IWD: CHATROOM Puts Gender-based Violence on Front Burner

L-R: Actress, Nengi Adoki; international award winning musician and actress, Omawumi Megbele; Prodcuer, CHATROOM, Peju Ibekwe; international actress, singer and dancer, Ronya Man and award winning musician, Waje, at the debut and screening of a new movie in Lagos...recently

CHATROOM, a movie produced by Peju Ibekwe with the aim to foster discussions around gender-based violence against women and the need to eradicate the silence culture made its debut recently in commemoration of IWD 2020.

The Deputy British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, hosted guests, members of the press, cast and professional organizations to an exclusive screening of the movie. They had the pleasure of viewing the movie as it debuted for the first time at the residence of the Deputy British High Commissioner, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Attendees of the private screening included delegates from the United Nations Women, the Institute of Counsellors, The Education Partnership Centre, the Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Sterling Bank, award-winning musician and actress who also starred in the movie, Omawumi Megbele, award-winning actor, Odunlade Adekola, Israeli singer, dancer and actress, Ronya Man, Canadian trained actor, and singer, Nengi Adoki and award-winning musician, Waje.

The event was also graced by Heidi Uys, Head of Programming, Ebonylife TV, Kemi Dasilva-Ibru, founder, WARIF, Dolapo Badmus of the Nigerian police, Ibidapo Martins, Chief Marketing Officer, Sterling Bank, Dr. Tolu Oko-Igaire, Provost, the Institute of Counselling in Nigeria, Dayo Ogunrombi, Pastor, Gbagada Campus, Harvesters International Christian Center, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, MFR, F.IoD – the Chairman of the US – Nigeria Trade Council and also the Global Convener of Women Entrepreneurs & Professionals Development Networks in Nigeria(WEPDN), Affi Ibanga, the National Coordinator of Women Entrepreneurs & Professionals Development Networks in Nigeria(WEPDN), Isabelle Pearson of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Ndifreke Okwuegbunam of the Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation and Rtd. Colonel Olajide Fadirepo.

The Movie, CHATROOM, is an inspiring story of hope and triumph; set against the backdrop of an original TV Dance reality show. It tells the story of a young girl, Ebiere who enters a TV reality show contest to escape the haunting ghost of her past and her present deprivation. However, an incident in the house forces her to go back to the past she had tried to forget and further reveal a disturbing secret that would throw the entire nation into shock.The hilarious experiences in the house turns the table in an unexpected way bound to keep audiences in stitches and at the edges of their chairs at the same time.

The Deputy Head of Mission, British Deputy High Commission, Mr. Peter Thomas, introduced the movie highlighting that men have a major role to play in protecting women from Gender based Violence and asked men all over to commit to protecting the female gender.

Speaking on the production of the movie; Peju Ibekwe said “I produced the movie because of various reasons but two of these reasons stand out. First, I believe that a life can only be truly fulfilling when it positively impacts another life. There are so many hurting women and girls out there that have experienced abuse and need to break their silence, speak their truth, start the process of healing and live their best lives. CHATROOM will be beautifully entertaining, literally therapeutic and an experience that cannot be missed. Secondly, Africa has a lot of exciting and intriguing stories waiting to be told creatively. I have always been passionate about production and CHATROOM is one of so many more wholesome content that I will be working on.”

While seeking partnerships from public spirited corporate organisations to partner on the screening of the film to women groups across the country, she said efforts would also be made to train counsellors, screen in schools and set up trained counselling teams across all tertiary institutions in the country.

Adesuwa Onyenokwe, veteran broadcaster and the publisher of Today’s Woman magazine is the movie’s associate producer while it was directed by Chike Ibekwe whose first film, Eternal, won the Ecrans D’or.

CHATROOM was screened in commemoration of the international women’s day 2020. The movie started conversations on Gender-based violence against women and the need to eradicate the silence culture when speaking up would start the healing process.

After the screening, attendees expressed delight in the movie and were excited to be involved in the movement that has been relegated to the background especially in this season when Gender Based Violence reports have increased and are at the center of conversations.

The movie has opened the CHATROOM where women and people who have been abused can talk in a safe space about their trauma.