COMPELLING MOVIE “EAGLE WINGS” by Paul Apel Papel:Logline Two Nigerian Air Force Officers are bent on rescuing their newly married course mate and fighter pilot in an enemy territory, the mission becomes a fierce battle to save the community of his refuge. Writer/Producer/ Director Paul Apel Papel Continue reading COMPELLING MOVIE “EAGLE WINGS” by Paul Apel Papel→
NOLLYWOOD MOST PROLIFIC DIRECTOR CHICO EJIRO BURIED TODAY:
For the first time in the Nigerian Awards space, Universal Movie Awards has introduced “the Best TV Commercial Awards” to celebrate Commercial producers in Nigeria during the award event slated to hold on September 25, 2021.
Production companies have
the opportunity to submit their TV Commercials to win the following awards
under this category
Telecom Commercial award
Financial Institution commercial award
Food & Beverages Commercial Award
Best Animated Commercial Award
Soundtrack Commercial award
– Best Overall TV Commercial Award
Commercial Producer Award
Commercial Director Award
– Best Production Company Award
(The Advert: Not later than 2 years – Duration: Maximum of 2 minutes )
Click this link to submit for Best TV Commercial Awards (Nigeria)
A story about a young boy’s experience as an abandoned child in a general hospital— by Chike Ibekwe
They call me Chief! Just Chief. No suffix. Sometimes a
prefix. Some call me Young Chief or Youngest Chief when they want to tease me.
Growing up, I enjoyed the adulation and the flatter. Growing up, I thought it
was my real name. I felt a bit betrayed when I realized it wasn’t. But the
bitterness thinned in a flash — after that night’s sleep. They continued to
call me Chief. I continued to enjoy it and the sound of it. A special kind of
Chief. Oldest of my kind. Not by age. Not by experience. But by the
circumstance of being a part of this community! Reason some even tauntingly add
that I’m “the Landlord.” No one has stayed as much time — day and night in this
place as me. No one has lived all their lives in this place like me. Some have
worked here for many years but, that cannot compare to my time here. I have
lived all the days and nights of my spiralling life in this place. Every other
person gets to go home every night or during weekends. I stay. No leave, no
It’s a big neighbourhood. It has everything. Well, so I
thought. There is a football pitch, where people come to play football and
train. My primary school, which is just five minutes away and a few other
schools do have sports competitions here sometimes. I have been to virtually
every nook and cranny of this community, except for the brown and black painted
building further away from the rest of the structures, where only few people go
to. People are brought here in a stretcher and when they leave, they are taken
away in different types and colours of coffins.
Everyone calls me Chief. The men and women in different
uniforms — green clothes, wine clothes, blue clothes and overalls and the ones
in white. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, security personnel — they all know me as
Chief. But only a slim few would go a step further to find out how I became
“Chief.” When they do, I always know. I would notice a change in attitude
towards me — loads of empathy and pity. Some even overdo it in a scintillating
show of sympathy but I’m usually not really moved. I just want to be spared all
that melodrama and anger provoking imprudent questions like — “do you know
where they might be?” “Do you think about them?” “Is he alive?” “Do you know
anything about her?” “Do you know your surname?”
“Come,” Some would call, and when I get to them, “Have
you eaten today?” They would ask rhetorically and before my answer, which
usually is “No” leaves my mouth, they would offer me money. Some, 50 naira,
some, 100 naira and some 200 naira or even more saying “take, go eat lunch,”
“buy yourself biscuit.” I learnt never to say I have eaten, or reject a gift.
Past hungry experience taught me to be wiser — that night I went to bed without
food when “Mummy” didn’t resume her nightshift because of the heavy rain and a
sudden sickness. It was already too late in the night and hardly anyone to ask
for money or beg for food. Not even the nurses on duty as they night was a busy
one. Two surgeries through the night and a delivery. From then on I learnt to
not reject but to anticipate, and even attract with my body language because
that might be my next meal ticket I’m playing with.
