as film set
for BBC drama
was converted into a film set for a few weeks for a
BBC drama production about the kidnapping of foreign
workers in the oil-rich Niger Delta in West Africa.
The series Blood and Oil is expected
to be broadcast on British television in September 2009
and stars some of the most acclaimed emerging Black
TV stars in the United Kingdom, including Naomie Harris
who starred in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
The Umlalazi Nature Reserve
served as the principal location with the lagoon car
park being totally transformed into an African fishing
The boat launch slipway become an oil drilling rig and
the Inkhwazi campsite was filled with Hollywood-style
trailers for the stars, their wardrobe, props and catering
Other locations used were the Raphia
Palm Natural Monument and Twinstreams
Environmental Education Centre.
The stars of Blood and Oil:
Chike Okonkwo, left, and Naomie Harris.
The oil-rich Niger Delta should be paradise. It is a maze
of waterways, lush vegetation as well as being incredibly rich
in minersals. However since the discovery of oil there 50 years,
this marshy coastline has become a swamp-infested nightmare.
A sweaty, heaving melting-pot of 30 million people from 40-odd
ethnic groups, speaking more than 200 different languages, the
Niger Delta is today a polluted and over-exploited industrial
site. Regular oil spills make fishing and farming impossible,
flares burn constantly and the air is filled with soot.
At independence Nigeria expected its potential oil revenues
to launch a vibrant economy - the envy of all emerging African
states. Instead it has become the perfect launchpad for currupt
politicians and greedy multinationals.
The Delta today is a danger zone of armed gangs, kidnappings
and chaos. Oil companies and the people who work for them, are
the main target. In the past few years shadowy militant groups
like the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)
have been invloved in the kidnapping and extortion of foreign
workers. Almost all of those kidnapped are returned unharmed
once a hefty ranson has been paid.
Does this sound like Mtunzini?