Nollywood Creates New Language For Anticipated Film ‘Finding Messiah’

A soon-to-be-released film, ‘Finding Messiah’, by creative entrepreneur, Oscar Heman-Ackah, uses a new language ‘Ngazala’ with over 4,000 words created by the writer. This creativity reminds me of the hit series ‘Game of Thrones’ which had Dothraki and Valyrian, two new languages with 4,000 and 2,000 words, respectively. Alongside Ngazala, the writer also made use of English and Pidgin English.

The feature film, shot in Nigeria, is a political music drama about a fictional ancient civilization called the Republic of Zambay. I don’t know why this concept reminds me of Wakanda, a fictional kingdom in the Hollywood superhero movie, ‘Black Panther’. I think the director should have gotten a different title because what he used is the same as ‘Finding Messiah’, a 2016 documentary about a Cape Town choir, directed by D. David Morin.

This anticipated Nollywood film, directed by Heman-Ackah, is packed with veteran acts like Pete Edochie, Ngozi Ezeonu, Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett, Alex Usifo, Ejike Asiegbu, Daddy Showkey, Sunshine Rosman, Bucci Franklin and Uzi Kwednu.

In the caption of the teaser shared on Instagram, Heman-Ackah revealed the challenges faced in bringing the picture to life.

“One of the greatest challenges I faced in creating this film was the struggle to bring the beautiful, yet fictitious world of Zambay to life. It meant I needed to customize EVERYTHING to ensure that it is as believable as possible,” he said.

The teaser looks promising, making the film’s release something to look forward to. The project shows that Nollywood filmmakers are beginning to depart from the box they placed themselves in and are now eager to tap into African history for inspiration.

From the teaser, I could see stunning locations, settings and costumes, leading me to believe that when it is released, the film will score well in those departments, just as we saw in ‘Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre’ by Kunle Afolayan and ‘Jagun Jagun’ by Femi Adebayo, which are doing well on Netflix.

“As crazy as it sounds, we had to build a mini-community to achieve this goal… Houses, executive villas, offices, streets… you name it, we built it,” Heman-Ackah added, revealing more of the great length that the new Nollywood is eager to go in production.

The soundtrack done by singer Jacob Hunter, as heard in the teaser, is already making social media users go gaga and panting for more. Since it’s a musical drama, I expect to see more stunning music performances when the film is finally released.

Concluding his post on Instagram, Heman-Ackah revealed that he doesn’t deserve to ascribe to himself alone whatever praise might accompany the successful production.

“I want to say a huge thank you to my production team, who went to war with me, and fought through some of the toughest conditions… the cast and crew for trusting me with their talents and time my entire family for standing and praying with me and most importantly my super amazing wife for being by far the best support system any partner could ask for. Greatest thanks to God for giving me this vision, and the means to achieve,” he said.

When will the film be released? I couldn’t find any information related to that. It wasn’t also stated if the film will be in cinemas or on streaming platforms. But trust that we will make a review when the film is finally out.