The only person who calls me by my real name is Mummy —
my official mother, the Chief Matron. About six or seven years ago when I was
much younger in this place — in this massive general hospital on the mainland
of Lagos. I used to cry a lot. That of course was obvious for a child like me,
a child of my intricate circumstance. Mummy would buy me “Okin” biscuit and ice
cream or puff-puff. Now, I don’t cry anymore. I’m now a man. Grown up. Just
over ten. I can comfortably say I know way more about life than my age
indicates and I like to see it as smartness rather than suffering. I’ve been told
several times that in this life men don’t cry, besides, I now have some younger
ones after me that I am responsible for.
“Olusegun.” She would call me, stretching the entire
vowels of my name with so much geniality and affection in her voice. Like she
gave me the name — she did actually. I got to know later. Now in her late 50’s
with three daughters. I like to think that if she didn’t have her own children,
she would have officially adopted me as her own son. I strongly believe that
thought might have crossed her mind and stayed buried in the inner vault of her
emotions. A Nigerian woman (and man) would normally be eager to have a son.
Maybe she and her husband were those rare few who didn’t bother. But I’m grown
now. I don’t need to be anybody’s son. I can fend for myself and even other
younger ones. Mummy and I don’t see as often as before. As Chief Matron, she
has little or no time for me anymore. There are now more children with similar
circumstance that need more attention. I cannot deny them that. They are like
me. Crying a lot. Always hungry. Sometimes ignored when the nurses on duty are
busy. Crying to sleep. Waking up crying. Getting stark angry looks and
reactions from exasperated nurses. I saw it all. In them is realized what my
babyhood was like — what it means being a baby abandoned at birth in a general
hospital. I’m already grown, so I display no emotions. Instead I try to cuddle
the baby to stop crying. I sing a song. I tickle the baby. No one is to blame
after all — neither the baby nor the nurses who are busy either saving lives or
delivering new babies. Which is exactly what they are paid to do.
Although Mummy never got to tell me exactly my story, but
somehow, the only piece of information I grew up with was that I was abandoned
by my biological mother — a young woman of 23 impregnated by some guy. Her
name, I learnt was Mary Daniel. Who knows if it was her real name? She couldn’t
pay the hospital bills. She had no plans to keep me. “She disappeared” was all
the answer I got when I once became overly sullen and inquisitive.
Growing up, I wouldn’t say that the feeling of longing to
know my real mother has ebbed. It is stored up somewhere deep inside me like
information kept in an aircraft’s black box. Like precious stones deposited
inside a very secure cellar somewhere unknown and left there because there is
nothing to do with it. My case is peculiar. No clue to begin with. No address
to trace. No relative to find. No face or word to connect with.
Last year when a TV crew came to the hospital to do a
report. They were preparing to conduct an interview beside the road in front of
the accident and emergency building, close to the children’s ward. I’d wondered
what they were going to talk about. Curious and thrilled at the same time. I
felt a sudden vent of thoughts playing up. An urgent impelled desire to be seen
— to be heard. I stood there, with different ideas toggling back and forth in
my mind. I felt that “once in a million” chance of connecting with the outside
world, to anyone out there who might know anyone that knows my parents, or
relatives or my story. I fidgeted. I wanted so bad to be on TV, not as a star,
but as a child in search of a home, of a family, to tell them that am still
alive and waiting right here for them. My eyes widened as the adrenaline
seethed from the bustling emotions. Both spirit and soul stirred up,
determined, but with heavy and slow footsteps, I walked to the front of the
camera beside the man to be interviewed. I stared defiantly into the camera as
if someone out there on the other side would suddenly emerge upon my steady,
consistent stare into the camera. The Cameraman noticed me and immediately
gestured at me to leave but I ignored him. I stayed. I kept a fixed gaze at the
“Boy, move away from there” I heard another voice
yelling. A thin voice. The presenter, I figure as she was holding the
microphone. A slim serious looking woman. Drawing closer to the man about to be
I was sad as I walked away from the camera. I stood some
distance behind them. To me — they were interviewing the wrong person, and
asking the wrong questions. If they wanted any information about this place, I
am the person to talk to. I am the Chief. The best qualified. With my
experience, circumstance and pedigree or the lack of it. No one knows the story
of this place like me, no one. Because, I am the story! During the rainy
season, the dry season, when they staff are on leave, on holiday, or even on
strike, I stay. That has been my lot. Not by choice. If only the TV crew knew
who I am. They’d would be the ones running after me and jostling to hear my
story — the story of the oldest abandoned kid in the general hospital.
