All You Need To Know About Funmilayo Ransome Kuti’s Movie Before Watching It

In recent times, conversations on women’s rights and identity have intensified, with certain personalities taking it as an avenue to educate the populace on the women who have contributed and have been impactful in this movement. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti is one of the few.

Bolanle Austen-Peters, through her biopic, would be highlighting the icon’s tireless activism while telling the narrative in contrast with how she was able to balance her responsibilities as a mother and wife while changing the course of history.

Kehinde Bankole Plays Funmilayo Ransome Kuti

After her iconic roles in Kunle Afolayan’s October 1 and Biodun Stephen’s Sista, Kehinde Bankole also took up the role of Funmilayo Ransome Kuti in the biopic currently showing in the cinema. The Award-winning actress had revealed that playing this role ‘would educate the younger generation about heroines like Funmilayo Ransome Kuti and fulfilling their life dreams and purposes.’

Funmilayo Is Also Known As The Lioness of Lisabi

In 1943, when Abeokuta women shed tears over the income tax levelled against them, the women, with support from their husbands, pressured Oba Ademola II to suspend the taxation of women, which eventually led to his exile.

The media had tagged Ransome-Kuti the ‘Lioness of Lisabi,’ (Lisabi is the traditional hero of the Egba people).

‘We gave a hell of a time to the chiefs, the government, to all those who were responsible for the systematic pauperisation of the mass of the people,’ She had told Drum in 1959.

The Kuti’s Play An Active Role

From Yeni Kuti to Dotun Ransome-Kuti, Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, Kunle Ransome-Kuti, Femi, and Made Kuti, they all featured in the biopic in varied capacities.

The Oscars

The release of the Bolanle Austen-Peters produced film would be limited due to the Oscars’ Academy requirements on how films in consideration can only show in their original country for seven days.

The biopic screening, only happened at Silverbird Cinemas, Victoria Island, Lagos, and ended on Thursday, September 14, 2023.

The highly biographical film celebrating the life of the renowned women’s rights activist, the late Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (FRK).

Directed by the seasoned Austen-Peters, (known for Queen Moremi, Man of God, and Collision Course) this biopic is promised to be one of the most iconic in Nollywood and is expected to ride on the success of her previous projects, including Fela’s Republic and the Kalakuta Queens.

Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti narrates the life story of phenomenal women’s rights activists and mother of Afrobeats legend, Fela Kuti, from her pioneering days as the first female student at Abeokuta Grammar School to her marriage to Israel Ransome-Kuti. The biopic follows her story as she confronts oppression from both colonial and traditional rulers, leading up to the establishment of the Abeokuta Women’s Union.

The film portrays Funmilayo’s relentless activism as well as her role as a wife and mother, as she fights to change the course of history. According to Austen Peters, this biopic shows us all that we can be exceptional while adding voice to ongoing dialogues surrounding women, identity, and the quest for equality.

It features exceptional performances from Kehinde Bankole as the lead actress who plays Funmilayo, and the icon actress, Joke Silva as an older Funmilayo. The cast ensemble also includes veteran Jide Kosoko, Ibrahim Suleiman, Dele Odule, Adebayo Salami, Keppy Ekpeyoung, Adunni Ade, Omowunmi Dada, and Patrick Diabuah among others.

The special highlight of this biopic is the inclusion of Chief Funmi’s grandchildren, with Dotun Ransome-Kuti taking on the role of his father, Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, and Kunle Ransome-Kuti portraying his own father, Fela Kuti. Yeni Kuti also makes an appearance as her aunt, Dolupo Ransome-Kuti, as well as Femi Kuti and his son, Made Kuti.

In the meantime, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti has joined in the race for an Oscars as it has been submitted to the Nigerian Official Selection Committee for the Oscars Academy for consideration. Despite its short theatrical run, the film meets the Oscars Award’s guidelines which require submitted films to screen commercially for at least seven days.

Speaking on the cinematic quality and potentials of the film, Austen-Peters, said “Submitting Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti for Nigeria’s Oscars consideration is a humbling and exhilarating experience. Our team poured heart and soul into this project, and this submission is a testament to their unwavering dedication.”

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