Why I support Peter Obi – Chimamanda Adichie

Literary icon, Chimamanda Adichie has revealed the reasons behind her support and admiration of Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi in the last elections in Nigeria.  According to her, her support of the candidate didn’t come from a place of tribal sentiments, but from his  his antecedents and her faith in his ability.

Speaking today on Arise TV, the Nigerian-born international writer said,  “Why I very much admire Peter Obi, respect him, there are many others out there whom I admire and respect, and I will never vote for them for president because I don’t just think they will make the president.

“And so my support for Peter Obi is deeply rooted in real things; it is rooted in my faith in his ability. Actually, I got to know him years ago when he came to pay homage to my parents because he had heard my father was the first professor of statistics in Nigeria and that my mother had retired as the first female registrar of the University of Nigeria. And so this man just sort of arrived and said he just wanted to pay homage, and I was very impressed by that because he showed me how much he values education.


“And then, he became governor of Anambra State, and he took Anambra State to number one in education. I remember being very impressed by the story of how he had given his personal phone numbers to all of the senior prefects in secondary schools in Anambra, which I think also showed me he is interested in what ordinary people think.

“He does not just want to hear from the administrators; he wants to hear from them; he wants to hear from the students about what is really happening.

“And his focus on security, he really tackled kidnapping in Anambra, and I also remembered that he used to clash with the Anambra elites when he was tackling insecurity and kidnapping and that showed me he is quite decisive; he is just very focused on things. And that is really why I support him.”

Movie Review: Sylvia | By: Jerry Chiemeke

Movie Title: Sylvia

Genre: Romance/Thriller
Cast: Chris Attoh, Zainab Balogun, Ini Dima-Okojie, Udoka Onyeka, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Lord Frank, Bolaji Ogunmola and Omotunde Adebola “Lolo” David.
Direcor: Daniel Oriahi

While it’s fairly acknowledged in literature and film, the concept of having an imaginary friend is not one that is particularly well-received in a traditional Nigerian setting. Primarily because of the way Nigerians are tethered to religion, and also because the idea of living in one’s own head is largely alien to older generations, mentioning the existence of an imaginary friend would trigger more than a few alarms. The parents and friends of an individual who comes up with such would fear that they are exhibiting symptoms of madness, or worse still, that they have been possessed by a demon.

The same sentiment applies to the phenomenon that is a “spirit spouse”. For many people in these parts, it is a dreadful thing that should never befall the ones they care about. Spirit wives are the subject of fasting programmes, midnight prayers and deliverance sessions.

Daniel Oriahi knows these things, and this is why he decided to create an experiment with his 2018 offering. He’s no stranger to directing, having previously called the shots in Misfit, Zena and Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo, but it was always going to be interesting to see how he would pull off something like this, especially in a time where comedy films and rom-coms hold sway.

Sylvia, written by Vanessa Kanu and produced by Ekene Som Mekwunye for Trino Motion Pictures, is a thriller set in urban contemporary Nigeria. The film stars Chris Attoh, Zainab Balogun, Ini Dima-Okojie and Udoka Onyeka. It also features Ijeoma Grace Agu, Lord Frank, Bolaji Ogunmola and Omotunde Adebola “Lolo” David.

It’s the story of Richard (Attoh), a man who from his childhood days has maintained a strong relationship with an imaginary friend named Sylvia (Balogun). They communicate in Richard’s dream state, and Sylvia helps him with everything, from school assignments to general life advice. The friendship grows stronger and more intense as the decades roll by, and they keep in touch even after the death of his mother.

Richard grows to become a successful corporate executive in the real world, enjoying the company of his playboy best friend Obaro (Onyeka) and being constantly hit on by his personal assistant Hawa (Agu). One day at a restaurant, he bumps into a lady named Gbemi (Dima-Okojie), and they instantly hit it off. The romance blossoms, and he communicates this to Sylvia, who expresses her displeasure. He severs his friendship with Sylvia (in spite of her pleas and reassurances of affection) on the grounds that she “is not real”.

Richard marries Gbemi, and things go smoothly, but one day when he hits a brick wall with a sales pitch at work, he decides to reach out to Sylvia. She helps him once again, but her demeanour has significantly changed, and what follows is a turn of events that changes Richard’s life forever.