I shed a lot of tears. Heartbroken more times than I
could remember. Some of the tears were shed when I lost friends. Quite a number
of friends, for both good and bad reasons — some to the horrific hands of death
while others to health recovery and discharge from hospital. Either way, I
lost. No one stayed. No matter how close we became. I suffered most when they
leave. For this, I decided not to be close to any young patient on admission
anymore. I’d made friends with a few who had been on admission for over two
weeks, some spent about two months on admission here and I was their
cheerleader and playmate but once they recover, I’m forgotten. If they die,
it’s all a loss. The most painfull for me was Uzo. As Uzo recuperated, we grew
very fond of each other. We were about same age, same height, same stature, but
Uzo had become thinner because of the typhoid sickness. We’d would play
football inside the ward on days when he had the strength and Uzo would share
his food with me, although his mother wouldn’t allow him share in my own for
reasons beyond just cutting my ration even though Uzo wasn’t eaten well.
Those early years, I always desired to follow my friends
home when they were discharged but the nurses on duty would hold me back. I’d
cry and roll on the floor till I doze off. But in Uzo’s case, I had grown a bit
older and understood life a bit well but still the nurses had to make special
arrangement — have me follow Nurse Titi on an errand outside the hospital. She
treated me well, bought me a new shirt, a pair of knickers and sandals. I was
so happy about the gifts. By the time we got back Uzo had left — discharged!
Without saying goodbye. I felt bad. Betrayed. Angry. But I didn’t cry. I took
the pain and emptiness like a real man that everyone always tells me to hastily
become. It was weeks later that I discovered that it was a masterful plot to
forestall similar episodes like the ones that occurred when Demola was
discharged and also when Etim left the hospital. I found out that Uzo’s mum
gave Mummy some money to buy me clothes and for my feeding after she’d been
told my story. That was the day I actually shed some tears as memories of my
fun times with Uzo rolled back.
Nurse Titi (I call her Aunty Nurse sometimes) was like my
Guardian Angel, she was 30 and was very beautiful in her chocolate skin. From
the moment she knew me, she took a special interest in me. I became her
“assignment.” She would ensure that I had my bath, that I had something to eat
and that I was happy. This was surprising to me because at my age, I thought I
had been weaned, especially since there were other younger children, especially
two — year old Deborah who wanted much more attention than even the patients
and always insisted I hold her hand or carry her. She reminded me a lot about
my younger years — helpless but viciously desiring attention, but Nurse Titi
had her eyes on me. I didn’t know and didn’t appreciate how much she cared for
me until one day when she threatened to beat me because I dirtied the fine
Chelsea football club jersey she personally gave me for my eight birthday. That
day, I saw a side of Aunty Nurse I’d never seen before. Her eyes were fierce
with anger. The look in her eyes left me dumbfounded. She was very angry at me
for indulging in what she called “dangerous play” than dirtying my cloth. When
she became calmer, she told me in an emotion laden voice that I reminded her of
her younger brother who passed on six years earlier. Her somber counsel didn’t
register much on me until later. I realized I like her a lot too. She is the
only person that I could go to ask anything and be sure of a favourable
After Uzo’s departure, I decided I was never going to be
friends with anybody anymore. I didn’t care if the person was dying or not,
after all I was not their doctor or nurse. But I was wrong!
Kike was a peculiar case — she came in with that sweet
innocent face and a smile that could melt an iron. She was very skinny — a
familiar look for a sickle cell patient, and she was three years older than me.
