Nigerian star of Rattle film may be deported

7th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 October 2005, BERLIN - 19-year-old Nigerian orphan Olayinka Shitu, who starred in the film 'Rhythm is it' about a dance project carried out by the Berlin Philharmonic with conductor Sir Simon Rattle, is being threatened with deportation from Germany.

7 October 2005

BERLIN - 19-year-old Nigerian orphan Olayinka Shitu, who starred in the film 'Rhythm is it' about a dance project carried out by the Berlin Philharmonic with conductor Sir Simon Rattle, is being threatened with deportation from Germany.

Shitu came to German from Nigeria four years ago after his parents and two brothers were burned alive in their house during civil war. According to a report by the television station RBB, his residence permit runs out on 31 December of this year, after which time he may be forced to leave Germany.

An initiative has been started to allow Shitu to stay in Germany. A letter has been sent to Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and senator Ehrhart Koerting, signed by members of the Bundestag, university representatives and filmmakers.

According to the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, Shitu's lawyer, Rita Maria Brucker, has asked the immigration authorities to reconsider their decision.

The documentary film 'Rhythm is it!' tells the story of a Berlin Philharmonic educational project carried out with its chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle, Berlin's most famous British expat.

It tells the story of how 250 Berlin children and teenagers of 25 different nationalities, many of whom were from disadvantaged backgrounds, put on a dance performance of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps in Berlin in January 2003.

The film has been shown in several countries and won the 'best documentary' and 'best editing' categories at the German Film Awards 2005.

Shitu was one of three young dancers who were focussed on in the film.

See http://home.arcor.de/olayinka/ for more information about the campaign to save Shitu from deportation.

Copyright Expatica News 2005

Subject: German news

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