The movie’s opening scene plays out in a mental institution, and that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the film. With a running time of 104 minutes, it dwells on the paranormal, exploring the idea of a friendship that exists between a man and a spirit, as well as that sensual cum erotic love that solely manifests in the ethereal realms. It also addresses the subject of mental health in a manner that has been largely ignored by Nigerian society: there is more to mental illnesses than depression or anxiety, and other conditions like Schizophrenia or Dissociative Identity Disorder are simply not discussed enough!

One of the things that make Sylvia work is that it can be viewed from multiple angles. When seen from the perspective of mental health, it flows like the Hollywood cult classic Fight Club, but if it were a romance movie. When seen from the perspective of spirit lovers and succubuses, it reminds you of classics like Sakobi, Suicide Mission and Lies of Destiny.

Balogun’s acting prowess is usually a subject of divided opinion, but she aces her role as the villain here, with eye movements, lip pouts and facial expressions that add more nuance to her character’s personality. A lot of credit should go to her costumier too, as the wardrobe changes and choice of lipstick reflect Sylvia’s changing mood. Chris Attoh puts in a very good shift, Agu’s unsubtle flirting makes for a lovable watch, and while it appears that Dima-Okojie has little to do, her contribution is nonetheless valuable.

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The use of a red hibiscus as some sort of portal access between Richard and Sylvia appears cheesy at first, but it becomes clearer when it’s revealed that the flower represents Kali, the Indian goddess of sexuality. One wonders, though, whether there was no Nigerian equivalent among the vast array of deities across the country’s cultures. There is also the question of whether a long coma would have been enough to satisfy Sylvia’s desires to be with Richard, and how Sylvia assumed the perfect human form to navigate her way into the real world.

The second act of the film appears a tad predictable — Richard’s best friend had to be the one seduced by Sylvia’s human form — but the pace of the final act makes up for that, and the closing scene where the nurse presents Richard with a red hibiscus makes for a compelling conclusion. Sylvia serves up a story that is as heartening as it is different, and for the daring nature of its narrative, it deserves all the plaudits.

Rating: 7/10.


Jerry has been a featured contributor for platforms like Okadabooks, Bellanaija, The Bagus, The Lagos Review and the Opera News Hub. He has also facilitated writing workshops in different parts of Nigeria, and for his contribution to the Nigerian literary community, he was presented with the 2019 Connect Nigeria Award for Excellence.

He is the author of ‘The Colours In These Leaves’. Get the book here
He tweets @J_Chiemeke

Short Story: Man Enough | By: Victor Olugbemiro

Maybe tomorrow everything will be fine. Maybe tomorrow I won’t have this sick feeling in my stomach or the guilty throbbing in my chest. Perhaps, I won’t feel as empty as I feel right now. Maybe tomorrow I can go back to the man I used to be. But today; today I just lie in bed, blinds drawn, phone switched off; thinking that if I can be absolutely still, the earth will not rotate and we shall all remain in this moment forever, for how can I allow the seconds to speed away unabated, leading me gradually to the consequences of my actions?

The whirring of my rechargeable fan and the noise of my neighbour’s generator in the background disturb the stillness. I turn off the fan but I can’t turn off my neighbour’s generator. I soon begin to sweat because even though the windows are open, the heavy blinds prevent any breeze from getting in. I still don’t turn on the fan. I prefer to continue sweating than to shatter whatever stillness I have managed to create.

As much as I try, I know that I can never keep my mind in the present. The past keeps flashing before me like a cinema screen. I can feel the beads of sweat on my scalp deep under my thick hair, trickle down to my forehead. The sheets are soaked. The heat I feel right now has no bearing on the weather or the lack of ventilation in my room.

My sanity is in serious doubt. But if I am able to doubt my own sanity, then how could I possibly be insane? So maybe I am at that precarious border between sanity and outright madness.

I chuckle at the bizarreness of my situation, pondering my level of insanity when death looms. Surely, the wages of sin is death but the choice between death and insanity is an easy one. I only need to prove that I was out of my mind when I grabbed Esohe by the hair and smashed her face continuously on the bathroom sink until she stopped screaming that I was hurting her and began to bleed until she passed out.

I can claim provocation. I was sufficiently provoked. My manhood was called to question. But wouldn’t that make me an insecure bastard? Or confirm that I am not and will never be man enough? What does that even mean? Man enough. Man enough. Man enough… Oh shit, I just want to crawl into oblivion and remain there forever. I had always known that I will never be good enough for her. No, not me. I knew she would never find me good enough, but I was available and she was desperate and we were able to temporarily drown out the sensible voices that whispered reason into our heads. We drowned them out with our endless confessions of love, screaming “I love you” so vehemently to each other in an attempt to convince ourselves that we were in love. Why? We needed to justify wanting to get married and love was the perfect excuse.

