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Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals (Lagos) Spotlight on Women in Rural Communities in Africa

Award winning filmmaker Cheryl Halpern's Kande Bode "Don't Get Whipped" wins award and sheds light on Indigenous Rural Women in African Communities 


Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals Lagos Edition hosted a variety of films ranging from Climate Action, Social Justice, Animation, to films on practices on cocoa plantations. On Saturday April 9th, the festival exhibited "Spotlight on African Women" in rural communities from 4pm - 5pm at Silverbird Cinemas in Victoria Island, Lagos. Majority of the audience were African women and men who are strong advocates of women and girl empowerment. None of the audience knew such practices existed in modern day Ethiopia and expressed concerns and appreciation to Mrs. Cheryl Halpern for producing such an informative film. 

Kande Bode "Don't Get Whipped," was directed by Cheryl Halpern and Fekad Kiros and is about "the Hamar Tribe, a semi nomadic and rural people who live along the Omo River in Southwestern Ethiopia. Preserving the traditions of their ancestors is essential to defining Hamar life. One of the most venerated of the Hamar's ancient traditions involves the transition of the Hamar male into an adult. Today, however there is a new awareness that aspects of this tradition are harmful to the health and well being of many who participate. The Hamar people are beginning to consider how their tradition can evolve."

To date, the film has been utilized by different institutions for studies and won numerous awards at international film festivals.

 On April 10th, the film was awarded "Best Women's Short Documentary," at the Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals - Lagos, Nigeria. In Mrs. Cheryl Halpern's absence Co-Founder of RCIFF, His Majesty the Oloni of Eti-Oni, Oba (King) Dokun Thompson Gureje IV presented the award to his wife and Co-Founder, Her Royal Majesty Queen Angelique-Monet who expressed, "This award goes out to all the women and Indigenous women in rural communities whose voices often go unheard and are often unseen. Acclaimed individuals such as Mrs. Cheryl Halpern producing such a piece certainly will make a difference and the unheard voice will be heard and the unseen will be seen. On behalf of our Honorary Host Committee we want to congratulate Mrs. Cheryl Halpern on her award and may the film continue to shed light on such needed topics. Certainly Mrs. Halpern's body of works continue to educate, enlighten, and empower, and we wish her the best as she continues making films of purpose."

 Mrs. Cheryl Halpern expressed gratitude for receiving the award and the film being utilized for a discussion on African women in rural communities at Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals (RCIFF) Lagos edition.  

 The Royal Cocoa International Film Festivals (RCIFF) was founded by Their Royal Majesties of Eti-Oni, Oba (King) Dokun Thompson Gureje IV, the Oloni of Eti-Oni and Queen Angelique-Monet of Eti-Oni and is the first film festivals Founded by a Monarch, hosting two film festivals in Nigeria celebrating cocoa farmers and farmers worldwide. The Kingdom of Eti-Oni, Osun State, Nigeria (Sub-Sahara Africa) is the oldest cocoa plantation in the country and is ruled by a Monarch bearing the title His Majesty, the Oloni of Eti-Oni. The current ruler is HRM Oba (King) Dokun Thompson GUREJE IV.

 RCIFF aims to help deepen the cocoa culture and create an understanding of its value to transform cocoa producing regions by bringing positive cultural messages together to a broader international audience while celebrating African stories in the global marketplace as well as promote just, equity and ethical social practices in the world of cocoa production to rectify an industry where worker-abusive practices and child labour with lack of basic social and physical infrastructure have been the norm in cocoa producing regions since the abolition of slavery.

 The next edition will take place at the Kingdom of Eti-Oni, Osun State Nigeria  from November 25-28 during the 9th Annual Cocoa Festival. RCIFF mission is to celebrate cocoa farmers and farmers world-wide by the medium of film and entertainment. 


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