The Campus Queen Premieres

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The Campus Queen Premieres

Though the Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation, Chukwuemeka Chikelu had to take a trip to New York, America to be among the few privileged Nigerians, to first see Tunde Kelani's new flick, The Campus Queen when it premiered at the African Film Festival in New York; in Lagos last week, a sizable number of the citizenry saw the movie at a special press preview/premiere. At the event the producers of the film, Mainframe Film and Television Productions, also announced a new marketers of its products and the availability of one of its most sought after classic movies, Ti Oluwa Ni Ile 1, 2, & 3 in VCD formats. Tunde Okoli reports


It has remained Nigeria's most-talked-about film since THISDAY broke the news, early last year, that ace cinematographer, Tunde Kelani is preparing to shoot the film, The Campus Queen. In fact, the industry has swiftly reacted. Soon as the news broke out, some producers hurried to the studios only to rush out weeks later with films dealing with campus stories (mainly love) under different, but similar titles.

However, exactly a year later, the real The Campus Queen premiered to a mixed audience at an international film festival far off the shores of Nigeria with a few privileged Nigerians, including the Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation, Chukwuemeka Chikelu in attendance. It was at this year's edition of fast growing African Film Festival in New York, America. Kelani had gone as the point of focus of the edition of the festival in the festival's special programme titled: "A Mid-Career Retrospective of Nigerian Filmmaker, Tunde Kelani." As part of his exhibitions, The Campus Queen premiered at the event.

It was the first time the ace cinematographer will be premiering any of his films outside Nigeria. He regrets this in an earlier encounter with THISDAY.

Nevertheless, barely two months after it debuts in New York, The Campus Queen, which returned from another international film festival in Yaounde, Cameroun early last week premiered to an unprecedented large crowd including film/television producers, actors, actresses, film enthusiasts, industry regulators, students etc. inside Steve Rhodes Hall of the ITPAN (Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria) Training School on 35, Mabinuori Street, Gbagada Phase 1, Gbagada, Lagos last Saturday. Among dignitaries at the occasion are: music impresario, Elder Steve Rhodes, Chief Wale Adenuga of Wale Adenuga Productions, Mrs. Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Chief (Mrs.) Biola Atanda (Madam Kofo), Kunle Afolayan (Aresejabata), Tope Idowu (who played the Governor in The Campus Queen), Khabirat Khafidipe (Araparegangan in Kelani's political satires, Saworoide and Agogo Eewo and Nike in The Campus Queen).

Kelani and the Mainframe crew seized the opportunity to announce a change in their marketing strategy. Alaba International Market, Lagos-based film and video marketing outfit, Rolex Nigeria Limited are the new marketers of Mainframe Film and Television Productions films. They replace Mut-Mukson Nigeria Limited.

To start with, Rolex Nigeria Limited are currently marketing the new flick, The Campus Queen and Mainframe's hit trilogy, Ti Oluwa Ni Ile 1, 2, & 3, which according to Kelani, are now available in VCD format.

The Campus Queen is a musical. It is a youthful university campus story saturated with lots of music and entertaining actions and activism with a view to highlighting the social and political thrusts of leaders of tomorrow.

With story and screenplay written by Prof. Akinwumi Isola, a scholar par excellence, entertaining, hilarious and serious The Campus Queen is set in the university community focusing on the activities of youths on campus and the way they relate to the larger community as part of the development process.

The film opened with a musical concert incorporating various music genres popular among contemporary youth - hip-hop, rap, etc. However, it is accompanied with colorful choreographed dances which gradually set the pace for the ensuing socio-political drama which The Campus Queen turns out to be at the end.

The film mirrors life in the university campus with its unconventional but dynamic culture of 'dogs eats dogs' and unusual privileges where several interest groups or clubs are commonplace.

In The Campus Queen two rival groups (the Heavy Weights Club - WHC - and Silver Lines Movement - SLM) clash. While SLM vows to oppose all antisocial, antidemocratic tendencies including economic exploitation on campus, WHC are peopled with vicious members with sinister motives.

Tokunbo, WHC's President (Lanre Fasasi a.k.a. Sound Sultan who also prepared The Campus Queen soundtrack) and Banke (Serah Mbaka), a very beautiful girl from a very strict moral background but with strange attraction to dangerous adventures have an affair. Vicious Tokunbo tries to trade Banke's beauty for money from some Lagos business czars. Banke escapes and promptly terminates the relationship.

Like a wounded lion, Tokunbo plans deadly reprisal against Banke. However, the benevolent SLC, led by Ladele (Segun Adefila) intervened and Banke became active member of the SLM moving conflicts near a crescendo.

The ensuing battle between the rival groups reveals the frenzied struggles for supremacy in all aspects of campus life. It also exposes the special interests of godfathers from inside and outside campus.

The movie's climax runs around Banke's daring and tragic adventure with the Military Governor (Tope Idowu) who is completely dazed by Banke's beauty and lusts after her.

The most interesting thing about The Campus Queen is that it fully involving the Department of Creative Arts in the production process. According to Kelani, the decision to involve students in the production "is to give the students of the Department, most of whom will be coming into the industry upon graduation, practical knowledge in filmmaking."

The film will soon hit the market in VHS and VCD formats alongside Ti Oluwa Ni Ile 1, 2, & 3 which is also coming in VCD format. According to the foremost film/television production company, the new version of the classic Ti Oluwa Ni Ile comes in "enhanced VCD formats with superb quality sound and picture".

