Living in Bondage
|Living in Bondage|
|Directed by||Chris Obi Rapu|
|Produced by||Okechukwu Ogunjiofor|
|Written by||Kenneth Nnebue|
Living in Bondage is a 1992/93 Nigerian two-part drama thriller film directed by Chris Obi Rapu, written by Kenneth Nnebue and Okechukwu Ogunjiofor, produced by Ogunjiofor, and sponsored by Jafac Wine. The film was shot straight-to-video, and starred Kenneth Okonkwo and Nnenna Nwabueze in their breakout roles.
Andy (Kenneth Okonkwo) and Merit Okeke (Nnenna Nwabueze) are a young couple facing several obstacles – redundancy, infidelity, the loss of their savings in a bogus investment, and Merit's indecent proposals from lecherous men including her boss Ichie Million (Francis Agu). Andy constantly compares his lack of fortune to the success of his peers, especially best friend Paul (Okechukwu Ogunjiofor). Despite Merit's support and patience, Andy is driven to near-desperation, determined to obtain wealth by any means possible, and the slick-talking Paul reveals his secret – a satanic cult where members swear their loyalty to Lucifer and kill their loved ones in ritualized sacrifices, gaining enormous wealth in return. After much hesitation, Andy reluctantly agrees to sacrifice the person he loves the most – Merit. She dies in hospital days after the ritual, but not before she curses her husband's betrayal.
Andy's sudden affluence raises suspicion from Merit's family who accuse him of murdering her for money. He also faces a new set of problems – the paparazzi, his mistress Ego (Ngozi Nwosu) fleeing with his money after he collapses at their wedding, and Merit's ghost haunting and terrorising him when he least expects. Andy would later marry Chinyere (Jennifer Okere), another gold-digger introduced to him by Merit's former friend Caro (Ngozi Nwaneto), but his new wife meets her untimely death after Caro poisons her friend in an attempt to escape abroad alone with the cash Chinyere had stolen from her husband. Caro is also killed by a hit-and-run driver on her way to the airport, and Paul is murdered by hitmen Andy hired after the two friends fall out.
A now frustrated Andy asks the satanic cult for help, but when the Chief Priest (Daniel Oluigbo) insists he can only pacify his late wife's spirit by blinding and castrating himself, he refuses and becomes mentally deranged, living as a vagrant under a Lagos flyover until Tina (Rita Nzelu) – a former prostitute Andy had previously presented to the cult as a decoy before his deceit was exposed – takes him to her church where he finally confesses to Merit’s murder. In the film’s final scene Andy, now cured of his insanity, worships with the evangelical Christians who assure him God has forgiven him.
- Kenneth Okonkwo as Andy Okeke
- Nnenna Nwabueze as Merit, Andy's wife
- Kanayo O. Kanayo as Chief Omego, cult member
- Francis Agu as Ichie Million, cult member and Merit's boss
- Okechukwu Ogunjiofor as Paul, Andy's friend and cult member
- Ngozi Nwaneto as Caro, Merit's friend and Paul's girlfriend
- Ngozi Nwosu as Ego, Andy's mistress
- Bob-Manuel Udokwu as Mike, cult member
- Sydney Diala as cult member/initiator
- Daniel Oluigbo as cult's chief priest
- Obiageli Molugbe as cult's chief priest's wife
- Rita Nzelu as Tina, local prostitute
- Jennifer Okere as Chinyere, Caro's friend
- Ruth Osu as Andy and Merit's neighbor
Most of the actors including Kanayo, Agu, Udokwu, Molugbe, and Osu were already well-known for their roles in the soap opera Checkmate. Nnnenna Nwabueze and Okechukwu Ogunjiofor were the only main actors from part one not to have reprised their roles for the second part of the movie, although Nwabueze's character Merit appears in a flashback scene, and a body double plays her ghost. Paul's name is mentioned numerous times in part two but never appears on-screen; his death scene is also filled in by a body double.
In 2015, veteran actor Ramsey Nouah secured the rights to Living In Bondage from Kenneth Nnebue for a possible remake to be filmed in Europe and America as well as Nigeria. The news was later confirmed on Instagram, but appeared to be in development hell for three years.
In 2018, Nouah announced his remake had become a sequel now titled Living in Bondage: Breaking Free, and is currently in production. Nouah, who plays a villain, makes his directorial debut, with original actors Okwonkwo, Udokwu, and Kanayo also making appearances. It is not known if the sequel is in Igbo or English.
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- Ramsey Nouah reportedly set to remake first successful Nollywood movie, ‘Living in Bondage’
- A Sequel To The 1992 Classic Is Being Made
- Awaiting Second Coming Of Living In Bondage