The Crown Prince of Benin Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Eheneden Eradiauwa recently paid a royal visit to the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi, all in the bid to reconnect with the storyline of the much talked about Lancelot Imasuen’s new film, “Invasion 1897.”
The visit, which was facilitated by the Benin Royal Dynasty Trust was part of the move to strengthen the aged-long ties between the Efik Kingdom and that of Benin. The film focuses on the invasion of the Benin Kingdom by the British Empire in 1897, and how they carted away ancient artifacts belonging to the kingdom under the reign of Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi who was deposed and later, died while on exile in Calabar.
Accompanied by some senior palace chiefs and Enogies, including the producer of the film, Imasuen, Prince Eheneden Eradiauwa arrived Calabar amid festivity. He was in Calabar to meet with the Calabar monarch as well as to behold the last known abode of Oba Ovanrawmen who died while on exile in Calabar.
“I was on the entourage of the Benin Crown Prince who was paying his first royal visit to Obong of Calabar as part of the job of the Benin Royal Dynasty Trust to sustain the cultural heritage of the Benin Kingdom. He was there to see the last known abode of Oba Ovanrawmen who was exiled to Calabar in 1897. It was a great privilege for me as a film maker to be on the entourage of that royal visit to Calabar.The Obong of Calabar received us warmly, and I was privileged to officially present the idea behind the film to him as permitted by the Benin Crown Prince,”Imasuen, who is popularly called D’Guvnor narrated.
Speaking further, the respected Nollywood director disclosed that, while the film is due to premiere in Benin in June, the good news is that the Calabar monarch has also promised a great reception for the film in his Kingdom.
The film, according to him, would serve as a uniting force culturally and otherwise for the people of Benin and Calabar. “Of course, Calabar is designated as one of the venues, where we are going to do a private screening of the movie, before its nationwide release on Ocotober 1. The world premiere of the movie has tentatively been fixed on the first weekend of June in Benin.”
While many corporate and government agencies are busy endorsing the film, the Benin Crown Prince through his pet project, Benin Royal Dynasty Trust has resolved to adopt the film as a means to re-open agitation against the injustice meted to the Benin people during the dark era of British expedition in Africa.