Starring Alhaji Kareem Adepoju (Baba Wande) as Otun, three-part Ti Oluwa Ni Ile marked Mainframe's major break into the fledging video industry when it hits the movie scene in the mid 1990s.

Recounting major scenarios in the movie's plot in a review, Wole Ogundele, a former lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife wrote: "In the video, a rich man comes from Lagos to Apatira, a semi-rural community, seeking to buy land to build a gas station. He meets two citizens of the town who, by reflex, promptly see their opportunity to dupe him and get rich. So they sell him a parcel of land consecrated to the local orisha for an exorbitant fee. They also bring in the Otun (played by Baba Wande), an important local chief. When the rest of the community kicks against this sacrilege, the two men go to court. As principal witness in court, Baba Wande blatantly tampers with collective oral memory by inventing an ancestor for one of the crooks: it was this ancestor who, he swears on oath, actually owned the plot of land and not any deity. This of course is bogus history, but it wins them their case. Soon after, one of the two citizens suddenly dies and while everybody is still mourning, armed robbers dispossess the lawyer who argued their case of his own share of the loot. When the second man dies, Baba Wande becomes frightened, goes to consult Ifa, and is told that the orisha whose land was sold is angry and will kill all the three who sold it in a chain-reaction sort of way: the burial of the first man caused the death of the second, just as the burial of the second will certainly cause the death of the third. Frightened to his gills, Baba Wande confesses and pleads with the priest to appease the deity by all means. But there is no remedy; all the babalawo can do is delay the inevitable. After trying in vain to prevent the burial of the second man and having his misdeeds exposed, Baba Wande flees town.

"In his wanderings and adventures he meets a rich lady widowed not long before. She takes him in, in the hope of marrying him. But as he is settling down into this good fortune, he starts dreaming of being pursued by two ghosts, with each successive dream bringing the ghosts nearer. He also antagonises all other members of the rich lady's household by his haughty and insensitive behaviour, so they all conspire and lure him into a trap set by the housemaids. He falls into it and is accused of attempting to rape one of them. The rich lady comes in and is so angry that she immediately throws him out of her house. He goes into the bush intending to hang himself, but as he is preparing the noose two hefty men suddenly appear, pushing an albino in front of them: they want to kill the albino and turn his corpse into a money-making machine. Baba Wande rescues the poor man who, in gratitude, takes him to another babalawo. This one actually seems to find the solution to his problem, for he now dreams of overcoming those ghosts and leaving them far behind.

"Now fully assured that he will not die, Baba Wande returns to Apatira, boasting that his still being alive after so many years is proof of his innocence. He also wants back his chieftaincy title. But when this would not be restored to him by the oba and the chiefs, he goes to the prince who had contested the throne with the present oba and persuades him to go to court.

"Once again, Baba Wande gives false witness, but more than this, he and the prince attempt to bribe the judge. They also turn the contest into a modern political tussle, Nigerian style: groups of thugs and mobs going around chanting war songs, and generally disrupting communal peace.

"While the case is pending, the rich woman comes to seek him out, is forgiven, and builds the most magnificent house in town for Baba Wande. Now that he too is very rich and is a potential kingmaker, he strides around challenging the oba and the entire community on all fronts. On the judgment day in court, the judge expresses his anger that some people had tried to bribe him and so, for that reason, he rules against the prince.

"Baba Wande dies. Peace and prosperity, the rich man from Lagos finally builds his gas station, return to the community. In the last scene, the happy oba is shown in council, telling his equally happy chiefs that, more than ever before, the wisdom of the elders is now needed to see the community through these turbulent times."

The three-part Ti Oluwa Ni Ile is the longest of Mainframe's home video flicks, about six hours long. Its plot is richly textured, semiotically-laden, meaning-crowded and self-reflexive narrative. Though made more than a decade ago, Ti Oluwa Ni Ile incorporates numerous incidental but penetrating commentaries on contemporary Yoruba/Nigerian/African society. According to Wole Ogundele, the movie is a serious attempt aimed at interrogating several contemporary social issues, without loosing sight of the entertaining value of film.

He also averred that Ti Oluwa Ni Ile, is a metaphysical probe into urban beliefs and practices (as exemplified in most other videos), and comes down on the side of a more rational look into the modern before leaping in. A very ambitious production. It is unique, very untypical of the usual deluge. Great care, time (over two years) and money went into the production of the three-parts film.

Tunde Kelani, has for many years worked as a television producer and has established for himself a reputation as the most imaginative and best producer in the market. But more importantly, the co-producer, co-director, writer, and main actor in Ti Oluwa Ni Ile, Alhaji Kareem Adepoju, is a man whose experience on stage and television spans decades. Popularly known as Baba Wande, Adepoju is famous for his acting style and role: a naturalistic, very relaxed style in which he maintains a deadpan face while laconic humour tumbles from his mouth. He plays the role of the rascal who bends or breaks all rules and conventions of propriety, all the while maintaining an innocent face. In Ti Oluwa Ni Ile, he brings both the style and the role almost to perfection.

The producers and marketers of the movie also announced that prizes, including VCD machines are up for grabs as part of promotions for

Already, The Campus Queen and the newly improved Ti Louwa Ni Ile. Buyers are of the VCD formats of the flick are advised to return the cupon inside to Mainframe Productions or Rolex Nigeria Limited to participate in the raffle draw in the promotions.


Well-Known Member
Waiting for the release to the public.I want to have all the three VCDs of Ti Oluwa Ni Ile and Campus Queen in my collection.
yes!i attended the session in yaounde,the film was excelent,but jealous lovers was selected too,eventhough geny was not around but sera mbake was in Abbia.
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