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The Man Behind Nollywood’s Retakes

Last year’s ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’, which marked Charles Okpaleke’s debut as a movie producer, finished its box-office run as not only the top-grossing Nigerian film of 2019 but also one of the most successful of all time, earning $454,000. Okpaleke has more reboots in the pipeline, setting the stage for a lucrative reordering of Nigeria’s movie industry. Okpaleke, 37, a jet-setting businessman and the father of twin daughters, is known for his splashy lifestyle, documented on his social media pages, and for innovations in urban nightlife. With his brothers Elvis and Jeffrey, Charles founded Play Network, a networking and hospitality lifestyle chain with an elite clientele. Play Network runs nightlife destinations in Abuja, Lagos and Calabar, and has recently expanded to Namibia and South Africa. A huge fan of Nollywood, Nigeria’s prolific but severely under-structured film industry, Okpaleke decided that as a first-time producer entering uncharted waters, a logical move would be to remake Living in Bondage, perhaps the most influential Nollywood film.