Money wives is an independent drama feature film based on true life stories of teenage girls in rural Cross river state, Nigeria, who are victims of a certain cultural practice known as money marriage; a monetary marital exchange of innocent girls to sustain cultural pride, girls as young as 3 months old and sometimes sold off in exchange for Livestock. It is a story about survival, friendship, hope and all the emotions that comes from winning a hard fought battle.
The film follows Undeana (13) and Dorothy (16), two money wives with big dreams of a bright future, whose bright future is threatened by the culture of money marriage in their communities, and how they found friendship in each other under the roof of their ‘owner’.
From the day Undeana was brought in as a money wife, Dorothy shows her kindness and warmth, discouraging her from the idea of suicide that Undeana contemplates.
Their friendship grows very admirably and they continue to offer each other succor as they deal with the troubles of sexual violence and rape inflicted upon them by their owner-a man known as Patrick.
Dorothy was denied education by her parents because of her gender while Undeana who has learnt to read and write from her brief spell in primary school helps Dorothy learn. Eventually they decide to liberate themselves from the torture that is the marriage and plan a way to escape. They know they cannot go back to their families that sold them off so they decide to escape hidden in the truck of some missionaries who came on an outreach visit to their community.
Under the weight of fear and an unclear plan, will the planned escape bring their desired liberation or will it land them into deeper trouble?
EMEKA CHUKWULETA- WRITER/DIRECTOR
Emeka Chukwuleta is a film editor and director who began his career in 2014 when he obtained a diploma in film directing at the training workshop of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF).His debut film Mirrored Image was selected to screen at AFRIFF in 2015 and was nominated in the festivals Best Student Short category. He followed up with another short film titled Mercy, which was inspired by the true life stories of cases of teenage pregnancy in girls in rural community in Cross River State, Nigeria, where he observed his service year for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
Mercy adapted the real life experiences of young girls in the community who had experienced sexual violence, which often led to teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions that endangered their life's and hindered growth in their communities.
The success of the project led to him being featured in leading news outlets in Nigeria that included Trybe TV, Accelerate TV, Bella Naija, Konbini and Mediaguide. He also made a guest appearance on Wazobia TV where he spoke about Mercy and the fight to stop teenage pregnancy.
He was featured in the Bella Naija article "Young people who are taking responsibility for the future"; won the 2016 creative film project, which was an initiative of the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University and HOMEVIDA; and was awarded as the distinguished corp member of the year 2017 by the Governor of Cross Rivers State.
DOROTHY NJEMANZE- ACTOR/PRODUCER
Dorothy Njemanze, co-founder and executive director of the Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, is a filmmaker, actress, public speaker, and investigative journalist based in Abuja who works to expose widespread abduction and sexual violence against women and girls in Nigeria. She has been arrested and detained and suffered violence and intimidation for her work as a human rights defender. She was one of four plaintiffs in a landmark case brought against Nigeria, in which the government was found guilty of gender-based violence. Through her foundation, she helps victims of violence access legal services, medical care, social services, education, and increased economic empowerment. The Foundation also creates audiovisual materials in regional dialects to promote human rights awareness at the grassroots.
IMOH EBOH- ACTOR/PRODUCER
Imoh Eboh is a multitude of dreams coming together in one person. She holds a BSc in International Relations and certificates in Acting. She has major interests in Sustainable Development in Africa and Improving the state of the world, beginning with her home country - Nigeria.Imoh is the Lagos Hub Curator for the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community. She has been a volunteer educator with public schools, orphanages and volunteers with other non-governmental organizations.
As an Actor, she has featured in a few Nigerian film/Theatre Industry productions; like Jenifa's Diary, Heartbeat The Musical and PENANCE (https://youth.be/A6EX80oCFog) to mention a few. These projects are focused on social impact, through Story Telling.
NANCY ALUOCH- ART DIRECTOR
Nancy is a Kenyan based film and Tv production designer/art director. She is the C. E. O of The Art Directors Garage a production design empire in Kenya, She founded the company to help improve on the standards of the creative art department of film.
Nancy has worked on successful projects for example Watu Wote (Oscar Nominated Live Action Short), 18 Hours (ZIFF nominee, AMVCA – Best African film 2018), Get Some Money (feature Film), Selina (Swahili Telenovela on Maisha Magic East), Intellectual Scum (ZIFF nominee), News Just In (Tv Series), Janjaruka (Tv series), AMOF movies for MNET, Sanaa Talks ( Kalasha nominee 2018), Wavamizi (Kalasha Nominee 2018 )among other productions.
Other than film, Nancy does community-based projects, volunteers in various projects and is involved with Dada Trust which runs the annual Udada International Women’s Film Festival and Dada Boot Camp as a mentor.
Nancy enjoys Reading books, painting, watching movies, listening to music, dancing and travelling.
