“When there is a cultural vacuum, moral and mental decays follow. That is why Saworoide 2 (new movie) is coming soon,” Tunde Kelani declared on his official Twitter handle last Thursday.
Nollywood fans have been thrown into wild excitement after Tunde Kelani’s announcement that he is working on Part Two of the iconic movie, Saworoide.
Saworoide, a 1999 Nigerian political drama film, produced and directed by Tunde Kelani, depicts the setting of an old Yoruba norm in the town of Jogbo where a person cannot be crowned king without a ritual which involves the playing of saworoide (brass bell talking drum). The star Actors and Actresses of Saworoide are Kola Oyewo, Bukky Wright, Lere Paimo, Larinde Akinleye, Peter Fatomilola, Kunle Bamtefa, Adebayo Faleti, Kayode Olaiya and Doyin Hassan, to mention few. The movie was listed as one of the 10 best selling Yoruba movies.
Tunde Kelani, popularly known as TK, is a Lagos born Nigerian filmmaker who has spanned more than four decades in producing movies that promote Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and have a root in documentation, archiving, education, entertainment and promotion of the culture.
At the age of five, TK was sent to live with his grandparents at Abeokuta in Ogun State. He attended the Oke-Ona Primary School in Ikija, Abeokuta, and had his secondary school education at Abeokuta Grammar School. During this time, his grandfather was a chief (the Balogun of Ijaiye Kukudi) and he was privileged to have witnessed at close quarters most aspects of Yoruba ways of life, the Yoruba religion, Yoruba literature, Yoruba philosophy, Yoruba environments and the Yoruba world view in arts. He was introduced to Yoruba literature from an early stage in his life and was also greatly influenced by theatre, as the Yorubas had a very strong travelling theatre tradition at that time. When he was in secondary school, he had the privilege to see most of the great Yoruba theatre classics, including The Palm-Wine Drinkard, Oba Koso, Kurunmi, Ogunde plays and more.
He became interested in photography from primary school days, and throughout his secondary education, he was actively investing money and taking to time to learn photography. So, inevitably, he became an apprentice photographer after he finished secondary school. Later, he trained at the then Western Nigeria Television (WNTV), later NTA, and went on to attend the London Film School.
The rich Yoruba culture and tradition he experienced in his early years, coupled with the experience he garnered at the London Film School where he studied the art of filmmaking, prepared him for what he is doing today.He is known for his love of adaptation of literary material into movies as most of his works have followed that style of filmmaking, including Ko se Gbe, O le ku, Thunder Bolt, The Narrow Path, White Handkerchief, Maami and Dazzling Mirage.
In 1991, Tunde Kelani started his own production company, Mainframe Films and Television Productions – Opomulero, so he could produce films and not just lend technical support. Having emerged from the world of theatre and literature, adaptations of books and plays for cinema are the core of Kelani’s filmmaking practice. Through them, he celebrates writers and their work because of what he sees as a public that reads less and less.