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Sanwo-Olu’s Lagos Govt Is Unimpressed With The Film ‘Gangs of Lagos’
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Sanwo-Olu’s Lagos Govt Is Unimpressed With The Film ‘Gangs of Lagos’ 

The portrayal of the Eyo masquerade as a villain with a gun doesn’t sit well with the administration.

By Omotayo Olutekunbi

The Lagos State Government has issued a stern rebuke to ‘Gangs of Lagos,’ a new Nollywood film that will be available on Amazon Video on April 7, 2023.

The film by Jade Osiberu recounts the lives of three friends who grow up in Lagos’s crime-ridden Isale Eko and are dragged into gang life.

Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the state’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, issued a statement on Wednesday, April 12, condemning the video for distorting the state’s culture.

She also chastised the creators for depicting the respected Eyo masquerade as a gun-wielding antagonist.

“We are of the opinion that the production of the film ‘Gangs of Lagos’ is very unprofessional and misleading while its content is derogatory of our culture, with the intention to desecrate the revered heritage of the people of Lagos.

“It is an unjust profiling of a people and culture as being barbaric and nefarious. It depicts a gang of murderers rampaging across the state.”

A few hours before, the Isale Eko Descendants’ Union (IDU) had made a similar statement about their displeasure with how the Eyo masquerade was being portrayed. It is said that the masquerade, which appears during festivals and other significant occasions, represents the ancestors’ spirits.

The IDU filed a complaint with the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), requesting the revocation of the film’s approval. The cultural organization also asked that the movie be taken off of all viewing platforms.

“The IDU and other community stakeholders will also be considering legal action for the damage done to the culture, tradition, and image of the Isale Eko community and the Eyo masquerade,” the group said.

Osiberu’s three-year overall arrangement with the streaming service includes Gangs of Lagos, the first African Original for Amazon Video.

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