UVIE ENAKARHIRE- 1ST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Uvie belongs to a family of film enthusiasts. Since being obsessed with films from a young age Uvie has been actively a part of film and Tv production in Nollywood. He has served in administrative functions that include production assistant, production manager and Assistant Director.
His experience on film set includes M-Net productions hit series Battleground, where he served as Assistant Director, Maxima Production's Condo, and Foreigners god by Ifan Ifeanyi Micheals.
SOMTOTOCHUKWU ONUBOGU- VFX SUPERVISOR/STORY BOARD ARTIST
Somtochukwu Onubogu a Lagos based Visual story teller and Graphic artist. He is the Creative director of Schucks Media Ltd, a creative studio based in Lagos, Nigeria. He began his journey into film by 2011 when he got hold of a Nikon semi-pro digital camera which just happened to have the video feature. He went on and made a couple of short videos gathering materials from Youtube and learning from indie filmmakers like Griffin Hammond of Indie Mogul and Ryan Connolly of Film Riot as well as the wealth of content on "nofilmschool.com". He has since then gone on to direct his own shortfilm, produce, edit and DP for several other productions.
FRANCISCA OTAIGBE- MAKE UP ARTIST
Currently based in Lagos, Otaigbe Francisca is a Beauty and Special Effects makeup artist. Francisca’s artistry has made her sought after in mediums including new media, films. She’s truly driven and multi-talented in her pursuit as a professionally trained and a highly experienced Makeup/ SpecialMakeup Effects Artist. Francisca’s work experience includes makeup assistant for “CROSSROADS & MTV’s SHUGA, Sfx artist for NIMBE, also she was the key makeup artist for UNDERBELLY & EYIMOFE, PICTURE PERFECT, A PERFECT CHRISTMAS, A HOME INVASION and movies like DON’T LEAVE ME”
I believe that the girl child remains under-served in most parts of the world including in my country Nigeria. My certainty about this grew after observing one year of compulsory youth service in a community in Cross River, Nigeria. My country operates a scheme known as the National Youth Service Corps where graduates from Nigerian higher institutions are posted to states outside their state of origin or residence to serve.
Graduates are expected, in following the heart of the scheme, to mix with people from different ethnic groups, social, cultural and family backgrounds as well as learn the culture of the indigene in the locations where they serve for one year. In keeping to the heart of this scheme I enjoyed the richness of the new culture I encountered in Cross River but also came in contact with some harmful cultural practices.
In the community where I served teenage pregnancy was common place, and my short film Mercy done during the course of my service year addressed that and the underlying factors that lead to it. Watch Mercy below-
Mercy was screened to over 2000 secondary school students and the feedback were very fulfilling with respects to the objectives for making the film.
However, Mercy only scratches the surface of the issues witnessed. The community observes a practice known as money marriage where girls are traded into marriage to settle debts or get more money for other family members. These girls are often too young for the marriages that endanger their lives and their futures. Human beings are deserving of dignity by virtue of just being. They should not be treated as a means to an end. These beliefs that I hold strongly have warranted my pursuance of an end to this practice by advocacy through film.
One of the major reasons this culture has lasted till this day is the lack of appreciation of Education in these communities especially as it affects the female. So during my one year program I organized free evening classes for teenagers of the community, with the hopes to inspire them and to enlighten them, so that we can change the narrative of the community.
The girl child is a vital part of any society, In the words of Mitchelle Obama- "No country can flourish if it stifles the potential of its women", I need your support in making this film, so as to educate those who practice this culture on how dangerous these practices are as well as to advocate for policies and citizen involvement that will protect the girls most susceptible to these practices while also giving entertainment value to those who watch this film.
Among these girls being traded into marriage, there could be a girl who holds the cure to cancer, or HIV or even hold the ability to heal hearts just with her words.
So by contributing towards this project you are not only saving the destiny of that one girl, but the world at large.
From costumes to equipment, to take our film from script to screen we are going to need some help. Here’s where your money will go…
Although our target of £15,000 will provide the bare essentials to make the film any additional funds will go towards post-production, festival submission and additional fees.
Wherever there is trouble or the first sign, the courage and honor of Soldiers and Fighters are unsurpassed
Ready and willing to complete the task. Hence they are deserving of double Honor.
This is our little way of saying a BIG THANK to you for joining this FIGHT, it has brought VICTORY, and RESCUED innocent girls from the hands of these despicable culture.
JOIN OUR SOCIALS.
Please follow us on Instagram @moneywivesthemovie and facebook @moneywivesfilm for updates and information regarding the project. Also catch exclusive behind the scene content.
Do well as well to tell a friend, relative, colleague and as many people that you can within your community.
Money isn’t the only way you can help us make Money wives. If you have a skill or resource that might be helpful during our shoot - we’d love to hear from you! Whether you’d be interested in being an extra, being a part of the social media team, a story board artist, or help us raise finance, we’d value your ideas.
THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING SPONSOR FOR DONATING TOWARDS THE PLEDGE REWARDS: