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Jemima Osunde, Mike Afolarin & Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna Have This To Say About Tiwa Savage’s Film “Water & Garri”

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Tiwa Savage surprised fans by announcing her debut Prime Video film “Water and Garri,” an extension of her creative vision from her 2021 EP of the same name. While the EP showcased her musical talents, the film allowed her to shine as an actress and executive producer through her company, Everything Savage.

Tiwa Savage isn’t new to the acting scene. She previously played Sade, a club owner and over-protective adoptive mother of a son who’s HIV positive in the MTV series “Shuga Naija” (season 3) and made a cameo in Funke Akindele‘s “Jennifer’s Diary.”

In “Water and Garri,” Tiwa takes centre stage as Aisha, an ambitious fashion designer returning to Nigeria after a decade in the U.S. following a family loss. Upon arrival, she grapples with the many changes she finds back home.

“Performing as Aisha allowed me to be totally vulnerable and pushed me to express myself in a way that I’ve never done before,” she says about the role. She co-stars with Jemima Osunde (known for movies like “Shuga,” Lionheart” and “Far From Home“) who played the character of Stephany, Aisha’s cousin, who broke the news of her father’s passing.

In a press interview with the cast and crew of the film, we hear from Jemima Osunde, Mike Afolarin, and Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna, about their experiences on set, the music score, working with Tiwa, bringing the story to life and lots more.

Jemimah Osunde on her experience on set:

It was a very beautiful shoot. We were in a very beautiful location, so even when I wasn’t filming, walking around was a very awesome experience. But I would say that there was a particular day when we were in a keke maruwa, it was Tiwa and I and it was very funny. We had a lot of things going on, we were filming in the middle of the street, so people were going on with their daily activities and the maruwa had to move, we had to get to the director, and there was just a lot going on and it was really funny. 

Tiwa cutting in: She was actually teasing me because she was saying I hadn’t been in one before, but have you been in one before?

Jemima: Yes! I have 

Tiwa: Oh!

Jemima: It was your first time, not mine.

Davidson on being a part of the project.

When I got the call from the lovely Tiwa and Vanessa, I was like I am going to do this. It was a yes. When I read the script, I really connected with my character and everyone’s character, and I saw the vision, the idea of what this movie was about to bring to life, and I wanted to be a part of it. If I am being honest, this movie for me I haven’t seen such substance, especially coming from Nigeria and Africa. You will feel the movie when you watch it, you will feel connected even to the minutest detail.

Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna on the soundtracks to the film and working with Tiwa Savage:

It’s an incredible film that you will all get to experience. There’s also a brilliant ten-track album that Tiwa put together while recording the initial EP, “Water & Garri.” There’s a project called “Water & Garri,” an EP of five songs that came out. Tiwa recorded additional songs that were supposed to be part of the film project, but as we were filming, she decided to scrap them. So naturally panic. We had no time. We were ready to wrap up filming. Tiwa, in her entrepreneurial self, said she was going to create completely new music for the project. She went out to Malibu and spent ten days on ten records. I have never experienced working with anyone who works as hard as her. Even when we were doing the New York premiere, Tiwa slipped away to record even more music because she had another project coming up.

One of the other things I wanted to highlight was the strength of a woman. It’s important for me as a woman and as a mother to highlight that we are special and that the work that gets put in is not talked about enough in this industry, and that’s why I am personally really proud to have the opportunity of a lifetime to work with someone like Tiwa and show that we can do it all honestly.

Mike Afolarin on the Water & Garri story and how the audience will connect to it. 

There are times when you feel like you have choices to make, and I feel like that’s literally the story of Water & Garri. Someone abroad has to come back to the realities of the country that she left. She knows, of course, that times have changed. She knows that she would have to navigate those troubles, for whatever reason it is that she came back. You also find touch points on family, community, and all of that. So I feel like everyone who watches this will have something to connect with. It was just an amazing journey for me with these creatives. I got to work with the creative genius that is Meji Alabi. I got to watch Tiwa work through creating music, acting, and producing. It’s just mind-blowing to watch her work and still care about the actors on set and them not hurting themselves doing stunts and all of that. We had a great time making this.

Star Features