Her voice replays endlessly in my head with words that pierce deep into my soul, “You can never, and you will never be half the man that Bosun is. Not with your dysfunctional brain, empty pocket or that thing you still believe is a penis.”

I wish there is a way I can reach into my head and yank the voice out, not because of the damage her words have done to my heart, but because I still find her voice intoxicating. Somehow, that voice, even though spitting venom, still seems to calm my nerves. My mind drifts back to the first time I heard the voice; the moment it hit my ears, I knew I wanted to hear it over and over and over again, for the rest of my life. It wasn’t smooth, silky or seductive, it was fiery, full of life and energy. Sharp enough to pierce through my soul and strike a chord that would resonate endlessly through my entire being. The feelings her voice evoked in me were too strong and exhilarating and exhausting to be love.

Chuks said I must be mad. That was the only explanation he could give for a full-blooded hunk of a man like me to be obsessed with a woman’s voice when there were other seductive body parts to justify obsession. He even said that if it were her eyes, he would understand that she had bewitched me with a magical look.

I chuckle at the thought of Esohe as a witch. No, she was too strong a woman to rely on the supernatural for help. Esohe, Esohe, Esohe…

Her name; that is all I can hear in my head now. No, I hear a loud banging sound too. They alternate; Esohe, bang, Esohe, bang, Esohe, bang…

Also Read: Dancing With The Waves | By: Victor Olugbemiro

I am hearing voices now. Must be the voices of Bunmi and neighbours. Esohe had somehow regained consciousness minutes after I went to lie on the bed. The door leading to the bathroom was half open and I could only see her head and not her hands as she reached into her pocket and dialled Bunmi’s number. I saw her as she put the phone to her ear and I rushed to her and smashed the phone on her head repeatedly till the sight of blood made me nauseous again and I returned to the bed.

Bunmi, that shameless slut who was thirty-four; unmarried and unbothered. She must have spent the better part of her younger days sleeping with sugar daddies and turning twenty-one each year. Now no one wanted her.

Unfortunately, there she was at my door, pointing my nemesis in my direction. I always knew that she was no good.

I begin to laugh, not that I find anything funny. I feel that laughing will convince Bunmi and her gang that are banging on the door that I am mad. I pick myself up and rush to the bathroom where Esohe still lies unconscious in a small river of blood. Don’t know if she’s dead, don’t know how to check. I just pick her up and hold her in my arms, still laughing and whispering the sweet words we used to share when the deceit was at its peak.

I hear them break down the door and make their way to the room. Bunmi the Slut gets to me first and tries to pull me away from Esohe but she can’t move my bulky frame. She calls out to the others for help and two hefty men who were hesitant to enter the bedroom rush to me and pry Esohe loose from my grip. They fling me to a corner and concentrate on reviving her. Everything turns blurry to me and I can’t pick out faces anymore, only shapes. All of a sudden, I become intensely sad because the thought of losing Esohe to death, a death caused by my own hands, depresses and frightens me.

No. I must not lose her, so if she is dead, then I must join her too and we shall be together in eternal marital bliss; achieving in death, what we couldn’t achieve in life. Immediately, I get up and head for the kitchen. One of the hefty men thinks I want to make an escape and he follows me. I beat him to the kitchen and grab the long-serrated knife. As he moves close to me, I drive it into my heart with all my strength. Just before I blackout, I hear slut friend say with relief, “Thank God, she’s alive!”

Short Story: Sagging Breasts | By: Tolu Baiyewu

“Mother said your breasts won’t sag fast enough if you keep pulling on your nipples like that Korah.”

My little sister said to me from behind where she was craning her long, thin neck to get a better view of
what I was doing. She was in awe of me; the fact that at 16, my breasts were as big and rounded like
ripe pumpkins and my buttocks were firm and perfectly shaped, set off by straight, long legs.

“Well…Mugo dear, I don’t want my breasts to sag.”

Mugo’s mouth dropped open, her whole face stricken with surprise.
“Every girl wants their breasts to sag. You’ll attract a husband faster that way.”
“I totally hate the look of sagged breasts. And why do I have to care so much about attracting a
Now, Mugo’s eyes strangely dilated, they seemed like they were going to pop out unto the mud floor
any minute.
“You do not wish to marry?!” She whispered, as her eyes did a quick, scared survey of the surroundings
as if she half expected a slap for spewing out an abomination.

