heart-rendering movie of real-life situations has been premiered to enlighten people on the challenges of African migration to Europe.
The film is an eye-opener for desperate potential travelers who, overwhelmed by the desire to travel, disregards the experiences of others, yet embark on such potential live reversal trips. The Champion Sportsman shot mainly in Berlin, Germany and Okigwe,Nigeria, with the collaboration of Germanartists Network, InterArte and the German University of Art, Braunschweig, tells a gripping story of Okoro, a Nigerian who “sells all his properties, and with the proceeds, buys a false passport with visa and travels to Berlin,Germany. On arrival, his initial plan to stay only six months and make as much money,gets subsumed by language problems, cultural differences, racial psychologies, socioeconomic hardship as well as a deportation process. As he finds himself in a dilemma,Okoro must decide whether to give up and go home a failure, or confront the Europe that is quickly becoming a boxing ring for unprepared immigrants from Africa.
The Champion Sportsman features Nollywood stars as John Okafor (a.k.a Mr. Ibu), Patience Ozokwo, Sandra Achums, with German and other 2 European cast and crew members. It is a 115-minute film in English,German and Igbo languages shot in July, August and December 2009. It reveals the typical cliches of Europe in Africa which cause immigrants arrive their desired country unprepared to all obstacles.
It also questions the typical European attitudes towards Africa. A Nollywood movie realized in an unusual Nigerian-German co-production, The Champion Sportsman is aimed at approaching and reflecting the complexities of migration in a way that confronts cliches and offers divergent perspectives on the issue. The focus is split, on high pitched African expectations of a life in Europe and the goal is to invoke discussions within the African communities in Diaspora as well as in the African continent.
The producers target is to reach actual would be migrants while our delivery is hinged on the already made audience created by the new African pop film industry, Nollywood. Nollywood is undoubtedly the major tool to reach the real targets in both Africa and the Caribbean on one hand and already migrated people in Europe and North America. These audiences in the Diaspora also have a job to do by confirming the real life information and situations as depicted in The Champion Sportsman.