Samuel Eto'o has played a starring role at the MTN Africa Cup of Nations — and soon on the silver screen too as a feature film is being shot based around the Cameroon striker.The film's designed to shed some light on the myth surrounding one of Africa's most famous exports, as well as provide a message to African youth who dream of one day emulating his path to glory.
Filming has been taking place during the Africa Cup of Nations where Eto'o's five goals have helped Cameroun to a place in Thursday's semifinals against Ghana.
Director Jean-Pierre Bekolo said last Wednesday that 'Eto'o' is a mix of fact and fiction, with the football legend himself playing the principal role just as he has done for Barcelona and the Indomitable Lions.
"The film's message is directed at those young talented African youth who want to be Samuel Eto'o," says the 43-year-old Bekolo.
"It's about their perception and idea of what it means to be successful, where they want to be and what they want to achieve. It's about the destiny of African football and the return of the prodigal son.
"It's also about the player going back to interview important people in his life, people like Roger Milla."
The first scenes were shot last year when Eto'o and Pele met former South Africa president, Nelson Mandela, at his 89th birthday.
"We've already got 15 hours of filming, most of his childhood is done, and it should be out in 2010.
"We've been shooting here in Ghana, when Eto'o's had time between games," reports Bekolo for whom this will be his fourth film.
The Cameroun superstar's five goals in the African Nations Cup group stage take his personal tally in the competition to 16 — an all-time record.
He overtook the old mark of 14 set by Laurent Pokou of Cote d'Ivoire in Cameroun's opening round win over Sudan last week.
A fierce critic of racism, Eto'o helped the 'Indomitable Lions' win the symbol of African national team supremacy in 2000 and 2002 and this is his fifth appearance at the biennial tournament.
The 26-year-old needs another five to overtake Mulamba Ndaye of the Democratic Republic of Congo, scorer of nine when his country lifted the 1974 Nations Cup in Cairo.
And the supreme African football predator is also closing on the all-time Cameroun record of 33-goal Patrick Mboma, needing four to draw level with a star of the 2000 Nations Cup-winning team.
Only time though will tell whether the film is able to include a scene where Eto'o lifts aloft Cameroun's record equalling fifth Africa Cup of Nations trophy.