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Omowunmi Dada reflects on portraying Wole Soyinka’s mother in new movie

Award-winning Nollywood actress Omowunmi Dada has offered insights into her transformative role as Grace Eniola Soyinka, the esteemed mother of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, in the biopic ‘Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti’.

Directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters, the movie, which hit the cinemas on Friday, May 17, chronicles the remarkable journey of Ms Ransome-Kuti, a trailblazing politician, activist, and matriarch who sparked a revolution against colonialism and patriarchy in Nigeria, forever transforming the destiny of her nation. According to Omowunmi Dada, through meticulous research, immersive character study, and a deep emotional connection to the material, she was able to portray Grace Eniola Soyinka, one of the key characters of that era, bringing her compelling story to life on the screen with nuance, depth, and authenticity. Reflecting on her portrayal of the mother of Africa’s first Nobel Laureate, Dada shares her insights into the character and the significance of bringing her story to a wider audience. According to her, playing the Soyinka matriarch has been a profound and deeply rewarding experience “It is an honour to portray Grace Eniola Soyinka and to bring her story to audiences worldwide. She was not only a devoted mother, but also a fearless advocate for justice and equality. I am honoured to have the opportunity to embody her spirit and showcase her legacy to the world,” Dada said.

The actress’ portrayal of Soyinka captures the essence of a woman who defied societal norms, challenged systemic injustices, and instilled in her son a passion for literature, art, and social change. Through her nuanced performance, Omowunmi Dada brings to life the complexities of Grace Eniola Soyinka’s character, from her unwavering resilience and strength to her profound love and sacrifice for her family. Grace Eniola Soyinka is renowned for co-founding the Abeokuta Women’s Union with Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, her aunt-in-law. Together, they protested against taxes introduced by the Alake of Abeokuta, backed by the colonial authorities. They withheld the taxes, and eventually the Alake abdicated. The union, which had a membership of 20,000 women, eventually evolved into the national organisation the Nigerian Women’s Union.

Omowunmi Dada is an awardwinning Nigerian actress known for her versatility, authenticity, and captivating performances on stage and screen. With a diverse body of work spanning film, television, and theatre, she has established herself as one of the most talented and sought-after actresses in the Nigerian entertainment industry

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