Meta-owned messaging app, Whatsapp has ventured into the world of entertainment as it is set to premiere an original short film “Naija Odyssey” on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video on September 21.
“Naija Odyssey” is a short film that features Greek-Nigerian professional basketball player Giannis Antetokounmpo as he reconciles his roots, his birthplace and two cross-cultural worlds.
The film also features his mother Veronica who recounts the various moments of her son’s life as a journey loosely based on the Greek epic poem “The Odyssey”.
“In Greece, my teachers told stories of travelers struggling against the sea, fighting to find their way home and find themselves. “I was on the same trip,” Antetokounmpo says in the trailer.
Speaking about WhatsApp’s role in the short film, Vivian Odior, WhatsApp’s Global Head of Marketing, said: “Naija Odyssey’ is a story that reinforces how WhatsApp helps us embrace our multi-faceted lives.
“In navigating relationships, identity and even adversity, WhatsApp is there, allowing you to embrace all sides of you by connecting with those who matter most.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo has signed an endorsement deal with the social messaging platform, he is the first WhatsApp brand ambassador.
The short film “Naija Odyssey” appears to be a strategic way that Whatsapp seeks to not only promote its brand but also show the brand’s philosophy of connecting people across the world.
Giannis has already taken to his social media accounts to post the trailer for the short, as seen in places like Milwaukee, Wisconsin and several other places.
The slogan, “Across worlds, across cultures, across identities”, as the film tries to capture the duality of belonging to two different places, which tells the story of the basketball player.
‘Naija Odyssey’, was directed by filmmakers Nono Ayuso and Rodrigo Inad (2021 short film ‘Terra Cene’), edited by Mikkel EG Nielsen, who won the 2021 Film Editing Oscar for ‘Sound of Metal’ d ‘Amazon Studios.