Production started on Friday October 1, 2010 on “Lion Heart: Kanu’s story”, a documentary chronicling the career of Nwankwo Kanu, former captain of Nigeria’s national team – the Super Eagles.

The documentary which is being produced by Lighthouse Television and Filmworks, a film and TV production company based in Lagos will follow Kanu’s playing days starting from his early years at Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Owerri up until his debut in the English Premiership for Arsenal.

“Kanu was chosen as a subject for a biopic based on the trials and tribulations in football and by this we are not just talking about the events that occurred after he was diagnosed with a defective aortic valve,” said Neil Oyenekan, the Chief Executive Officer of Lighthouse.

“We are also going to cover a bit of his pre-football years and the dire circumstances he was in born into.”

Inspirational documentary

The film, which is being directed by British documentarian, Caroline Deeds will be filmed in locations across several countries – but mainly in Nigeria, the United Kingdom (UK), Holland and Italy. It will feature contributions from the likes of Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Austin Okocha and Taribo West amongst others. The documentary’s narrator is yet to be chosen although likely candidates include ace Nigerian broadcaster Patrick Oke and Hollywood stars Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamonds) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Salt, 2012).

According to Neil Oyenekan, the idea behind the documentary is to create a heart-rending feature that would inspire the average person of age, race and gender.

“It’s a story about believing in yourself irrespective of the obstacles you face,” he said.

Production is expected to last six months with a release date hopefully set for April 2012. The documentary will be premiered simultaneously in Nigeria, the UK, the United States of America and Holland. It will also be released on DVD and distributed globally.

“We are hoping that it would become a collectors’ item for all ages,” said Oyenekan.

Although retired from the national team, Nwankwo Kanu continues to play for the English Championship side, Portsmouth FC and remains one of the most successful and decorated footballers in Africa.