Also Read: Short Story: Brightly In The Shadows

I looked at her innocent face and gave her a sad smile. They had dragged her in too. At just 9, her mind
had already been set to understand that she was born to belong to a man. And she has to do and learn
all it takes to please that man and tiptoe around his ego while she suppresses her own self as much as
She looked through the window to see her mum bent over the hearth that will cook dinner. The next
months won’t be easy for her. Her first daughter has sworn to do all it takes to keep her breasts from

Tolu Baiyewu is a content creator, editor and blogger. She blogs at mytwocentsnmore.blogspot.com

Dancing With The Waves | By: Victor Olugbemiro

I have always loved looking out the window of anything; cars, houses, classrooms, libraries. I just love seeing the free movement of people and different things while being confined to a space. Growing up, when we moved to a particular house that overlooked a major road, I would sit at the window for hours and just look. One of the things that attracted me to the window was a large house with a mighty compound across the street. The owner kept horses and their stable was visible from our living room window. Now that I think of it, maybe the owner of the horses was a polo player, but as a child, I often wondered why anyone would have up to eight horses in his house. Anyway, I loved seeing them, graceful creatures that they are.

I won’t forget a particular spectacle one night that my brother woke me up to see. There is a festival of the Berom people that used to take place in Jos every year, the Nzem Berom. I don’t know what they celebrate but that night, long after the celebrations were over, drunk young men staggered past our house on their way home, putting up a variety of hilarious drunken displays. Locally brewed beer is not for the weak.

This is not about horses though or Berom youth, drunk on very potent burukutu. This is about the day, many years later when, as a teenager, I beheld one of the most graceful, fluid, colourful and mesmerizing cultural displays I had ever seen. The house that we lived in then was in Lagos and my bedroom window overlooked the car park of our estate. Nothing much to see except neighbours going out and coming in and outside the gate, a noisy, traffic congested Lagos road.

The car park was the biggest in the estate which meant, whenever there was a party, it took place in that car park, right under my window. On this day, the party had started and there were so many people and so much noise. More annoying was the fact that it was a traditional wedding ceremony and the proceedings were of course not in English so I couldn’t follow what was going on just by listening.

All of a sudden music started playing; traditional music. It wasn’t so fantastic but the rhythm had a way of making you want to move your body. I shuffled to the window and pulled up the curtain just in time to see some pretty damsels glide into the arena. Their faces were dotted with white paint and glitter and their bodies, from the hair to the feet. were covered in all types of adornments. They swirled and stomped their feet to the rhythm of the beat, moving their torsos and arms with such fluidity that you would think they had no bones. They smiled and put so much attitude into the dance, drawing their audience into the energy of the dance.

There are a lot of traditional things that I detest and believe should be in the trash where they belong, but I love cultural displays and that display that day made me resolve that I must marry an Efik woman. I didn’t know the name of the dance then but now I know it’s called the Ekombi dance.

The Efik people are found majorly in parts of Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, as well as in Bakassi which is now in Cameroon. This is probably why there are similarities between the Ekombi dance and a dance of the Oroko people of Cameroon.

Ekombi dance is a reflection of the belief system of the ancient Efik people. Just like many other riverine ethnic groups, they believe in water spirits and divinities know as “Ndem” which are lesser in heirarchy than the supreme being “Abasi.”

“It is believed that sometime in the indeterminate past, during a moonlight play, an Ndem took possession of a beautiful maiden. While under the enchantment of the water spirit, the maiden began to dance. The dance steps and entire body movements of the maiden including her demeanor were remarkable, enthralling and riveting. This dance was named Ekombi. The dance became the dance of the initiates of the cult of water — sprits, in praise of and worship of water gods and goddesses.” Affiah & Owan (2018)

This perhaps explains why the dance appears to be mimicking the movement of the waves, undulating and swirling in a somewhat irregular yet synchronised pattern. Another dance that has movement of the torso, similar to the Ekombi, is the Swange of the Tiv people of Benue state. Though Swange appears to be more energetic with snakelike movement rather than wave like movements of Ekombi.

