Did You Know? Martial Artists Were Hired For Shanty Town

Chidi Mokeme
Chidi Mokeme on the set of Shanty Town/Instagram@chidimokeme

The Nollywood hit film Shanty Town has been trending since its release on January 20, 2023. The series, which exposes drug and sex trafficking in Nigerian ghettos, contains scenes of nudity, but it pales in comparison to the action scenes in which lead actors Ini Edo, Chidi Mokeme, and other cast members engage in high-stakes physical combat.

The success of the film’s combat scenes can only be credited to the production team’s decision to engage professional martial artists, who trained the actors to fight. Ini Edo, who starred in the movie, which she equally co-produced with Chi Chi Nworah, revealed that she performed 90% of her stunts, all thanks to the hired martial artists.


The thespian told Pulse in an interview:

We had hired two sets of martial art professionals, who did all kinds of trainings. Amazing people. For me, it was the believability for me. It was my high. I had found something that was that would take me out of my comfort zone. At first, I was scared. Then I got into it, I set my mind to it and I just did that. I didn’t want to have a lot of doubles. I did 90% of my stunts.’’

Ini Edo on the set of Shanty Town/Pulse NG

An interesting part of the movie’s production is the change of its title from ‘Shark Town’ to ‘Shanty Town.’ Chi Chi Nworah disclosed that the movie idea took six years to execute and recounts changing the title after receiving the first draft of the story from a script writer.

“I started to think about it so I brought in a writer, Xavier Ighorodje. Then, he worked on the story with the team to flesh out the idea that I had. He put life into it then sent me the first draft. I tweaked it and changed the name. It was originally called ‘Shark Town.’ Xavier did amazing job with Donald Tombia,’’ the filmmaker revealed.

The movie’s cast includes Ini Edo, Chidi Mokeme, Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), Sola Sobowale, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Uche Jombo, Nancy Isime, Ali Nuhu, Shaffy Bello, Peter Okoye (Mr. P), Mercy Eke, and more.

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