Queen Rasheed, the boss of a new online TV platform, QRtv, recently premiered her debut movie effort entitled Don Beg Now, designed to expose the dangers of rape and enlighten Nigerian youths on the need to stamp out the menace. In this chat, Rasheed opens up on what inspired the short film and her dreams.
Tell us about yourself and where you are coming from?
I am a film/TV producer and media entrepreneur. In my quest to revolutionise the art of storytelling in Africa, I created QRTV in 2019, a brand new multi-faceted media firm situated in Lagos, Nigeria.
Why did you choose to do a movie on rape?
Rape has been a very serious and common occurrence in Nigeria for decades now. However, in 2019, following the Busola Dakolo incident, we started the conversation about rape and we noticed that more action is being taken by individuals and our government to stamp out this menace. Film could be used as a powerful medium of communication. We decided to produce Don’t Beg Now in order to pass a serious message across to the Nigerian audience while providing a breath-taking viewing experience.
What has the reception been like?
The reaction so far has been very positive. The way we film, edit and colour grade at QRtv is quite different from the Nollywood standard of production. As a result, several filmmakers have reached out to us and commended us and we have trended numerous times on twitter since our release.
Do you think Nigerians are ready for this message?
Personally, I don’t think they are. However, we cannot wait till Nigerians are ready. We must start the conversation regardless.
Have you ever had a close encounter with a victim of rape and how has it impacted you?
In the pre-production phase of Don’t Beg Now, we interviewed several rape survivors and it was through listening and conversing with these survivors we created Don’t Beg Now.
What sets QRtv apart?
For Don’t Beg Now, we used camera angles and shots that have not been perfected in Nollywood. QRTV is bringing a fresh and a new perspective into Nollywood. We want to introduce the Nigerian audience into a different but breath-taking cinematic experience while also making our viewers think and maybe, change some of the misinformed beliefs they have about rape and sexual assault.
Aside this, what other projects are you working on?
I can’t say too much regarding that. But what I will say is that QRtv has been working on several projects some of which will be released beginning in the first quarter of 2020. So, watch out for us! We aim to introduce a certain type of filmmaking that the Nigerian audience has not seen. As a company that is keen on innovation, we believe by keeping up with the ever-changing consumer demands, we will become key players in the industry.
What is your message for the girl child in environments were rape is rampant?
I know the experience is traumatising and in a country like Nigeria, the odds are stacked up against you. But what I would say is if you fall victim, make your healing your number one priority because at the end of the day, that is the most important thing.