The release of Indian-Nigerian movie Namaste Wahala has been postponed to October because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the film originally scheduled to debut on April 10, filmmaker Hamisha Daryani Ahuja attributed the move to the extension of post-production on the title.
“In light of recent global developments, we have had to extend our post-production schedule and push back the release date of Namaste Wahala to October 2020,” she wrote on Instagram.
“We are super-excited to bring you this magical Bollywood/Nollywood love story and promise that it will be everything that you imagine and more.”
While Hollywood has been the film industry hardest hit by the pandemic – with release dates of major titles pushed back or productions halted – Namaste Wahala is the first Nollywood production to be affected.
Indian-Nigerian movie Namaste Wahala is set to premiere in cinemas across Nigeria on April 24.
The Bollywood/Nollywood collaboration was filmed entirely in Lagos. It was produced by Indian-born businesswoman-turned-filmmaker Hamisha Daryani Ahuja, who has lived in Nigeria since she was a child.
Namaste Wahala loosely translates to ‘Hello Trouble.’ It was mostly filmed in English, with a mix of Hindi and Nigeria’s pidgin language.
The plot follows a Nigerian-Indian couple whose plan to spend forever together is threatened by their cultural differences.
The film’s cast features stars from both countries, including veteran Nollywood actor Joke Silva plus Richard Mofe Damijo, Ini-Dima Okojie, Ruslaan Mumtaz, MI Abaga, Broda Shaggi, Segal Sujata, Adaora Lumina, Ibrahim Suleiman and Big Brother Naija’s Frodd.
Ahuja said her experience living in Africa’s most populous country inspired her to make her debut film. “I am Indian but I have lived in Nigeria my whole life. Everyone loves Bollywood and Nollywood, so I thought, ‘How is it that no one has done a love story between the two?’ she added.
“The story has been in my head for a long time but I wanted it to be completely accurate. I wanted both cultures to be portrayed the same, that no culture was above the other. It features classic Bollywood dancing and singing scenes to keep it as authentic as possible.”
Ahuja added: “We have so much talent in Nollywood. What I think with these international collaborations is that we will be able to showcase all these amazing works internationally.”