“You be thief, I no be thief”: Chuma Nwokolo accuses film maker of plagiarism-Henri Yire

We have seen our fair share of custody battles in Nigeria and we are not talking about child care sagas.

This fight is the age-old plagiarism contention where two factions war over a piece of creative work to ascertain the rightful owner.

Jude idada, winner of the NLNG prize for literature, was dragged to court a while ago over an alleged movie script he wrote for one party, who claimed was illegally appropriated by another.
Jude’s role was to ascertain whether the aforementioned scripts held any similarity, while we held our breath to see if the accused party who had already made a film out of the suspect script was going to be disgraced in court.

Another war is brewing. One between author and lawyer, Chuma Nwokolo who recently came out in a beautifully articulated piece on medium to accuse a movie maker of helping himself to generous portions of his book, and as expected, without consent or mention.

The book in question, is a short story titled ‘Ten Commandments of Nigerian Politics’ and the movie which was released in October 2018 was titled, ‘If I was President.’

The accusation is surprisingly without the expected anger-fueled text that should trail such a revelation, instead it reads like a review, critiquing the work for form and factuality, telling us the story of how he carefully watched the offending movie to make a proper summation of the fact.

Chuma Nwokolo, even in war, is graceful in his rhetorics, teaching the movie maker where he took offending steps and how he could have avoided it altogether.

Words were carelessly lifted from Chuma’s book without regard for intellectual property, the presence of a higher power or Chuma’s state of mind.

It was a fearless attempt to glean glory from another’s war.

The article reads:

*The infringement only got worse. At the 1.05.12 mark of the movie, Elvis declares:

‘Yeah, start abusing yourself in the newspapers… As you are play-fighting in the press, so will the naija mugus be fighting each other on the streets for real.’

words which were copied from page 157 of my book:

‘You must start abusing yourself in the papers…As you play-fight in the newspapers, that is how the Naija mugus on the street will be fighting themselves for real.’

If the accused could read (we expect he can, following the activity of ‘air-lifting’ specific text from another’s book) he would at this point erroneously assume that this well-written missive was just a cry for help.

But Chuma Nwokolo is shrewd.
He leaves the best for last.

Encouraging everyone to go watch the movie he has calmly ousted.
Why? The movie maker might probably need the proceeds from it to fund the upcoming lawsuit.

Read the accusation here

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