By: Poindexter Sama
One of Nigeria’s outstanding romantic movie celebrities, Desmond Elliot, has claimed parental lineage to Sierra Leone, tracing it as far back as to the time his great-grandparents migrated to Nigeria, Lagos State to be specific, and settled in a community called Orologbo.
He said he has traced his background by virtue of where his parents, especially his great grandparents resided in Lagos considering the fact that when one comes from Lagos in a particular location, it would be much more easier to trace that person’s origin and lineage; to determine whether he or she has a Brazilian background, Ghanaian background, a Sierra Leonean background etc.
Desmond maintained that in Orologbo, people who carry names such as Elliot, Kings and Macauleys etc. are referred to as the “Sarro People”- a category to which he belongs. This category of people, he said, is considered biologically connected to Sierra Leone back in Nigeria.
Having spent couple of months in Sierra Leone doing a movie entitled “Reflections” he said he chose Sierra Leone to do the movie for three reasons; one being from the fact that he has always been a lover of the word “one Africa”.
[notification type=”info”] He said about three months ago, he shot a film in Liberia where he included Sierra Leoneans, Nigerians, Ghanaians and other nationals, and that he is in Sierra Leone to do a movie that completely depicts the socio-cultural concept of Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans. [/notification]
In his ‘Reflection’ film moreover, he said he also endeavoured to include other nationals including Liberians, Ghanaians, Malawians etc, all in one production to enable him send the message the movie is all about.
Another reason for him choosing Sierra Leone was because the country is closest to his heart for the simple fact that he feels very at home here taking from his blood lineage.
He said his great-grandparents who happened to be Creoles moved to Lagos two or three centuries ago and eventually became Nigerians. Therefore he said, every time he visits Sierra Leone, he sees the need to show to the world the beauty of this country from socio-cultural point of view.
[notification type=”info”] Moreover, he revealed, pictorially, taking an aerial view of the country, and from a critical point of view of a film maker, he maintained that Sierra Leone should actually be like “Hollywood” for West Africa, because of its “awesome topography”. [/notification]
He said a film maker would shoot around mountains, hills, houses on hills, not to talk of the beaches and the areas surrounded by water. “It is quite a beautiful site to behold as a film maker”, he said.
While explaining more about his film ‘Reflection’, Desmond said that the idea of the film came about when he was on a course in Georgia, United States of America, and a Jamaican-American called and told him about the project and the actors she wanted to be in the movie.
He said the lady, though not an African has enormous passion for Africa and Africans, and loves watching African films, for which she had designed the project on the movie ‘Reflection’.
However, Desmond said when he then read through the project, he said “I saw it having more meaning in a country like Sierra Leone”.
He went on to say that the film deals with a typical Sierra Leonean family, where the lady loses her husband just after getting married. Without going into the nitty-gritty of the film, he said that the film shows the efficiency of the police, and it further shows in a little way the Creole tradition.
“And that is why a quarter of the film was shot in Bathurst village in a bid to explore Krio as a language. It is a 95% Creole film and so everything is spoken in Krio”, Desmond maintained.
[notification type=”info”] He said he used about 80% Sierra Leonean actors and actresses because, he said, “he sees many talents in Sierra Leoneans, especially when the film is about exposing Sierra Leonean culture and tradition” [/notification]
Desmond said he has been coming to Sierra Leone for several years. And this year alone, he has come for about four times looking for locations, funding from corporate bodies which he has secured from Bank PHB, Arik Airlines and many more back in Nigeria.
He said he has been shooting the movie for the past weeks and he has couple of weeks more to go, and it will be out probably later this year.