Netflix’s Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman premiered on September 10 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
The presentation of The King’s Horseman is dedicated at TIFF to the memory of Biyi Bandele, October 1967 – August 2022.
This final film from the late Biyi Bandele, a Nigerian writer-director and novelist Biyi Bandele and producer Mo Abudu (TIFF 2016’s The Wedding Party, TIFF 2017’s The Royal Hibiscus Hotel) is a cinematic adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s acclaimed 1975 anti-colonial stage play, “Death and the King’s Horseman“.
The film description reads;
The day has come for Elésin Oba (Odunlade Adekola) to accompany the Alaafin of Oyo, King of Yorubaland (contemporary Nigeria, Togo, and Benin), into the afterlife. Celebration is in order! As the King’s Horseman, Elésin is responsible for the political ruler’s smooth travels in life and in death, making this day the long-intended end of his honourable, fleshly commitments to the Yoruba people. Since the Alaafin is dead, Yoruba religious tradition insists Elésin must commit ritual suicide.
On his final ceremonial procession through the market, Elésin notices a passing bride-to-be and decides to delay the evening’s sacred ritual in order to marry her first. Iyaloja (Shaffy Bello), “mother of the market” and mother to a newly jilted son, cautions Elésin not to let his earthly desires interfere with his spiritual duties. Unfortunately, neither are aware that the British military plans to stop the evening’s ritual from happening, setting off a sequence of events no one is prepared for.
Based on real events during the region’s British colonial period, the tragic dramedy was originally written in English. Bandele, however, insisted on the Indigenous translation for the screen, harmonizing Soyinka’s poetics indelibly with the Yoruba sonic dialogue of interconnecting beats and talking drums. A reimagining that stays close to its source material, The King’s Horseman entrusts the challenge of Soyinka’s cosmic dilemma to a generation of cinema lovers armed for study.
The King’s Horseman also stars Shaffy Bello as Iyaloja, Olawale Oloforoo (Brymo), and veteran actors Jide Kosoko and Kevin Ushi, with guest appearances by Nollywood legends Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and Ajoke Silva.
RED CARPET LOOKS OF STAR ACTORS AT THE KING’S HORSEMAN PREMIERED AT TIFF
In honour of the ceremony, these star actors step in grand style in a display of their excitement for the premiere ceremony at TIFF. We spotted Omowunmi Dada, Odunlade Adekola, Heidi Uys, Deyemi Okanlawon, Mo Abudu giving some red-carpet glam slam.
#1 Mo Abudu
Mo Abudu, CEO Ebonylife group present during this ceremony at The Toronto International Film Festival, was styled in a gold Sunray metallic tiered dress designed by “AbayaLagos by Salihat”. Hair by “Bee’s Daisy Hair Braiding” and her makeovers by “Bare To Beauty 🇳🇬”
#2 Odunlade Adekola
The popular Yoruba actress steps in A Midnight Blue Agbada with a mixed interwoven square design, senator kaftan, hand embroidery IDE hat & sokoto.
#3 Omowunmi Dada
The award-winning actress, styled in a custom skeleton frame dress by SOMO Clothing brand, had her glam session by Yinka lot beauty.
#4 Deyemi Okanlawon
Deyemi stormed the premier ceremony in an amazing 3-piece Agbada by Hakeem Adeyinka Balogun Clothing brand, “and the whole of TIIF knew that an African actor was on the scene”. The acclaim he had longed for decided that no matter how underrepresented Africans are in the global film industry, whenever he stepped out, the Yoruba culture would fully be represented even to Africa at large!
#5 Heidi Uys
Heidi Uys attends The King’s Horseman Premier at TIFF along with other starred actors. The film-maker in a black outfit complements the blonde hair-do to redefine her calling skin colour.