Ichiban Kukardi has just recently made his presence in Saskatchewan known within the film and cinematography industry. He has become the main video director for other Regina local musicians such as Brian Mendoza, Chief Zone, Pacifique, and MELODNA. Within a span of three years, Ichiban Kukardi has now dominated the scene becoming one of the most requested filmmakers in the city.
Ichibans success has not come without its trials. He notes how the film industry in Regina has struggled, especially during a pandemic. With governments retracting grants, many filmmakers have fled to larger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. With these resources leaving the province, Ichiban mentions the scarcity of needed supplies.
"A lot of things became inaccessible. Experienced crews, high end equipment. Everything just facilitates the process of filmmaking. It's a challenge in Regina but I take in all of the air in the room and just find a way to make it work, one way or the other"
When asked about his identity, Ichiban emphasizes the need to go further than the term Black and how he identifies more closely with being Nigerian.
"I am a Nigerian first. By birth, by choice, by orientation, by induction, by everything. I am Nigerian first"
It is clear in his work that Ichibans creative process draws heavily from his identity as a Nigerian man. He credits his flexibility in his art to his upbringing in Nigeria.
"The Nigerian environment enables you to always think out of the box. My evolutions has made it possible for me to superimpose different scenarios onto myself. I have honed that ability and it really shows in my creativity."
Ichiban notes his pride in himself and how he is happy to show off to others. Individuals always consider themselves to be average, but to others they have the ability to impress and be unique. Ichibans perspectives generate an angle that not many have seen.
"I get to show off an angle that a lot of people her are not used top. A perspective that people here find...'WOW'. While for me is just 'eh it's a normal thing'. And that stems from my background, my culture, my influences growing up as a Nigerian man."
Despite his past hurdles, Ichiban encourages other creatives to do what they can with the tools available to them. He recognizes that while income may be slim at times, but that if there is a will to create, creators will find a way to do without said tools.
"Yeah funding is very very necessary, but you can do a lot by yourself. If you want to get seen, strike the match, light the candle, then start the fire."
For more about Ichiban, visit:
Why by Chief Zone directed by Ichiban Kukardi
DON'T PAY ATTENTION by DEE REKTUARE directed by Ichiban Kukardi