Author: Ubongabasi U. U.

Forgive the title. It is a little judgemental and suggests there is a behavior associated with people who wear this hairstyle, but I am only being an annoying Nigerian elder. Just like how certain hairstyles are associated with certain professions? I think jheri curls are artsy (or pastoral if you count a certain man of God and his followers), and should not be worn by a doctor of marriage! As Chimamanda Adichie alluded in her 2009 TED Talk, “The Danger Of a Single Story”, “the problem with stereotypes is not that they aren’t true, but that they are incomplete. They…

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In the 2021 biopic Ayinla, the first time Lateef Adedimeji meets Omowunmi Dada, his legs involuntarily lift off the floor and he pauses his singing because this regal beauty has taken up space and commanded everyone’s attention. Even in Biyi Bandele’s 2022 adaptation of Soyinka’s play, Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman, Odunlade Adekola spots a beautiful Omowunmi Dada during a dance and vows to make her his bride there and then. These simple but sincere moments played vital roles in getting the two men into serious trouble, and I perfectly understand them because she moved me in the same way.…

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Agu, Igbo word for “leopard,” unfolds as a six-episode legal drama series that delves into diverse themes. In the realm of Nigerian shows exploring legal elements, it follows predecessors like Castle & Castle and the enduring Tinsel. Unlike Castle & Castle, which centered on the dynamics of a power couple navigating the Nigerian legal system, Agu introduces a supernatural layer into its contemporary narrative. Accompanied by a haunting introductory soundtrack, Agu offers a distinctive departure from your conventional legal drama. Official poster for Agu. Via Showmax. Pius (Nonso Odogwu) bashes his friend Felix’s (Ozzi Nlemadim) head during a land inspection.…

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In crime thrillers, an occurrence that consistently intrigues me is when the protagonist, presented with an opportunity for revenge, delays the kill for a triumphant speech. Unfortunately, this often grants the enemy an additional chance to strike. In some instances, the protagonist fights back and reclaims control; in others, as depicted in No Way Through, a ruthless killing spree ensues. Thankfully, it is not sensationalised with excess fanfare. Dedicated Pentecostal Pastor Ephraim (Chidi Mokeme) and his composed wife, Rachel (Chioma Akpotha), lead a drug cartel discreetly operating within New Day Assembly Church. Jolade (Funke Akindele), a longstanding member and driver…

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Wedding films are a big part of Nollywood. They are so popular that the subgenre’s tropes have become familiar. But they offer simple narratives that can be entertaining because of how accessible the wedding culture is to filmmakers and audiences alike. Our Saturdays are synonymous with the vibrant owambe culture, even our daily social feeds are filled with the latest proposals. Films like The Wedding Party, arguably the biggest wedding-themed film in Nollywood, thrived by tapping into the rich tradition surrounding these ceremonies. While filmmakers found an irresistible avenue for storytelling, viewers slowly desired more. It is on this call…

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In Kayode Kasum’s second offering of the year, Afamefuna, we are presented with a cinematic experience that not only deserves acclaim but could even invoke the divine approval of a Biblical fire. Firmly rooted in the contemporary, it echoes the timeless narrative of Cain and Abel. Instead of blood ties, we traverse the intricate dynamics of the “nwa bois” – apprentices to wealthy Igbo businessmen, under the Igbo Apprenticeship System. As the narrative unfolds, we witness the complexities of sacrifice, betrayal, and the camaraderie that binds these guys together.  Official poster for Afamefuna. Afamefuna Okoli and Paul Obiajulu, both apprentices…

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Grind, as the title suggests, unfolds as a compelling narrative involving the hustle and hard work necessary to achieve set goals. Similar on-screen explorations of the journey to success, such as Living In Bondage (1992) and Ojukokoro (2016), have been witnessed before. This time though, the spotlight is on three young women who emerge as the main characters in this 10-episode drama series. Directed by Orire Nwani, the series skillfully explores themes of friendship, survival, betrayal, hope, and agency. Grind, released on Prime Video in January 2023, is a refreshing perspective as popular media doesn’t often delve into the lives…

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