The British High Commission, Joy, Inc. (joyinc.xyz), a human flourishing company and Y! TV joined award-winning actress, director and CEO of The Make It Happen Productions, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, as she premiered her short film titled ‘FINE’, at the residence of the Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria today, Wednesday, 9 October, 2019.
With the intent to educate and enlighten people about mental health, ‘FINE’ which is co-written and directed by Odenike Odetola, is considered a significant film due to his major emphasis on mental wellness, depression, anxiety and other issues in mental wellbeing.
Speaking at the event, the producer, Lala Akindoju said, “Depression, anxiety or any other mental issue can affect anyone, no matter the age or background, and it’s really essential that we begin to recognise that actions can be taken to solve them. This film basically tells the story of what people go through and how hard it can be to get over their problems, but we tried as much as possible to enlighten people about getting help and reaching out to friends and family when facing challenges,” she said.
To increase awareness through consistent and effective engagement, the producer also partnered with Joy, Inc.’s new network initiative Mad Against Depression and Anxiety (MADA) – a network of professionals and influential personalities who intend to combine their resources and experience to fight depression in Nigeria.
Chude Jideonwo, the founder of Joy, Inc., explained that mental health needs serious attention in Nigeria, as many citizens are not even conscious of their mental state presently, which later results in high suicidal rates.
“It’s really vital for everyone to be aware that mental health is an extremely important issue when considering total health and wellbeing. There is a strong link between our physical and mental health, as there are several factors that usually contribute to depression. And with our new network, we want to change narratives and help people get support in safe facilities across Africa while we continue to raise significant awareness.” he said.
The British Deputy High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson also commended the film, saying that, “Mental awareness is on the rise and we are happy to be part of the conversation, we really look forward to seeing significant changes as we believe that positive changes are achievable.” she said.
‘FINE’ recently premiered at the Nollywood Paris Film Festival, and features stars such as Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, Odenike Odetola, Tiere Osundilire and Jennifer Alegieuno.
Mad Against Depression and Anxiety (MADA) will be officially announced on Thursday, 10 October, 2019. According to the National Depression Report released by Joy, Inc. in partnership with NOIPolls in 2018, one out of every three Nigerian is at risk of depression, while the country has the seventh-highest rate of suicide in Africa.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.