Sunday, February 4, 2018

Different Views of Orlando Martins Street on Lagos Island in Nigeria

I have completed the recce for the production of my romantic documentary, "I Saw Her on Orlando Martins Street" and I thank Almighty God for His divine inspiration, divine protection and divine provision for this very important historical documentary project.
This is going to be a documentary to be excited about.
All the clips of the videos of the recce are on my @orikinla on Instagram.

Orlando Martins Street on the Lagos Island of Lagos State in southwest of Nigeria is named after the first Nigerian Hollywood star, Orlando Martins who had an illustrious career as an actor in Britain, America and Nigeria from 1926 to 1971.

Orlando Martins Street (formerly Strachan Street), is located in the southeast of Lagos Island. It is about 212 meters long; in one of the busiest business districts and residential areas of Africa's largest megacity. It connects the popular Igbosere Road and the Tafawa Balewa Square beside the Lagos State High Court, Court of Appeal and the old Federal Supreme Court. The beginning of the street is opposite the Lapal House with SCOA Motors Plc and a branch of FirstBank Plc beside the MRS filling station by the Lawson Street and Strachan Street. The end of the street from the Igbosere Road to the Tafawa Balewa Square is the military zone of the offices of Ministry of Defence and is cordoned off from vehicular traffic for security reasons.
The street has been taken over by local food restaurants called "bukas" selling hot foods straight from the cookers for hungry residents and the workers from the nearby government offices and private companies. Roadside mechanics have also found enough space for their garage.

Orlando Martins had the record of being the black actor with the longest acting career in Britain, from being an extra in "If Youth But Knew" in 1926 to 1971.

"I am happy to say I am one of the pioneers, if not the pioneer African film star," Orlando Martins said in his biography published in 1983.

Orlando Martins , MON (8 December 1899 – 25 September 1985) was a pioneering Nigerian film and stage actor. In the late 1940s, he was one of England's most prominent and leading black actors and in a poll conducted in 1947, he was listed among England's top 15 favourite actors.

Martins was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a civil servant Brazilian father. He was related to the Benjamin Epega family (see attached family photo, including his mother).
He was an all round actor on stage, TV and cinema and known for the following films.
1935 Sanders of the River - Klova
1945 The Man from Morocco - Jeremiah
1946 Men of Two Worlds - Magole
1947 The End of the River - Harrigan
1948 Good Time Girl - Kolly
1949 The Hasty Heart - Blossom
1954 West of Zanzibar - M'Kwongi
1955 Simba - Headman
1956 Safari - Jerusalem
1957 Abandon Ship - Sam Holly
1957 Tarzan and the Lost Safari - Chief Ogonooro
1958 The Naked Earth - Tall Bearer
1959 Sapphire - Barman
1959 The Nuns Story - Kalulu
1960 Killers of Kilimanjaro - Chief Chief
1963 Call Me Bwana - Chief Tribal Chief
1965 Mister Moses - Chief Chief
1965 A Boy Ten Feet Tall - Abu Lubaba
1970 Kongi's Harvest - Dr. Gbenga
1971 Things Fall Apart

Notable Honours
British Actors Equity Association
Honorary life membership in 1970.
MON in 1982 by President Shehu Shagari of Nigeria.
1983, National Award in Theatre Arts by the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artistes at the University of Calabar, Cross River State. He was a prominent life member of the Lagos State Arts Council.

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