Oloture was plagiarized
How would you feel to find out that your pains, horror and life’s work was adapted and developed into a movie only to be tagged a fiction? How about getting to know that your ugly life experiences which you involuntary dedicated your time and effort to experience and later shared was copied and sold for millions of Dollars, without your full knowledge or compensation? I am sure you will feel a bitter taste and odd feeling accompanied with anger and feeling of being robbed in broad day light. That is the way Tobore Ovuorie feels. Tobore who is a Delta state citizen, is a Nigerian Journalist who worked with Premium times-that went undercover to expose human and sex trafficking in Nigeria. Details of her work was first published in 2014. It was adapted into a movie titled Oloture and was released in 2020. Oloture was actually Tobore.
HOW DID WE GET TO KNOW?
Shortly after we published our review of one of Nollywood’s finest movies of 2020, We got a comment alert on one of our social media platform from an aggrieved Toborie Ovuorie. When we contacted her, she stated emphatically that the work was plagiarized and was not a fiction like it was tagged in the movie. She claimed it was an adaptation of her life story. Hence EbonyLife Films made a movie from her original story and called it a fiction.
WHAT WAS EBONYLIFE’S CRIME
Tobore who went deep into the den of prostitution to gather firsthand facts on how Nigerian young Ladies are being trafficked to Europe; Published her story first on Zam Magazine and Premium Times Nigeria. Recently she alerted EbonyLife films about their infringement of her intellectual property rights through her lawyers. Sending them a Notice of copyright Infringement, Tobore stated clearly how EbonyLife and Ms. Mo Abudu allegedly conned her and copied her story. While production had completed, a letter dated 31st May 2019 was given to Tobore and it was not a letter asking for copyright permission. But rather a letter of appreciation to Tobore for her bravery and zeal. EbonyLife films pledged to give 5% of the movie’s net theatrical sales in Nigeria to Tobore’s NGO. They also promised to give her on screen credit in the movie. claiming that Oloture was a story inspired by not just Tobore’s story but some notable body of works from investigative journalists.
In the naive nature of Tobore and how the industry works, she was glad thinking it was one other trafficking movie. She was even invited to for a TV recording production and she shared a few thoughts on how she has been coping with the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that she has been suffering since her return. She never knew why all this was done until the movie came out and names like Caro, Tobore and other real life characters were switched for Alero, Oloture. Only then did she realize that she has been conned and used to make a marketing and box office kill.
WHAT IS TOBORE’S CASE
Her biggest anger and reason for kicking off a legal action is because of the level of gross unserious regard for her, her life and her work. Tagging the pains, horror, evil and dehumanizing treatments she endured from rape to witnessing murder as fiction, while the producers of the film were parading themselves as having conceived the story idea which was made into the movie. At the end of movie, an almost careless and carefree credit was given to premium times and Tobore, which is not what is expected as her story constitutes over 85%-95% of the storyline. Although the issue of 5% net cinema profit is annoying judging from how much EbonyLife films must have made from Netflix; it is saddening to know that another person’s pain was developed and sold without asking for permission- only to promise her NGO peanuts. Also, after issuing such letter, without recourse to the bearer, Ebonylife went ahead to license the film exclusively, thus, invalidating the issued letter, disrespectfully.
Oloture was plagiarized: For details of this story please click here for more information.