The first time I saw her, I felt overwhelming pity for her. I wondered if she
would make it. Then she turned and looked at me, her eyes bright as the stars
and with a smile that spoke assurance to me. “Hey boy, it’s okay,” her look
seemed to tell me. I turned and walked away. I wasn’t interested in any
emotional trip this time. Deborah was already becoming a handful for me. She
wouldn’t let me be on my own and I couldn’t let her cry continually. I’d once
wondered if she realized that we were not related — not from same mother or
father, not from any remote blood connection, but she would cling onto me like
I was all she had in this world. Just a child. Innocent. What did she know? I
guess I was her own Guardian Angel as Aunty Nurse was mine, and Mummy before her.
Everyone had to have one, if your Angel doesn’t find you, you find him or her.
I entered the ward, and I heard a roaring sound amidst
some faint noise including that of the Television that was playing a local
musical video. It wasn’t sounding like a talk, or laughter or even a snore — I
walked toward the end of the hall where the noise was emanating from. Kike
turned weakly to me from vomiting, I quickly ran to her and searched for any
available water. I knew from observing that water was always used to sprinkle
on the face of a vomiter. I didnt find any water around her corner.
“Are you okay?” I asked her
She gave a bob
“Nurse” I yelled
“Chief what is it” A nurse answered from the other end of
“Kike is vomitting” I shouted
The nurse emerged with a straight look and held her
“Where is her mother?” She asked me
“I don’t know, I just saw her vomiting”
“Quick, get me some water with that bowl”
I obliged and fetched some water from the bathroom with
which she cleansed her face. Kike gasped for breath as she tried to sit back on
the bed, her eyes still as white as ever but the smile temporarily hidden as
her mouth remained open to let in air. Her mother came in holding a black
polythene bag of what she had gone to a nearby store to purchase. I watched as
Kike laid back on the bed.
“She has vomited all the medicines” Her mother said with
a voice riddled with pain and resignation
“She will take the other dose in about an hour” The Nurse
The woman began to clean up the vomit while the nurse
walked away to get new beddings, and I followed.
Later, in the middle of the night, I had a dream. I was
awakened by a very agile looking Kike, clad in a beautiful yellow gown and
flashing her quintessential smile radiantly.
“Kike, what are you doing?” I asked as I rubbed my eyes
with my hand
“Come on, let us play, see the night is bright with the
“But it’s the middle of the night, everyone is asleep” I
said drowsily as I sat up from the bed”
“Come on now Chief, I need to play, please play with me”
She said, still flashing that infectious smile.
“Okay, okay” I said reluctantly
“Yippee!!” she said raising her hands as she raced
I sauntered out after her.
Outside, under the breezy bright moonlight, I saw Kike
looking the best she’d ever been — strong, healthy, and absolutely cheerful.
She ran a circle around with her hands up in the air like someone taking a
“I feel great” she said
“What are you doing, Kike?” I asked her, curiously
“Come on, join me, I’m having fun” her voice bellowing
and full of live in the silence of the night
“Hmm! I see”
“See the beautiful stars in the sky” She pointed at the
“Yes, they are fine” I said as I sat on the pavement
She stooped with her fingers pinned to the ground like
someone ready for a race
“Come on Chief — let us race to the coconut tree”
I was still feeling lethargic but somewhat curious about
this strange and sudden act — I scratched my head gently as I answered, irked
by the discomfort of not hugging my bed.
“I am too tired”
“You are shying away because you know I’ll beat you to
it” she said and started laughing
“On your marks” She started, by herself, “Set, go!” And
off she went with a zeal I had never seen in her before. I thought for a moment
about joining her, but immediately jettisoned the idea because it would further
spur her on to continue this play by moonlight.
She ran back with her hands victoriously raised and with
visible joy in her face. I clapped for her as she walked up and joined me on
“You know, it feels very good to be free, free from those
pains, free from those bitter medicines and messy vomits, and from lying all
day long on the bed and looking perennially pale”. She said as she panted. The
hot air escaping from her mouth.
“It’s good to see you looking very well, I’m sure you
will be representing your school in the next inter-house sports.”
She smiled, her face bore a strange tinge of profundity
as she stared straight into the night.
“Chief, I want to thank you for been a very good friend,
I have enjoyed this moment and I will always cherish it.”
“Does that mean you will be discharged tomorrow?”
