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Is This 3-Minute Nigerian Film Africa's Best Action Movie?

Nigerian filmmaker and Kung Fu fighter Tough Bone claims his three-minute movie is the best action flick ever created by an African.

Tough Bone in Shadow of Justice


Yesterday, I received an email from the creator of a three-minute, forty-one-second action-packed Nigerian movie. It’s the “best action film ever created by an African” the sender wrote.

It’s a ballsy move claiming to have made a continent’s greatest action movie, especially when the movie clocks in at under four minutes and is dialogue free. But wow, this thing is a beast.

The project’s writer, producer and star, Tough Bone (Odiboh Jeddy), as it turns out, is a filmmaker, martial artist, director, stuntman and actor living in Lagos. He’s also one of Nigeria’s top Kung Fu fighters. Or at least that’s what he tells us–and I don’t see any reason for us not to believe him. Nigerian producer Drey Beatz’s excellent score and South Africa-based director Ose Iria’s top-notch cinematography add to the film’s fight sequences.

Having grown up in Nigeria, Tough Bone tells us he’s seen all the action films that have been attempted by Nollywood filmmakers. “Some good ones with good directors, but the fight choreography and stunts aren’t very good.” This movie, he says, marks a break from Nollywood’s typical low-production action fare. “Shot on red and the cinematography is solid, fight sequences by real martial artists, real stunts and a nice story too. I haven't seen any other action film like this.”

And while this might not actually be Africa’s greatest action film, Shadow of Justice is still a really impressive feat.

Tough Bone hopes to adapt it into a full-length movie. He also has other story ideas to bring to light. Shadow of Justice is just the tip of the iceberg he says.

“One of my intents with this short film is to show people that it can be done in this part of the world.”

Update March 21, 2016: Tough Bone and the Shadow of Justice team are currently working on producing a full-length version of the film. Check out a brand new behind-the-scenes video of the short below.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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