On Monday, July 5, Nollywood actor, Yomi Fabiyi announced the release of his latest project, Oko Iyabo.
The movie was intensely criticized and it was met with jeers and boos from the public due to its controversial theme.
Nigerians kicked against the movie immediately; saying it is insensitive and that no one needs to watch a deplorable script. Everyone expected a veteran thespian and film producer such as Fabiyi to know better.
Yomi Fabiyi has remained one of the few Nollywood actors who has continued to show solidarity with the embattled thespian, Baba Ijesha, real name Olanrewaju Omiyinka.
Recall in April 2021, comic actor, Baba Ijesha was arrested after he was accused of molesting a 14-year-old minor. The narrative intensified after actress and Baba Ijesha’s former friend, Princess came out to disclose that it was her ward that the alleged pedophile assaulted.
Celebrities such as Iyabo Ojo, Nkechi Blessing and Fabiyi suddenly became interested in the pandemonium. As a matter of fact, Iyabo Ojo and Fabiyi locked horns on social media after Princess disclosed that Baba Ijesha was indeed involved in the illicit act; Ojo wanted the actor to rot in jail while Yomi Fabiyi continued to defend his friend.
In May 2021, a CCTV footage showing Baba Ijesha fondling the teenage girl surfaced on social media sparking further uproar. It is interesting to note that this is the exact scene where Yomi Fabiyi recreated in the excerpt from the movie, Oko Iyabo.
Although several activists have questioned Princess’ decision to set Baba Ijesha up so he could be captured by the CCTV camera, many are of the view that Fabiyi should not on any ground be exploiting the ongoing conundrum.
It is simply a sinister thing to do.
The actor has since taken down the post from his Instagram page after he was called out for advocating for sexual predatory behaviour and also for trivializing the ongoing court case against Baba Ijesha.
Here is a snippet from the movie.
Why Yomi Fabiyi’s movie is insensitive
A couple of days ago, the actor revealed that he has taken down the movie from his YouTube page after he was cautioned by the Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Practitioners’ Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN).
The actor later mentioned that the movie was not banned, instead it would only be shared privately to those interested. The thespian has refused to give up his stance and has maintained that Oko Iyabo is simply for entertaining and enlightening the public.
Yomi Fabiyi should put his feud and prejudice with Iyabo Ojo and Princess aside. The actor should grasp the concept of emotional and social intelligence.
There is a place and time to chase clout, however, this is not the ideal time. His movie, ‘Oko Iyabo’ does nobody any good but himself, his pocket and it only validates his agitation for fleeting relevance and essence in the entertainment industry.
Also, in the Óko Iyabo movie, the scriptwriter depicted the 14-year-old victim as the lover of the protagonist (believed to be Baba Ijesha), a man in his 40s. This is mediocre and penurious from Yomi Fabiyi once again.
Fabiyi subtly nodded his head in agreement to pedophiliac deeds through his production. This simply establishes the fact that young women in our society are in danger due to men such as Fabiyi and Ijesha who see nothing wrong in molesting a minor.
A 14-year-old, whether male and female should be honing their skills and establishing a nation building mindset, from their tender age they should be growing into their own person; not fighting emotional battles due to scars inflicted by so-called entertainers.
Oko Iyabo should be sanctioned and tossed aside due to the mental and emotional effect it would have on sexual assault victims, those who are vulnerable and the young people in our society.
Some questions should be asked, why exactly did Fabiyi flip the narrative in the movie? What does he stand to gain with the polarizing narrative? and lastly, why should Nigerians see this as entertainment when it involves a 44-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl?
Where is the amusement in it?
The entertainment industry can do better, Yomi Fabiyi has both the talent and ability to do better; Oko Iyabo is an insentive and incomprehensible movie.