“I don’t know, I just feel free and happy tonight” her
voice carried more than she was voicing
“Let’s go back inside, so we can have some sleep”
And so we went back inside the ward and as I sat on the
bed she waved at me and continued her walk to her bed several beds away from
me, I lay awake and wondered until I slept off again.
The sound of a loud cry woke me and a few other kids and
parents in the ward. Such sounds were common and at the same time unnerving
because it only meant the death of a dear one. I sat up to see who it was this
time. I noticed the woman crying was Kike’s mother and the nurses were at
Kike’s corner. I stood. My heart felt heavy. My head felt empty. I slowly
approached the bed. I got there just as the white cloth on the nurse’s hand was
covering Kike’s lifeless face. I stood, shocked in my tracks. If I had not seen
her some moment ago, looking very healthy, spritely and ready to be discharged
I wouldn’t have been so shocked.
“Did I really see her moments ago?” My mind was racing
with thoughts and pictures. I went back to my bed as I tried to process the
incidents that just happened.
“Was I dreaming?”
“God! I was dreaming” I cupped my face with my hands
“I saw Kike in my dream moments ago!” I uttered, barely
I watched like someone dazed as a few other nurses and
attendants gathered and walked back and forth. As one of them walked past me —
the first one that covered her with the cloth. I tried to speak but couldn’t
find my voice, I tried again –
“…she was playing outside last night”
The nurse was already a few meters away before the words
come out of my mouth.
For the rest of that day and the following days I grew up
faster, at least in my mind, I became very sober, circumspect, and somewhat too
philosophical for my age, I changed! I saw life from another surreal
perspective. I wished I had the panacea to the thousands of ailments that were
taking my friends away from me, taking children away from their parents,
parents away from their children and lives away from the ones that have it.
Kike’s incident hit me like nothing else ever did and like nothing else would
ever. It felt like I had seen it all. This was the crescendo of life’s flagrant
Kike’s demise opened my eyes to the tragic dynamics of
life, some of which had happened before without my comprehension. The fact that
some people love so much that they cannot bear to let go and the other side of
the coin where some hate so much so that they don’t want to be with their loved
ones. I felt a gulf of emptiness between me and the rest of the world.
Deborah clung on to me like a young kangaroo would cling
to her mother. For her, the whole world can go on holiday as long as she was
“What is it Deborah?” I asked her as we walked along the
road in front of the laboratory block
“Rice and stew”
“I thought you ate an hour ago”
“Rice and stew” she repeated, her voice now about to
break into a cry
The reason we are who we are began to unfold right there
before me. What would happen if I abandon her and walk away? Heaven will not
fall, as I heard one of the young doctors say the other day.
“Shief” She called me back to reality
“Hmm! Okay, rice and stew. You don’t want eba?”
“Eba” she repeated, somewhat delighted
“Okay, let’s go find eba or rice”
“I checked my pocket, I still had N150 on me and thank
goodness Aunty Nurse and Mummy were a very present fallback.
People used to refer to me (and later the rest of us) as
government ‘pikin,’ a term that I hated so much and took exceptions to. I used
to view it with contempt. My categorization of the group called government
‘pikin’ was the Area Boys at the motor park two kilometers from the gate of the
hospital. The ones on the street of Mushin, Oshodi and under Ojuelegba bridge,
as I was told, that were always chasing after motorists and Okada (commercial
bike) riders to collect 20 or 50 naira every day, and the police men who also
stop the motorists and Okada riders for same reasons. I also regarded the
beggars on the street as likely government ‘pikin,’ especially those little
girls and boys of Deborah’s age bracket or older from the north or neighbouring
Niger Republic who will run to you and start a recitation of nicely learnt
English sentences of prayer and plead like “Please sir, good morning sir (even
if it’s evening), please give me money to eat sir, I am hungry, God will bless
you, God will give you long life, God will help your family.” When they start,
it sounds like a melody enriched with their Hausa accents and they won’t stop
until you either part with some money or you walk or drive away from them. But
now I know there’s hardly no difference between them and me, after all I sleep
in a government hospital, on a government bed and fed by government workers. So
that invariably makes me a government pikin.
