I Lost Over N20M Making Dagrin's "Ghetto Dreams" Movie - Ope Banwo

Published 4 years ago by: Giwa bayo
at 10:08 AM, 22/04/2015 (4 years ago)

(11808 | Hero) (m)

Immediately after the death of Dagrin in April 2010, renowned lawyer, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and business Consultant, Dr. Ope Banwo swung into action to immortalise the legacy of the rapper, who died in his prime. Banwo recruited the best hands in the industry to produce a biopic movie, titled: ‘Ghetto Dreams’ in honour of the late Dagrin. The movie was released in 2011, a year after the death of Dagrin, but didn't quite do well commercially. In an exclusive interview, Dr. Banwo, the executive producer of the movie, reflects on the project and the plans he has going forward.

It’s the 5th anniversary of Dagrin’s death, how will you describe his legacy and the vacuum created in the industry, after his demise?
 I will choose not to see or talk about Dagrin in the sense of him leaving a vacuum. Actually, Dagrin did not really leave a vacuum. What he did was that he created a new genre and opened the floodgates for others in the new rap class he created. Instead of a vacuum, we actually have some great musicians like Olamide, who took the baton from him, moving the Yoruba rap to another level. Now, his kind of music dominates the top 10 of most Nigerian music charts. So, Dagrin did not leave a vacuum, rather, he opened the floodgates
. You led a team to produce a biopic of his life and times, how will you describe your experience on the project?
Producing the Dagrin movie, along with my able director, Daniel Ademinokan, was probably the most challenging and most fulfilling production exercise in my life, even more than ‘The Covenant Church’ that I considered my best work thus far (done with Charles Novia). Lots of strange stuff happened on that set and we even got arrested by the Police during the shooting of the accident scene at night. I was very proud to bring the kind of rare realism, missing in many Nigerian movies to that project, by purchasing the actual car he died in from Owode Onirin and then shot the accident as close as we can make it happen. I actually should give most of the credit for that award winning movie (we did win the Los Angeles Movie Award for Best Script in 2011) to the awesome job done by Daniel Ademinokan, whose role was that of a movie director, but who really did most of the producing work too while I just had fun. Of course, I can’t but mention the unbelievable performances of the whole crew, particularly Rachael Oniga as Mama Dagrin and Pa Kasumu as Papa Dagrin, Trybson, KSB, Jaywon and Afolayan. By the way, it was my first time of seeing the magic of Rachael Oniga, who was able to command crying, on call when we were filming the hospital scenes where Dagrin died. I have never seen acting like that before!
5 -years after, do you have any plans for his 5th anniversary?
I actually thought I was going to finally release the Ghetto Dreamz Movie on DVD and CD for the 5th anniversary, but then, I got caught up in elections and moved it further to, maybe next year, 2016. You know I still have not released the movie for CD or DVD consumption yet, even 4-years after. That’s because I still don’t feel right about releasing it, and people thought I was crazy not to, after spending about N20million on the movie production and marketing. Yeah, I know but I am still not sure when I will release it!
Are you still in touch with his family?
Unfortunately no. I was not really close to them before Dagrin died. I didn’t even know Dagrin well. I only met him once before he died but I chose to take the project on myself, to memorialize the memory of one of the greatest talents of Yoruba hard-core rap that passed fleetingly in our consciousness. People at the time thought it was just about the money for me but it was not. Don’t get me wrong, I like money as much as the next guy, but on this project, I sincerely didn’t think much about the money. I did not feel right about releasing the movie into the mass market because of the sadness I saw on people’s faces during the premiere of the movie (even KSB had to be carried out in tears) I was overwhelmed and simply suspended everything. I have not thought about going back to make my money on the project since, though I will do it at some point. The best way to honour Dagrin was not just releasing a movie (though it did cost me N20m to make and promote the movie without getting any money from it yet), but to help struggling youths in the ghettos realize their dreams. That is why I am thinking of launching Ghetto Dreamz Foundation, to help inner city kids realize their dreams in life, not just in business. Dagrin lived and died, chasing his dream of success. Helping other kids find that success is the ultimate tribute we can pay him. I intend to do something on that before the end of this year and then, maybe I will eventually release the movie.

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k4short2 at 10:23 AM, 22/04/2015 (4 years ago)
(1146 | Gistmaniac) (f)

like seriously
Reply
beneno at 11:48 AM, 22/04/2015 (4 years ago)
(26050 | Addicted Hero) (m)

 Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
Reply
Larry28 at 12:21 PM, 22/04/2015 (4 years ago)
(16510 | Hero) (f)

Okay
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PoliticxGuru at 01:01 PM, 22/04/2015 (4 years ago)
(14240 | Hero) (m)

good one
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echeeche at 02:15 PM, 22/04/2015 (4 years ago)
(9427 | Hero) (m)

ok
Reply
elchymo at 04:50 PM, 22/04/2015 (4 years ago)
(22542 | Addicted Hero) (m)

Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
Reply
elchymo at 04:53 PM, 22/04/2015 (4 years ago)
(22542 | Addicted Hero) (m)

Him wan use Dagrin death take hammer. But d plan no work.... Anoda story don comot. Make him act on xenophobia... Maybe him fit hammer wit dat one.. Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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