I gather that in contemporary times, especially when performed at weddings, the Ekombi dance marks the end of the fattening room experience. A bride must dance to show that she is fully prepared for marriage and has all the attributes of a good wife. It is also an opportunity for the other maidens who dance with her to be noticed by prospective husbands. So possibly, those maidens that were dancing in my estate that day were trying to catch my attention and I was ‘dulling.’ Too bad. I’m still happy that I witnessed the Ekombi dance live and it sparked in me an interest in cultural dances.

I’ve seen many forgettable cultural displays but the Ekombi dance is not one of them. Neither is the Goje dance of the Jukun tribe in Wukari, or that of the Afizere people of Plateau state or the Swange of the Tiv. Bata dance is another fascinating dance. I don’t know where this interest in cultural dances is leading to but I will continue to explore.

Movie Review: Wedding Party 2 | By: Jerry Chiemeke

Movie Title: The Wedding Party 2
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Year Of Release: 2017
Cast: Bankole Wellington, Adesua Etomi, Enyinna Nwigwe, Daniella Down, Frank Donga, Ikechukwu Onunuka, Zainab Balogun, Richard Mofe Damijo, Ireti Doyle, Ali Baba, Sola Sobowale, Patience Ozokwor
Special Appearances:
AY Makun, Funny Bone, Chigurl, Seyi Law, Wofai Fada
Director: Niyi Akinmolayan

“The Wedding Party 2” continues from where the first installment left off; Dozie (Wellington) and Dunni (Etomi) are happily married, while Nonso Onwuka (Nwigwe) and Deardre Winston (Down) are now an item. On a date at a fancy restaurant in Dubai, Nonso sees a lady turning her partner down, even after an expensive ring and a “will you marry me?” banner in an aquarium. He bends to pick the ring, and Deardre, thinking that he is proposing, says yes in excitement. Nonso is confused, but unwilling to ruin Deardre’s moment, plays along.
Deardre’s parents, always quick to claim royal heritage, are not comfortable with the idea of having Nigerians as in-laws, but they relent and head off to Nigeria to visit Felix Onwuka (Mofe-Damijo) and his wife Uju (Doyle). What follows is a series of events which put the love between Deardre and Nonso to the test.

Also Read: Movie Review: Mentally
One thing which this movie has going for it is its glossy nature. The cinematography is top notch, the sound is of premium quality, and relevant brands are on display too. “The Wedding Party 2” comes with the aura of a film for which a lot of work was done with respect to production, and the inter-cut between Lagos and Dubai boasts of tourism potential. The movie itself sheds light on the concept of exorbitant bride price, tradition and gender roles, with not-so-subtle hints at racial tensions and national pride.
Also Read: Movie Review: My Wife And I
Daniella Down and Enyinna Nwigwe put up decent individual performances, and Down in particular is adorable, but both fail to replicate the chemistry that existed between Wellington and Etomi in the first film. Ireti Doyle nails the role of ice queen, Mofe-Damijo is not the most charismatic family head, and Sobowale’s role interpretation is of a more serious, “motherly” tone. Frank Donga weighs in with the facial expressions, and Zainab Balogun’s performance as Wonu is one of the bright spots in this film. Ikechukwu and Ali Baba do not find too much room to shine, and Patience Ozokwor, in trying to play the role of “mean village aunt”, appeared a tad rusty here.

Also Read:  Movie Review: The Women
“The Wedding Party 2”, for all the anticipation that preceded its release, is pretty much all over the place, with patchy performances and the good moments being few and far between. The humour seemed forced and of a try-too-hard variety at certain points, and taking into consideration the high standards set by its predecessor, the movie is significantly disappointing. If you laughed out loud last year, you would only manage a few giggles here. If you held your chest in admiration twelve months ago, you would find yourself barely shrugging here, and if “The Wedding Party” was an enjoyable ride, its sequel was a forgettable flight, only stopping short of crashing spectacularly…and oh, the “dramatic event pops up so the wedding drags until NIGHT” reared its head again. Sure enough, it is by no means the worst movie that made it to Nigerian cinemas this year, but those who loved Banky and Adesua last time out will feel hard done by with this one.
The final scenes of the movie are predictable, but beyond that, they hint at a third installment, with the sudden bond created between Shola (Ikechukwu) and Yemisi (Somtokelechi). The crew has had a good run, but if they intend to birth Wedding Party 3, they should not let that water break, they have to abort it. Good PR and glossy scenes cannot cancel out sub-par acting, and for the love of all things good and fair, the franchise has to stop here.
Rating: 5.8/10

Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer and freelance writer who lives in Lagos. An amateur photographer and sports enthusiast as well, Jerry’s works have appeared on Blanck Digital, Elsieisy, Oshodi.tv, The Kalahari Review and Brittle Paper. He is the author of ‘The Colours In These Leaves’. Get the book here
You can follow him on Twitter @J_Chiemeke, and also check out his craft on his blog at pensofchi.com

Movie Review : Body Language | By: Jerry Cheimeke

Movie Title: Body Language
Genre: Drama
Year Of Release: 2017
Cast: Ramsey Nouah, Tana Adelana, Ken Erics, Lawretta Richards, Emem Ufot
: Emem Isong
Director: Moses Inwang
Body Language” follows the story of a lady named Tola Sadiq (Adelana), who works as a marketing specialist in an interior decorating company, but at night goes by the name Amber at an exquisite strip club, where she works as a high-grade exotic dancer. She climbs to the top of the chain at her night job after the gruesome murder of Anita, her colleague. More ladies in various fields die in the following weeks, and it becomes common knowledge that there is a serial killer on the loose, simply known as “The Lagos Ripper”. Tola has to shuttle her two careers and a long-term relationship with Lancelot (Erics).

One night, Tola/Amber gets a request for a private dance session from golf-loving, bird-watching Nick Yahaya (Nouah), who pays her a thousand dollars. This goes on for a couple of nights, but things get complicated when Tola has to pitch a business idea at her day job, and it turns out that the prospective client company is run by Yahaya. Both Tola and Yahaya now have to balance the duality in their respective lives, trying hard to keep the lines from getting blurred and/or blowing any covers.
Also Read: Movie Review: Mentally
The movie is rated 18, and while we would have loved to see a bit more skin, the cast and crew deserve full credit for daring to experiment; for a conservative country and movie industry, there is significant flesh on display. Whether Adelana’s moves were enough to stir the crotch is left for frequent strip club goers, but you cannot say she didn’t practice for this movie. Her ability to establish excellent on-screen chemistry with Nouah’s character is worthy of commendation. Speaking of Nouah, he shines in this one, with top-notch role interpretation as an steely, calculative character, there is a real edge to his performance like we haven’t seen from Nollywood leading men in a while, even the fact that he puffs a bit too much of that Cuban cigar takes nothing away from his acting here. Ken Erics is a darling in the low-budget, Asaba-based side of things, and it is interesting to wait and see how he fares in this clip, but he pretty much aces his role as a doting, oblivious, clingy (and ultimately heartbroken) lover, and the penultimate scene in which he appears is particularly memorable for his comic value.
Also Read: Movie Review: My Wife And I
Cinematography is pretty good in this movie, the transition in scenes is excellent, and the guys in charge of the screenplay should be applauded for giving nothing away. Beyond exploring mind games, expression of sexuality and a bit of feminism, the plot itself is quite the catch, with an unexpected twist at the end. As for the dialogue, it is unforced and well above average
Also Read:  Movie Review: The Women

There are just a few loopholes impossible to ignore. In the final scene, Yahaya states that he began to stalk Tola after the death of his daughter, who was murdered a day before his return from England. How does a man relocate, set up a company and figure out the identity of his target in a matter of weeks? It would have plausible if there had been a wide passage of time, but that side of things looks pretty shaky, unless the producers are trying to make us believe that a long time passed between the killings and Tola’s first meeting with Yahaya, which didn’t look like the case at all. Again, for a cold-blooded murderer who could possibly be under surveillance, the serial killer seemed to have let down their guard in the course of the film; in the movie’s defence though, no one could have suspected who it was. The idea of a Nigerian strip club accepting dollar payments also causes scratching heads too.
With its rough edges, “Body Language” is still a really decent effort, and in terms of movie plots, it is one of the better movies to have made it to cinemas this year. There were not many characters in this, so both lead actors deserve a few pats on the back, and while the jury is out as to how memorable this feature film would turn out to be, at least we can say that Nollywood is no longer far off when it comes to quality storytelling.
Rating: 7.2/10

Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer and freelance writer who lives in Lagos. An amateur photographer and sports enthusiast as well, Jerry’s works have appeared on Blanck Digital, Elsieisy, Oshodi.tv, The Kalahari Review and Brittle Paper. He is the author of ‘The Colours In These Leaves’. Get the book here
You can follow him on Twitter @J_Chiemeke, and also check out his craft on his blog at pensofchi.com

