Shijuwomi is an eponymous post-colonial story of a pampered girl, Shijuwomi, who travelled to England to study, but attempts suicide; prompting her repatriation. Back home, she is moved into an institution where she meets Dr. Ilori, a lecturer in Anthropology who eventually marries her. The marriage is full of thorns and pebbles, failing to provide the desired succour for Shijuwomi and this leads to another attempted suicide.
Shijuwomi, the cinematic adaptation of Behold my Redeemer, a play by renowned playwright, Rasheed Gbadamosi, stars Bimbo Manuel, Ayo Lijadu, Tina Mba, Judith Audu, Femi Adebayo, Olu Okekanye, and Jude Chukwuka. It is produced by veteran film-maker Bayo Awala while award-winning film-maker, Niji Akanni (Aramotu, Abobaku, Heroes and Zeros), is the film’s director. Akanni has also written many award-winning films including Dangerous Twins, Playing Games, Saving Alero and Narrow Path. He has also featured as director in several Reality TV shows in Nigeria – the Amstel Malta Box Office (Season One, 2005), Big Brother Nigeria (2006) and The Apprentice Africa (2008).
Awala, the producer of the film, is neither new to adaptations nor directing. As a film-maker, he acquired a lot of experience at the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, where he directed such successful drama series as The Village Headmaster, Winds against My Soul, Adio Family, By the Road Side, The Turning Wheel, The Young Ones, Jagua Nana’s Daughter, Tight Rope, Trauma and Doctors Quarters.
In 2005, Awala directed the award winning political thriller, Prince of the Savannah, written by Yinka Ogun and starring Tunde Laniyan, Sam Loco Efe, Teni Aofiyebi and Chidi Ukwu, who won the Best Actor Award at the ZUMA Film Festival 2011 for his role in the movie.
“This project has been in the works for over two decades. I have always being fascinated with this story since I first directed it on stage in 1969. Its thematic relevance, the tempo-spatial canvass against which the narrative plays out and an opportunity to increase the volume of works adapted from our rich literary traditions are some of the reasons why we have decided to showcase this piece”, Awala said.
Renowned economist and accomplished art collector, Chief Rasheed Abiodun Gbadamosi serves as Executive Producer for this project. Gbadamosi is the author of many short stories and plays for radio, television and the theatre, including Tree Grows in the Desert, Behold my Redeemer, Echoes from the Lagoon, and Sunset over Nairobi, which won first prize in Radio Netherlands Golden Windmill Short Story competition.
Shijuwomi received support from Nollywood interventionist project; Project ACT Nollywood’s Film Production Fund (FPF) and is being produced with the active collaboration of Ogun State Government.
Below are some location pictures from the set of Shijuwomi: