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In a shocking event, a female graphic designer Louisa Ejenavbo has called out the producers of Living in Bondage: Breaking Free for use of her work without payment or acknowledgment. Louis called out the producers of the hugely successful movie over allegations of unpaid dues and denied credits for graphic designs she prepared for the production.

Louisa Ejenavbo whose name is new to a large section of the public is a multi-skilled professional who identifies as an accountant, an entrepreneur, and a graphic designer.

In a 14-tweet Twitter thread, Louisa revealed her previously undocumented involvement in the Living in Bondage sequel project as a Graphic Designer. Based on her tweets, she was commissioned by a certain Mr. Jim Franklin who served as the Media Director for the project before his dismissal.

Louis narrated the draining experience, shuttling between her day job and her commissioned assignment on the LIB project, which caused her to resume after office hours at the hotel used by the LIB team, spending long nights in an effort to deliver tons of graphic content for the project. Unfortunately, all this was happening without a written contract or financial commitment as she was only promised that her down payment would be paid in due course.

In the jarring thread, Louisa also shared stories of suspected foul play by the LIB management team and her unsuccessful private attempt to get Ramsey Nouah to address her complaints before bringing it to the public.  She wrote, ‘all I ever wanted was to be acknowledged and compensated. Not ignored and belittled like a nobody.’

With the revelation gaining momentum online, Actress Kate Henshaw weighed in on the trending subject. The actress made an attempt to clarify the issue, speaking for Ramsey Nouah and stating that Louis is being played by her contact person.  In Kate’s words, ‘Good morning Louisa. Trust you are well. I was tagged on your thread this morning. I can say I know @Ramseynouah_to a certain extent. He is not that type of person. Ur connect was passing off your job as his own. I have spoken to Ramsey and I hear someone has reached out to you.’

This timely intervention has since led to a resolution of the issue, as the accuser used the same medium to announce that her claim was not to indict the production but to receive adequate recognition and compensation for her work. She also confirmed that she has been contacted by the right party and compensated – which appears very swift.

She tweeted, ‘UPDATE Twitter, I made that thread not to indict anybody but to sensitize about the issue and I am grateful that everyone was supportive to me. I didn’t have a direct contact to Ramsey or the crew that is why I used social media. You can see I even tagged the wrong handle.’

We are not certain what the compensation was for Louisa. However, her tweets suggest that she is satisfied with what she received. In light of the revelations though, it is very important for practitioners in Nollywood to be reminded that, just like any other business sector, contracts, written agreements, and proper documentation are necessary to avoid situations like the one Louisa found herself in. Nollywood deals in a lot of intellectual property. Thus, it is important that all players take their time to study and learn how to protect their individual rights, and put together measures to ensure they do not fall victim to unscrupulous behavior. A word of advice to all would be, ‘thou shall not be in a hurry to blow, that one fails to secure the bag’. Production companies also need to be very meticulous with their due diligence, to avoid situations like this.

Thankfully, Louisa’s case appears to have been sorted. But not all cases come to proper resolutions for all parties involved. So, stay vigilant.

Living in Bondage Infringement Scandal: The Protest, Swift Resolution and Lessons for Nollywood

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