On Wednesday, emails were disseminated to media houses regards Nollywood actor, Ani Iyoho being burnt alive while filming a fire scene for the movie, “Behind The Wheels”. Directed by Stanlee Ohikhuere.
This has caused undue controversy as there’s a split in the ‘set ablaze’ story being real versus a PR stunt.
While we endeavor to verify the accuracy of this story, may we bear in mind a similar stunt has been pulled in times past. Though in a slightly different way.
We all remember these legendary Nollywood actors; Chika Ike’s broken leg, Mercy Johnson’s blinded eye, and Denrele Edun’s broken head, just to name a few.
The characters in the movies they were portraying turned up in the news as real life situations only to be revealed as PR stunts later.
It’d be good if Ani’s case was just a PR stunt. Going by the images and video recording, the burns look really extreme.
The popular Nollywood actor ought to have shot the particular scene three weeks ago but reports observed the fire refused to light so he had to reschedule the scene for Wednesday.
Maybe that was a warning.
Ani Iyoho had shared on social media prior to shooting the scene: “Wrapped up on #BlurredLines here in Accra, Ghana directed by Dickson Dzakpasu @dicksondzakpasu. I’m heading to Lagos, Nigeria tomorrow to finish the hottest scene on#behindthewheels Directed by Stanlee Ohikhuere @stanleeohikhuare.
“I call this wrap scene the #hottest because we will be playing with #fire. I’m about to go down in history as probably the first Nigerian to be set on fire in a#nollywood #movie #production. I’m#excited about it.
“I hope it goes well. I have a lot of faith in the #sfxmakeupartist Dorothea Kwofie @dorothea_kwofie. She assures me I’ll be alright and she’s the best SFX artist I know in Africa so I believe her. Looking forward to this.”
The Nollywood actor said, “today I’m going to be set on fire… so please don’t try this at home” in last video on Instagram.
Conflicting reports include, a NetNG source reporting, ‘The director, Stanlee Ohikhuare can be very eccentric. This shot should have been left out. We tried it first about three weeks ago and the fire did not light well’.
While Pulse said its source had commented, ‘I think it’s a stunt to promote the new movie because Nigerian actors and directors are not so daring to set fire on themselves’.
And TNS quoted, “‘an undisclosed source’ revealed the alleged ‘stunt gone wrong’ to be a well planned publicity stunt.”
According to the source, “Na lie, Ani is fine. Nothing happened to him. He has been attending several events after we completed shoot. I don’t know if the director is in on this stunt but we discussed something like that a few weeks ago.”
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Whose fact/story are we taking?