Kate Henshaw, Bimbo Manuel, Headline ‘4th Republic’ 

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Timely as it is in a season of elections, with a theme that mirrors and drives positively a particular narrative, the movie, “4th Republic”, starring Kate Henshaw and Bimbo Manuel sets an agenda for the political class.  Ferdinand Ekechukwu reports 

Great movies aside from the story lines are made possibly by the quality of the cast and crew, especially the director and producer, who are often considered great by virtue of their outstanding performances and creative ingenuity in a particular set. The team, including the director and producer, to some extent, define the work even before hand, as viewers appetite are induced into expectation.

For this particular movie in focus,  the cast, director and producer,  and the story line, dramatically make the movie somewhat great, as it sets an agenda for the political class. Hence, it’s timely in a season of elections with a theme that mirrors and drives positively a particular narrative of an aspect of the larger society which the populace is not strange to.

Metaphoric in some ways, the  movie ‘4th Republic’, which mirrors government and democracy, shows the political glass ceiling how difficult it is for women to hold high offices in government in this clime. Suffice to say that a huge percentage of Nigerian population is female, yet, only about six per cent of federal legislative positions are occupied by women.

The ‘4th Republic’ plots around an electoral period and government administration. It follows the story of a violent and heavily marred governorship election. An aspirant, Mabel King, (Kate Henshaw) and her idealistic campaign and political strategist, Ike, try to discover what went wrong and seek justice through an election petition tribunal. 

Their quest soon becomes a race to find and convince two young witnesses with evidence of violence at the election to testify in court before the opposing candidate finds them first. Funded by grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the thriller, shot on location in Abuja, Lokoja and Lagos is expected to be released in cinemas across Nigeria by April 2019, with distribution from FilmOne.

The 4th Republic, a co-production between Griot Studios Ltd. and Amateur Heads Productions with Bem Pever, Ishaya Bako, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju and Ummi A. Yakubu serving as executiveproducers, reflects current collaborative pattern of multiple production outfits and practitioners pulling resources together. This underpins the dynamics and the happenings in the industry that have resulted in the changes being witnessed in terms of quality output.

The ripple effect bears strongly on the creative sector. For the past couple of months, Nigeria’s brightest creative minds have been doling out politically-charged content – from Innocent Idibia’s (2baba/2face) “Power of 1” to Falz’s “Moral Instruction” to the star-studded vote “Not for Sale” anthem – using their influences to encourage the masses to participate in the upcoming elections.

Now, aside starring Kate Henshaw as the lead, alongside other Nollywood stars such as Bimbo Manuel, Yakubu Mohammed, Sani Mu’azu, Linda Ejiofor and Enyina Nwigwe, most times, the choice of the lead cast in some cases is placed prominent, owing to the director’s mind’s eye. And the choice of Henshaw in the movie could be said to fall in place.

And this is the reason she takes the spotlight. It makes good the movie in the sense that she has in recent movies taken a deserved position, occasionally appearing in “new Nollywood” films. 

From when Henshaw made her debut in 1993 in the movie, “When The Sun Sets”, earning a now paltry sum of N35,000, the famous Nollywood actress, model, television personality, entrepreneur and influencer, has always blown the hearts of many with her creativity, talent and perfect skills in interpreting roles.

She didn’t think about becoming an actress until 1993 when she participated in her every first audition and got her first role. This, to her surprise, gave her a leading role. This was the first time she appeared in a big movie in Nollywood. Even though, this role was regarded as not a huge success for her, this was a real beginning of her career. Eventually, she grew into a big star she is now. Kate’s roles, her talent and charm have gained lots of love from the audience. 

She has plenty of fans and a very high reputation. Due to this reputation and popularity, she has become a real life TV show judge. She has appeared a lot as a judge on the extremely popular show Nigeria’s Got Talent. It’s interesting how this experience increases her popularity, and the popularity, in its turn, is increasing her reputation as an actress.

4th Republic was written by Zainab Omaki and Emil Garuba and directed by Ishaya Bako. Bako and Garuba co-wrote the Netflix original first Nollywood film acquired, Lionheart, alongside C. J. Obasi and company, while he also directed The Royal Hibiscus Hotel movie, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2017. Bako won Best Film at the African Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) in 2016, with his feature film “Road to Yesterday”.