Lagos Government and Indigenes trash ’Gangs of Lagos’ movie over defamation of Isale Eko, Eyo

The Lagos Government and the indignes have berated the promoters and marketers of the movie “Gangs of Lagos” describing it as mocking Lagos’ cultural heritage.

The Lagos Government in a statement released on their site says that the movie “Gangs of Lagos”has portrayed a misrepresentation of the Lagos culture and also displays the culture of Lagos State in a derogatory manner.

The statement reads;

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A release signed by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Pharm. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf said the Ministry, being the regulatory body and custodian of the culture of Lagos State, views the film/series as a mockery of the Heritage of Lagos.

“The Commissioner expressed her disappointment with the promoters of the film, Jade Osiberu, and Kemi Akindoju, for portraying the Eyo Masquerade as a gun-wielding villain while adorning the full traditional regalia.”

“We are of the opinion that the production of the film ‘The Gang of Lagos’ is very unprofessional and misleading while its content is derogatory of our culture, with the intention to desecrate the revered heritage of the people of Lagos. It is an unjust profiling of a people and culture as being barbaric and nefarious. It depicts a gang of murderers rampaging across the State”.

Also, Isale Eko Descendants’ Union (IDU), a cultural group representing the descendants of the original inhabitants of Lagos Island, has expressed their disappointment with the portrayal of the Eyo masquerade in the recent Nigerian film directed by Jade Osiberu Gangs of Lagos.⁣

The Eyo masquerade is an important part of the cultural heritage of Lagos Island, and it is considered a sacred tradition by the people of Isale Eko. The masquerade is a form of street theatre that is performed during festivals and other important events. It is characterised by the distinctive white costumes and masks worn by the performers, which are believed to represent the spirits of the ancestors.⁣

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Gangs of Lagos, which was released on Amazon Prime Video on April 7, 2023, featured scenes that depicted the masquerades as a violent and menacing presence, used by criminal gangs to intimidate and assassinate enemies. This portrayal has been criticised by the IDU, who argue that it misrepresents the true nature of the Eyo masquerade and reinforces negative stereotypes about their culture.⁣

Speaking on this portrayal in a statement signed by the union’s chairman, Mr. Yomi Tokosi, the IDU expressed its blatant displeasure at how Isale Eko was showcased in the movie

Lagos Government and Indigenes trash ’Gangs of Lagos’ movie over defamation of Isale Eko, Eyo

See reactions below;

ayinde__ade: The killing, political thuggery, illegal extortion and all…una no see am for the movie na only Eyo una see abi…werey niyin…if they do part 2 sef we go still download and watch💯.

deolar12: I see all this comment saying it’s just a ‘movie’ blah blah, but guys this is our culture, these are the things that defines us as African, Nigerians Yoruba, we need to respect that… have you seen any movie where Zeus is a bad person or any misinterpretation of western mythology?? So let’s portray our culture in good ways. P.s #myopinion.

meetdeprince’: They should just say they don’t like how the movie exposed the political thuggery and illegal extortion committed by them and there Oga at the top who is not even from Lagos..I like as they kill am for the ending sha,I wish say na real life😂.

cyulisa_ahmadu: Verified They should be happy cuz the film showed the world the rich culture of Lagos! Many of us never knew abt the masquerades and the rich culture of Lagosians, now we are tempted to visit Lagos to see.

ms_finda001: My very different opinion; I watched the film I love it and even recommended it to people. I know nothing about the culture but one thing I want to say is this, if you are portraying any of our African culture in movies please know something about it if not all at least try and research to know the very important things about it. Don’t portray a good culture in bad light or bad one in good light just for business sake. If the culture is for peace and loving and all those fine fine things make sure you portray it that way. But then again there is no need for cancellation, the did has been done so let’s enjoy the movie in peace I’m rewatching it again sef 😉.

kashielion:  For movie , even dragon customes in Chinese movies are used by gangs in action movies and those dragon heads are a big part of Chinese history you don’t see that coming to say it’s bad , also are the eyo innocent they carry guns too and cause fights in Lagos , Grew up in idumota they fight thereselves steady

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