David Oyelowo, British-born Nigerian international movie star who acted the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, has said that he was called by God to take the role.
This, he said, on Sunday, February 8 at The Rock Cathedral, Lekki-Epe expressway, Lagos in a press conference.
Oyelowo said,”Getting the film made was tough. I was on the journey to getting it made for seven years.
“I first read the script in 2007 and felt this very visceral calling to do it. I knew I was going to play this role; God told me I would. And unfortunately for me, the director at that time didn’t feel that way. But it lodged in my spirit enough that I started working.
“I just started researching as much as I could about Dr. King and it took another three years before a director came along and did cast me in the shape of Lee Daniels. And then we still couldn’t get the film off the ground. And he then left the project and I managed to suggest Ava. So that’s what brought us to where we are now.”
Speaking at the conference, Paul Adefarasin, the Pastor and Founder of House on the Rock church said in a bid to foster and promote non-violence approach in Nigeria, the Rock Foundation partnered with the United States Mission to premiere the movie Selma. He urged Nigerians to ensure that peace, justice and equity are enshrined in Nigeria.
“As Nigeria embarks on this critical task of further entrenching it’s nascent democracy, we are using this movie, Selma to speak to and embed in the consciousness of all Nigerians the benefits of employing non-violent methods to achieve a credible transition in a peaceful atmosphere devoid of fear-stoked actions,” Adefarasin said.
He added that, “The stark reality of this present age is that the rapidly changing world we live in has rendered many of the ways we used to do things obsolete. The imperatives that confront us demand that whilst we hold fast to the principles of Godliness, integrity, justice, equity and value for humanity, we must continue to learn from the mistakes of yesterday and embrace the opportunities of today. It is only by committing to nonviolence that we believe Nigeria can reform.”
The award-winning movie Selma, chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.
Drawing inspiration from his Christian faith while others were advocating for freedom by any means necessary, including violence, Martin Luther King, Jr. used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance to achieve seemingly-impossible goals.