There’s been talks about moving me, and maybe other kids
like me to an orphanage, but no one has said anything to me yet. The talk has
been on for years. I refuse to ask because I know neither Mummy nor Aunty Nurse
will share details with me. I don’t know what life holds on the other side for
me but I’ve decided to take each day as it comes and be the man that I can be
regardless whatever situation the day brings.
My common entrance examination would be in a couple of
months. I was looking forward to it even though I wasn’t sure I had prepared
well for it, but I always had my confidence boosted when I heard Aunty Nurse
say of me to her colleagues and friends and visitors –
“Chief is very brilliant”
“I’m sure he would pass his exams”
“He is a young Professor in the making — he knows
virtually everything around here”
I was further swayed by the fact that my assessment score
had improved from ridiculous nineteenth position, which got Aunty Nurse very
angry the year she first knew me, to between seventh and now third position
every term largely due to her help with my home works, along with the shirts,
shoes and ice cream — great motivational incentives. I had wondered how Aunty
Nurse would feel when I finally leave. I was certain that wherever life took
me, she was always going to be in my heart because she was at least the only
sister I had, but I knew that I was eagerly looking forward to new experiences.
I hoped to one day see some of my friends again, I mean the ones that got well
and left the hospital.
A part of me still looks forward to the coming of the TV
crew again, the pulsating yearn to be heard, to be seen and to start something
new or to stop something old, and this time, I will not be intimidated, I will
not be shoved aside, I will be bold and I will tell them –
“I am Chief!”
“I am the one you need to interview!”
“I am the one with all the stories you want to hear!”
Chike Ibekwe is a filmmaker, writer and producer from Nigeria. He is working on his debut novel and some short stories. He is fascinated by the possibilities of the tech world. His Twitter handle is @CHIKEIBEKWE.
Dr Lois Ekwe is the founder of Lois Entertainment
Award USA LLC / Cameroon/ Nigeria and Dubai . Lois Humanitarian Foundation. She is the owner of Unity Home
Care LLC. She holds a Phd in Counseling and Education. As a Counselor, she
speaks on various issues related to the family.
Lois is an Award Winning Social Entrepreneur. Since
2016, the Lois Humanitarian Foundation and Entertainment—USA Program has evolved from a
beauty competition to a prestigious program offering personal and professional
skills development, influence and exposure to all participants. Their goal is
to teach, inspire, impact, generations, honor persons who are making
significant contributions to their community through their time, actions,
talents and dedication (outside any volunteer work done for their employer).
She just Produce a movie VEGAS based on her true life story
Dr Ekwe is a mother of two and lives in Delaware USA.
The annual Universal Movie Awards UNIMA now features a new category ‘BEST TV COMMERCIAL AWARDS’ for Nigeria. This is to support and celebrate creative commercial productions in the advertising industry . This category have various segments of awards as listed below.
– Best Telecom Commercial award
– Best Financial institution commercial award
– Best Food & Beverages Commercial Award
– Best Best Animated Commercial Award
– Best soundtrack Commercial award
– Best Overall TV Commercial Award
– Best Commercial Producer Award
– Best Commercial Director Award
– Best Production Company Commercial Award
This will encourage those in the production of commercials vis a vis the AD Agencies to be part of Universal Movie Awards and be well recognized..
Two Nigerian Air Force Officers are bent on rescuing their newly married course mate and fighter pilot in an enemy territory, the mission becomes a fierce battle to save the community of his refuge.
Writer/Producer/ Director Paul Apel Papel
Cast: Femi Jacobs, Enyinna Nwigwe, Yakubu Mohammed,
Francis Duru, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey Patience Ujah, Stephanie Apel, Jamila
Ibrahim Abdul Zada
DOP: Spindem Lot, VFX: Gabriel Keneni, Music Score: Chuck Okudo, Editor/Colorist: Paul Apel Papel.
Profile: Paul Apel Papel in a US trained filmmaker at Colorado Film School with many awards credits including the British Film Institute’s Best Production category at the ZAFAA Global Awards 2014 in the United Kingdom.