Four crew members of the movie “Abakwa” and the manager of Big G snack bar in Nkwen, Bamenda III, in Cameroon’s restive North West Region will appear before the military court on Friday, December 1st, following the recent movie production attack in Bamenda. This will be their second appearance since the incident on November 25th at the Big G Snack Bar, where five people were killed and nine others wounded, according to official statistics.
Separatist fighters stormed the bar and opened fire as the actors were about to hold a meeting with a visiting Nigerian actor, Sylvester Madu, and his fans.
The four actors to appear in court are Mr. Frank, Faith Feh, Scout Nji, and Dama Humphrey, the movie director.
MMI gathered that they are being questioned on why they did not seek administrative authorization before organizing a ‘meet and greet’ event between fans of Nollywood actor Sylvester Madu, also known as Shina Rambo.
In a related development, the Cameroon Film Industry (CFI) has issued a release saying they have the situation “under control,” adding that Nollywood actor Sylvester Madu is making arrangements to return to his country, Nigeria.
“Cameroon Film Industry (CFI) is resolute and is handling the matter diligently. As many of you are aware, there was a regrettable fatal attack on filmmakers during an ‘after shoot’ event with Nigerian movie star; Sylvester Madu, alias “Shina Rambo,” Brenda Elung, CFI’s Board Chair, said in a release.
“I am relieved to confirm that Sylvester Madu is safe and is currently in the process of returning to his home country, Nigeria. The CFI is actively collaborating with national authorities to ensure the release of all filmmakers in custody, and we are taking comprehensive measures to mitigate any potential risks of this nature in the future. We are committed to fostering a safe and secure environment for filmmakers, both domestic and international, to pursue their creative endeavours in Cameroon,” a section of the communiqué reads.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to maintaining a thriving and secure film industry in Cameroon,” said the CFI in a statement.
Who is targeting Dama movies?
Across social media platforms, there are mixed reactions.
Administrative authorities have linked the attack to “terrorists,” referring to Separatist fighters.
Other analyses have accused a drug dealer gang in Bamenda, arguing that the movie “Abakwa” advocates against drug consumption, which directly targets their businesses.
MMI spoke to Andrew (not his real name), who was at the snack bar at the time of the incident.
Andrew says the attackers fired indiscriminately at the population. “Their aim was not to kidnap anyone but probably to disrupt the enjoyment, which gave the impression that Bamenda was in peace.”
Andrew continued, “If those present at the bar did not lay down when the bullets were being rained on them, we would have had more than fifty people killed.”
The recent incident at Big G Snack Bar is not the only worry.
Entertainers across the nation are getting worried about why some crew members of the movie production team are still in police custody over the incident.