Movie Review: Mentally | By: Jerry Chiemeke

Movie Title: Mentally
Genre: Comedy
Year Of Release: 2017
Cast: Frank Donga, Erick Didie, Toyin Abraham, Jude Chukwuka, Charles Okagbue, Etinosa Idemudia, Woli Arole
Special Appearances:
James Abinibi, Patience Lawal
Director: James Abinibi
“Mentally” is a movie set in contemporary Lagos. It tells the story of a man named Akin (Donga), who decides to leave his rural dwelling for the city of Lagos, much to his mother’s dismay. He is ushered in by his friend Emeka (Didie), but gets a classic welcome gift when he has to pay for prayers from a prophet (Aroli), and is relieved of his transport fare by a pickpocket. Emeka takes Akin to a local restaurant, where the former is able to avoid paying for their meals by conning the owner of the place.
Later in the day, Emeka introduces Akin to his friends, whom he regularly supplies marijuana. They taunt Akin on account of his dress sense, but persuade him to smoke with them. Akin ultimately caves in to the pressure, sucks in some of the marijuana, and gets transported into a unique mind experience.
The first thing to note in this movie is that Adekunle Gold has got really good acting chops. He successfully pulled off his role as a bus conductor, and if his music career ever derails, he should consider a stint behind the silver screen…in a different, role, at least. Frank Donga’s facial expressions are priceless too; they have always been a crucial part of his comedy routine, and they add life to the movie.
Also Read: Movie Review: My Wife And I

Erick Didie’s attempt at humour is 50-50, but he is by no means a bad actor. The part where an intoxicated Donga attempts to dab and do the shakiti-bobo makes for genuine laughing too, and the cinematography is top notch, even if there was a glitch at the restaurant scene. Toyin Abraham gives a good account of herself, and while Etinosa Idemudia has upgraded from being just an Instagram comedian, her part in this movie was, to put it simply, needless.
Also Read:  Movie Review: The Women
“Mentally” reeks of a plot and acting sequence which have too many gaping holes. How do people in a primitive village averse to civilisation have attachments and braids on? How do a “strange” people get around to speaking bits of Hausa and Yoruba? There is also the question of how a supposedly backward village gets to have their leader watching the English Premier League on a television without a wall socket, but I guess that can be explained by the “spirit” of the marijuana Donga’s character smoked. The dialogue is slow, the transition in scenes are pretty bad, and the fact that most of the action is a post-marijuana reverie is the only thing that saves this clip from being a horrible movie.
The movie ends in a manner that leaves you with thoughts along the lines of “Ok, we get it, marijuana is bad, and then, what next?” The message is good, and the humour is somewhat passable, but it could have been better executed, and for every ten people at the cinema, five would probably feel hard done by.
Rating: 5.9/10

Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer and freelance writer who lives in Lagos. An amateur photographer and sports enthusiast as well, Jerry’s works have appeared on Blanck Digital, Elsieisy, Oshodi.tv, The Kalahari Review and Brittle Paper. He is the author of ‘The Colours In These Leaves’. Get the book here
You can follow him on Twitter @J_Chiemeke, and also check out his craft on his blog at pensofchi.com

