Omoni Oboli and Jude Idada provided the most controversial situation on early 2017. There were accusations that Omoni stole the script for Okafor’s Law from Jude Idada. The film was not screened at the premiere in Lagos, because of a court injunction. The injunction was later removed and people that have seen the film are commending Omoni for effort.
In the face of everything, we have picked a few lessons.
We do not support theft of intellectual work, but it is yet to be determined if Omoni claimed ownership of somebody’s work, or if, it is truly her sole effort. Here are a few lessons we’ve learnt from the Okafor’s Law Brouhaha:
- Tenacity: The accusation did not stop Omoni from actively promoting the film. It did not stop Jude from embarking on new projects too. Colleagues that have had close encounter with both stars remain neutral on the issue. Omoni got a few colleagues to support the project across several platforms, and Jude keeps moving on with his film production. It does not stop the hard work from both sides, their heads are ahead. It is a lesson on adversity and keeping focus, and we’ve picked that.
- Do not complicate matters with a Statement: With the accusation labeled on Omoni, the filmmaker did not offer an official statement or counter Jude Idada with a long interview. The first and only thing she said was “the script was written by me”. By releasing a statement or granting an interview, the media can take her words and twist them. Jude has also been silent in the process. They let their Lawyers do the work. This is not a street fight, and as such, it has to be one of the most matured disagreements we have seen in Nollywood. Usually, fast fingers do the talking, but not this time. There are no side talks, or no social media shade with this one. Everything has been left to the Lawyers and we cannot wait to hear the verdict.
- Keep Going: Omoni took a tour round many states to promote the release of her film. From Lagos, Abuja to Akwa-Ibom, Calabar and Port-Harcourt. She also had major support from her colleagues in the industry who helped promote the film across several platforms, while other colleagues volunteered to meet with fans on her behalf. Omoni did not stop promoting the film for a day despite the controversy. She just kept moving and in the end, she will make a wild return from the movie. Jude on the other hand is directing his first project, and he continues to write engaging posts on Facebook about his encounter with people and life in general.
In May, we will hear the final verdict of the Judge but for now, we have to say, this is the most matured disagreement to ever occur in Nollywood. And however it ends, we will always remember that both artists taught us a few things about handling disputes.