“Animation is much more flexible than live-action where you have to direct the play and beat a character into shape.”
This is a quote from a daring Nigerian mother who created the first full-length animation film in Nigeria. She’s Blessing Amidu.
Her innovation and passion to stand out make her unique and outstanding. She stubbornly studied Geology against the paths of her siblings who ventured into arts. Been good at art, Amidu has been a to sketch serval scripts for her church. She’s from Delta State but was raised at Port Harcourt.
Amidu gained fame for her creativity which was spurred up by her children. She said, “From spending time with my kids and observing their mannerisms, it struck me just how similar they act to a lot of the cartoon characters that they watch.” Her son at age five, was wearing underpants rolled into her room, she jokingly said, “See him looking like a cartoon character.”
Her daughter at age twelve, who was very good at sketches, pointed out the possibility of creating animated characters inspired by her brother’s expressions. That was the origin of Ladybuckit and the Motley Mopsters (LBMM).
The production was clothed hurdles and hiccups. It took a span of two years to complete its production. There were moments when she felt like backing out but whenever she remembers how far she has gone, she quits the option of giving up.
Part of the challenges of production was having a great team. Amidu knew the relevance of having professionals on a team for success. “The hardest part was finding the right team,” Amidu said.
At the tail end, Amidu’s crew were veteran actors, Patrick Doyle, Bimbo Akintola, Kalu Ikeagwu. Award-winning filmmaker, Chris Ihidero, served as Consulting Producer, Bisi Adetayo, the Director of the project was involved in the production of Game of Thrones.
Seeing the calibre of people on her team, one asks how she was able to get such nobles as her team members. Her answer was simply “Everyone knew the story was going somewhere, and they wanted to be a part of history.”
The second hard rock Amidu needed to break through was funding.
“The second hardest part was funding the project. It’s not easy to convince individuals or financial institutions that you want to sell this product to them, especially as animation has not really been showcased in Nigeria. It has never really gone to cinemas. I had to go all the way in by myself because I really believed in this project.” Amidu said.
Somehow she was able to breakthrough using an estimated cost of estimated to have cost $1 million to produce Ladybuckit and the Motley Mopsters.
LBMM is accompanied by a 14-track original album. The individual tracks were composed by Oluchi Odii, Ufuoma Iliaro, Patrick Edwards, Marilyn Mayaki, Casey Edema, Caleb Audu and serval others.
Despite the huddles, Amidu’s dream was fulfilled. LBMM is now in cinemas across the country.
From the process of production, Amidu said, “Patience and resilience. There were several times I felt like jumping ship. But my spirit was always revived by how far we had come, and I knew we had to finish what we started.