“Dry” by @StephanieLinus

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When I was first invited out on a movie-night by MsOEdeh and the girls, I remember making a joke about why we would come all the way to watch a Nollywood movie at the cinema. Forgive a sister– I didn’t mean to sound like an enemy of Nollywood’s progress. And, with all humility, I have come to confess that Nollywood has grown beyond business as usual. I saw this in Kunle Afolayan’s October 1 and it is exciting to see the high standard being maintained by others– as recently portrayed in “Dry.”

But this post is not about Nollywood or the standard in Nigeria’s movie industry. It is about “Dry.”

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“Dry” the movie by Nigerian actress-cum-producer, Stephanie Linus, is one to see again and again. The story unravels the issue of child marriage and fistula, as it affects Nigeria, or Africa.

In today’s update, the official page shared:

More than two million women in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Arab region, Latin America and the Caribbean are estimated to be living with fistula, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop annually. According to reports, Nigeria may be accounting for 40 per cent global prevalence rate of Obstetric Fistula.

“Dry” goes beyond creating awareness about this issue. It actually puts a face to it– thus helping everyone who has ever doubted the reality to better understand the trend and dynamics.

It also exposes the fire brigade approach and band-aid solutions our government-leaders often employ to address issues in order to protect their image. And of course, how often it is those in power who contribute to societal decadence– by raping the future.

The theme of the movie is very intense. It covers key issues such as culture, corruption, illiteracy, friendship, commitment etc.  Thankfully, some characters help deflect what would have been an ultra-serious and somewhat depressing mood in the entire movie with timely comic relief. As seen through the village gossip and Dr Klint the drunk.

“Dry” also reminds us all that addressing issues that affects women and girls is not a responsibility to be left to the female gender alone. It demands an urgent response, it requires a collaborative effort.
I hope more people will see “Dry”. It should be viewed in schools and other social/political gatherings in Nigeria and globally.
On a lighter note:  YES!!! Grand actress Liz Benson played a key role– how does she still look so young. And no, Africa is not a country.

Jennifer Ehidiamen is a tech-savvy journalist based in Lagos. She reports on global health and development issues in Africa for Voice of America (VOA News). Jennifer also serves as a photojournalist and communications consultant. A 2013 Innovative Young Journalist Award recipient, 2013 New Media fellow for International Reporting Project, 2010 LEAP Africa award recipient and a 2009 Atlas Service Corps Fellow, Jennifer recently founded the Rural Reports project [http://www.ruralreporters.com], a news portal dedicated to grassroots citizen-reporting. She serves as an Advisory Council member for Washington DC-based One World Youth Project (OWYP). She has published three books: "In Days to Come" (2004), "Preserve my Saltiness" (2011) and "Half A Loaf And A Bakery" (2013). Jennifer graduated from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism with a degree in Mass Communication. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @Disgeneration