A former student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, has written a pre-litigation letter to film maker and director, Kunle Afolayan, accusing him of taking advantage of her experience at the varsity by making it into a Netflix movie titled, ‘Citation’ and failing to offer her credit.
The ex-student, Mrs. Utitofon Ekanem, who was Miss Utitofon Hanson at the time, told newsmen that she endured harassment from an professor at the politics Department, Dr. Sunday Akindele between 2004 and 2007.
She said Akindele was subsequently dismissed by the varsity authorities while she was celebrated because the first student within the history of the varsity to urge a teacher dismissed for harassment .
Ekanem, who is now an educator , told newsmen that after the discharge of a Nigerian movie titled, ‘October 1’, she reached bent the Afolayan, who was the director of the movie, and broached the thought of manufacturing a movie about sexual harassments in higher institutions and told him about her experience.
She claimed Afolayan told her that he would ask someone to contact her subsequent day. However, nobody ever did. The teacher said she was therefore surprised when in 2020, she came across a movie titled, ‘Citation’ which was supported her experience and directed by Afolayan who she had discussed the thought withfive years earlier.
Ekanem said, “I called Kunle Afolayan sometime in 2015 and that i told him I had a story on harassment supported my experience in OAU and that i said I wanted to form a movie out of truth story and he said someone would contact me and he gave me an assurance that somebody would call me. Our conversation was for about two minutes.
“This year, I started receiving calls from friends, telling me to observe a movie titled ‘Citation’ which was directed by Kunle Afolayan starring Temi Otedola. Temi Otedola, who was the victim of harassment within the movie, was actually me in real world .”
She explained that the movie had only a couple of differences from her actual experience.
The teacher said unlike within the movie, the lecturer who harassed her was neither a foreigner nor fluent in French.
Ekanem further stated that she was a student of politics and took elective courses in diplomacy while the scholar within the movie was a Masters student within the Department of diplomacy .
She said asides from these differences, every other aspect of the movie reflected her experience.
The teacher stated, “The panel that was found out was happening during school hours. The lecturer told the varsity that my allegations were false. the difficulty of scholars supporting and opposing me was an equivalent because the movie. within the movie, someone gave the actress a letter and asked her to make sure that she wasn’t getting used . That was my experience
“People were putting my posters everywhere the varsity over the difficulty . It also happened within the movie. within the movie, Joke Silva was giving support to the most actress through an NGO. I also had such an individual .
“In the movie, it had been established that the lecturer had sexually harassed women in his previous school. All that happened to me. The lecturer I had a drag with was a teacher at a polytechnic in Ikire before coming to OAU.
“I came touch with someone in Ikire who also confirmed that the lecturer harassed her. So, there are many similarities. At the top of the movie, when the most actress entered the category at the top , students were drumming on the table to praise her and were calling her name. That happened to me also .”
It was learnt that Ekanem had written a letter to Afolayan threatening to travel to court if he didn’t meet her demands. However, Afolayan had refused to reply to Ekanem’s letter.
When contacted on the phonephone , Afolayan told newsmen that Ekanem’s allegations were baseless, adding that he had never spoken to her before.
The popular director said the story was written by screenwriter, Tunde Babalola, and therefore the entire script was conceived barely two years ago hence his decision to ignore Ekanem’s letter. He said she was liberal to attend court.
Afolayan said, “My office told me about the letter and that i told them to ignore it. First of all, I even have never heard her name before. Secondly, I didn’t write the script. If you see all the reports from ‘Citation’ the discussion on the movie started two years ago when Ford Foundation got involved. it had been Tunde Babalola that wrote the script. I don’t know her. and she or he says she goes to court so let her plow ahead . i’m really not concerned.”
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