Whose Meal Ticket? is a new movie that deals with health-related issues that is scheduled for release in cinemas from next week, April 24. The feature length movie centres on creating change in African movie industry with promotional messages that go beyond mere entertainment. Health issues such as diabetes, skin-integrity and conception are treated with sensitivity.
Produced by Roxanne Care Options Project, it is a follow-up on the success of Deeply Cut, another advocacy movie project that dramatises the impact of hepatitis B in Nigeria and sub-Sahara Africa. Although the flick deals with strong messages, it is done with a comic touch and in an entertaining manner.
Whose Meal Ticket? stars such Nollywood favourites like Ngozi Nwosu, Uti Nwachukwu, Shaffy Bello Akinrimisi, Tana Adelana, Akin Lewis, and Femi Durojaiye among others.
These actors put up a great performance that unveils a can of warms on hideous secrets, betrayals, deceits, desperation, intrigues, control, coercion as well as connivances in the most comical way imaginable designed to thrill viewers. Whose Meal Ticket? is an expose on certain health and wellness issues that plague man, which he experiences his life’s journey.
At the premiere over the weekend at Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, The Palms, Lekki, Lagos, the Executive Producer, Kehinde Omoru, who is a practicing disabilities nurse at College of Further Education in the United Kingdom and also founder and coordinator of Raxanne Care Options Foundation, spoke on why she put her finances behind the movie.
According to her, “I am a teacher and a nurse and deep down in my heart I just want to tackle different types of health conditions in Nigeria though I practice in the U.K. and I see a lot of equipment and professionalism in that sector that we don’t have here. I just want to do as much as I can to bring health promotion to Nigeria.
“Diabetes, for instance, is a very serious condition and I didn’t want to present it in a scary way that would rather put people off, but for people who are sufferring from it to see how the characters in the movie handle it with indifference and ability to contain it, and not for it to contain them.”
On the skin issues, Omoru said, “Nigeria has plenty of charcoal and there are ways we can harness it to ensure that our skin is glowing. I use active charcoal on my face and I look around in the shops here and see none. Meanwhile, it is all over the U.K. and Spain. Why are we not incorporating it as an integral part of skincare? So, these are the things I want to ensure that I tackle in Nigeria and Africa.”
However, to make these issues come through for viewers, a touch of comedy has to be deployed. According to Omoru, “Nigeria is full of stress. You cannot bring such health issues and show it to people like that. It has to come in a stylistic manner; there is no how you will watch the movie and not see Shaffy Bello talk about diabetes. You will also see her exercising; that will make people living with diabetes or other health condition to want to do same by getting their jugging kit and exercising. She also pricked her finger to check her blood sugar level. There is also no how somebody will not say, ‘I will be courageous like Shaffy Bello and do mine.’”
She advised people to check their blood sugar level to know their status at all times so that if it doesn’t read right they can check their diet and take their medication to keep it down to normal.
Movie director, Grace Edwin-Okon said they encountered a couple of problems while on location, noting, “Our major problem was audio in the sense that Nigeria is quite noisy. Even if you don’t turn on your generator, your next door neighbour would and there was no how we could stop such people.”
On the entertaining aspect of the movie Edwin-Okon said, everybody in life is hustling for something but some people do theirs at the detriment of others, adding that the whole idea was to put out some health messages by infusing some comic element and a bit of drama. “Nigerians like to relieve stress, but they don’t really like to be lectured. It is something to trigger the thought in their minds.
“I have done my best and I am happy that the audience reaction was positive though there is room for improvement. Beyond diabetes and skin disease, always check yourself; it will go a long way in making you live long!”