The award-winning Nigerian actress, director, and filmmaker Stephanie Linus has released a short film titled “The Student,” which focuses on sexual harassment of female students in tertiary institutions.
The film is part of an ongoing series created by Linus and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 throughout March. The film follows “Hey Woman!,” a monologue and the first project in the series.
“The Student” is the story of “Jumi. . . a dedicated student with a promising future,” who “when a male lecturer with a reputation of sexual harassment decides to make her one of his victims, she must fight hard to get out of his trap.”
In the film, Jumi, a brilliant and studious person, is distraught when she checks the scoreboard and sees that she has failed a course she prepared for. She remembers that the male lecturer teaching the course had propositioned her and, when she turned down his advances, had promised he would fail her if she did not do his bidding. At that moment, Jumi is left with two weighty options: give in to the lecturer’s advances and rescue herself or rebuff him and suffer more consequences.
“The Student” is written by Adeola Adeyemo and directed by Chinedu Ben. Terry Emmanuel did the cinematography; Afolake Faranpojo was the Production Manager, and Yummie Ogbebor was the consulting costumier. The actors were cast from Del-York Creative Academy and NollyCasting.
“Our schools are meant to be a safe place for learning,” says Linus at the end of the video, “the school is meant to bring out the best potentials of our girls but some people are trying to turn it into a place of fear. Gender-based violence [and] sexual harassment is real. It affects the survivors both physically and mentally. So do not stay silent. Speak up, speak out and get the needed help.”
Watch “The Student” below.
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Uzoma Ihejirika is a Nigerian creative writer and journalist. He is an editor for the AfroAnthology Series and a copy editor for Minority Africa and has written for Open Country Mag. He has a short story on Lolwe.