Commendations, as House On The Rock premieres 93 days

Steve Gukas and pastor Adefarasin at the premiere.

Steve Gukas and pastor Adefarasin at the premiere.

The Rock Cathedral, Lekki, Lagos, was alive recently, as House on The Rock Church, in collaboration with Natives FilmWorks, Michelangelo Productions and the Bolanle Austen- Peters Production, hosted a special premiere of the highly anticipated Steve Gukas film, 93 Days.

The event was also an opportunity for the church to honour individuals and family members of those that played vital roles in the fight against the dreaded Ebola virus. This will be the third movie premiere to be hosted by the church, having premiered Selma and Captive, which featured award -winning Nigerian actor David Oyelowo.

Starring Bimbo Akintola, Danny Glover, Tim Reid, Somkele Idhalama, Keppy Ekpenyong Gideon Okeke and other talented actors, 93 Days is a compelling story of dedication, sacrifice and resilience which celebrates the courage shown by the First Consultant Medical Team, the Lagos State & Federal Governments and well-meaning organisations in combating the Ebola virus, which broke out early 2014 in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event, Pastor Paul Adefarasin who commended the production team for coming up with a movie that has put Nigerian on the international platform.

“Ever since we embarked on this collaborative endeavor and the news of this movie premiere was circulated, many have asked why a church should be part of a movie; and I ask why not? The God whose we are and whom we serve has taught us that faith in Him was never meant to be lived on the periphery of the world but rather instead to stand tall in the center, as light to the world. The underlying message of 93 days is a powerful one, which teaches, in experiential terms, many values and principles of the Holy Writ and we are humbled to be a part of a story of true heroism, bravery, sacrifice and the quest to be greater together.”

According to Adefarasin, countless lessons for nation building and transformation can be gleaned and internalised from this harrowing yet uniting occurrence.

“As a nation we exemplified Helen Keller’s maxim that ‘alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’ I dare say that by collaborating with Nollywood, we (the church and the press) have the opportunity of using our places of impact; be they the pen or the pulpit, to share exemplary virtues that propagate the values of nation building and transformation, while at the same time supporting the art and distribution of movies,” he said.

He noted that history correctly attributes the avoidance of a national catastrophe to the rapid, collaborative and orchestrated response by the Commissioner of Health and the Lagos State Health Management System; The First Consultants Hospital; all the Doctors, who put their lives on the line.

“Nigeria’s healthcare professionals rose to the occasion and demonstrated their proficiency, adherence to protocols and ability to contain and defuse a virulent time bomb. We applaud these exemplary citizens who deserve our utmost, unreserved commendation,” he said.

While tasking the government on strong resilient and integrated health systems in order to provide equitable, effective and adequate healthcare and re-integration of survivors, Adefarasin said, “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being and our healthcare systems must be continually guided by an all-hazards health emergency approach.”

He continued: “We salute the entire cast of 93 Days -Bimbo Akintola, Danny Glover, Tim Reid, Gideon Okeke, Bimbo Manuel, Charles Okafor, Keppy Ekpenyong Bassey, Somekele Idhalama, Adebola Williams and Mackenzie Alastair – for delivering a stellar performance and reliving, for our viewing pleasure, the gut-wrenching 93 day race against time.”

To the movie director, Steve Gukas and the executive producers Bolanle Austen-Peters and Dotun Olakunrin, “you make Nigerians truly proud. The screenplay was fabulous, the production world class and the character portrayal phenomenal. On behalf of brand Nigeria, permit me to say – very well done.”  

And to the Nigerian movie industry, he said, “you’ve come of age. Your art will help us reshape the nation’s value systems and reset our cultural norms for progress, development and a national sense of purpose. We expect much more from the crucible of your collaborative endeavors… let’s together arise and reshape the future with the powerful medium of storytelling through movie making,” Adefarasin concluded.  



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