We Won't All Be Enterpreneurs | By: Michael Idowu

To think of it at all is a mirage. Bet you can remember those days when a visitor comes into your living room holds those tender arms of yours and asks you that ageless question “what do you want to become in the future” smiles runs down your cheeks as you answer with the innocence of a child, I want to become a………..
Yes, you could remember yourself acting into the future, being the person of your dreams. You were the young doctor who happened to have treated your friends who feigned sickness while you were acting out those your poorly constructed scripts…hahahahaha. The engineer who in the name of repairing your sound speakers ended up complicating things. You were the nurse who stood by mum’s side when she was down with fever. The accountant who loved to tuck in the shirt and look very formal in appearance, do you remember if anybody or anything tried to hinder you in appearing or behaving in a way that tandems with your childish dreams, all you could do is cry? You were beaten and probably spanked for what was deemed to be a troublesome behavior yet in your own very eyes, you were living out your own very dreams.
Maybe I need to ask you why? It begs a question that has always been pondering on my mind. Must we all be entrepreneurs? Or rather are we all cut out to become entrepreneurs?
A very popular media mogul and serial entrepreneur as described by herself, speaking at the 2017 edition of the WIMBIZ said that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur but are meant to be part of a team. She also retorted, that finding one’s purpose is a very difficult process but youth gives us the opportunity to dream and explore several opportunities.
In a nation where majority of its youth are unemployed, it’s safe to say that being an entrepreneur, is the way out. The popular saying ‘Think of what you can do for your country rather than what the country can do for you’ has been so much over-flogged that it has become nothing more than just mere hearsay; a platform under which “they” have chosen to hide throwing the gauntlet down to our faces.
The youth of today are very lazy they say; “they have everything to their advantage yet they have refused to make use of them” calumny at its best, mostly a case of trying to throw away the baby with the bathwater.
Why must everything be circumstantial? I ask! Can’t I just have the boldness to pursue my dreams and have a country to support me? I ask, is this a country that would enable those childhood dreams to become a reality or one that crumbles it on the altar of subsistence.
Not everyone wants to become the next Aliko Dangote or Tony Elumelu, neither are we seeking to become the next Folorusho Alakija. All we want is a nation that allows us to live out our dreams or what we choose to become. Modest as it may seem, the satisfaction and happiness it brings, is one that cannot be rivalled.
Some of us would still have to taste that pill of reality, we would have to fight for that dream of ours and this is not the best of times for us as a nation. I know the government is doing all in its power to encourage more youths in taking up entrepreneurial skills, facing the reality of a dwindling economy but then, you can also do something to encourage the aspiring biologist; engineer; lawyer, accountant; journalist; Architect; economist; environmentalist; educationist; scientist; linguist; broadcaster……….. The list is endless.
So when you see any of my fellow young aspiring folks walking along the street with a paper bag in their hands and a bag pack on their backs, it’s okay for you to laugh, you could have your own objections and opinions on what they should be doing or on whatever you think about them, but never you call them lazy. They are battlers fighting for their lives, careers and future.
Someone would need to pay the price now for the upcoming generations and it’s certainly not going to be those who are seated in the corridors of power, neither is it going to be my aged parents, that’s going to have to be me. The next Ben Carson, Phil Emegali, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Steve Jobs, Chike Obi, Grace Alele-Williams, Dora Akunyili, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and many more of such we one day aspire to become. Can’t you see that this dreams of ours, are so great and we can’t just let go of them?
So please do us a big favor. If you feel helpless in making these dreams of us become a reality, stop making yourselves impediments to our efforts in making them a reality. For we have already, a great battle on our hands and there are some of us who would rather die fighting for our dreams than taking the so called circumstantial way out.
….. For we would not all become your entrepreneurs.

Movie Review: The Women ~ By: Jerry Chiemeke

Movie Title: The Women
Genre: Romance
Year Of Release: 2017
Cast: Omoni Oboli, Katherine Obiang, Kate Henshaw, Ufuoma McDermott, Kalu Ikeagwu, Femi Branch, Tony Monjaro, Gregory Ojefua
Director: Blessing Egbe
“The Women” is a movie centred around the lives of four women who (supposedly) happen to be very good friends. There is Omoh (McDermott), a competitive woman who is particular about making good impressions, even where she and her husband Maro (Monjaro) are in the middle of a financial crisis; Rose (Obiang) who has a high sex drive, never seems to get enough attention from her husband Ayo (Branch) and finds it hard to keep her mouth shut about anything; Teni (Oboli), the high-society lady with a huge chip on her shoulder who is always quick to throw her social weight around; and Ene (Henshaw), a gossip who is not exactly proud of her rich, plus size semi-literate husband Chibu (Ojefua), and fills in his “inadequacies” with the family chef.
Notwithstanding their financial difficulties, Omoh convinces her husband Maro to host a weekend party at an exquisite hotel for her 40th birthday. She throws invitations to their three friends and their husbands, who oblige her. However, the weekend getaway becomes an emotion cauldron of sorts, as the atmosphere gets tense and each woman subtly tries to outclass the other, in the face of grand scheming and dirty big secrets.
Also Read: Movie ReviewMy Wife And I
Away from the issue of marital fidelity, the movie explores a number of subjects, including unhealthy competition in friendships, honesty and marital compatibility. The film also touches on the subjects of age difference in relation to marrying older women, the right to choice in pregnancies, and mental health in marriages.
Based on the plot of the movie and roles therein, “The Women” provides a big chance for Ufuoma McDermott to shine in a leading role, and she somehow blows it; her acting is too mechanical, and her role interpretation is hard to watch, particularly when it comes to the dialogue. This is Omoni Oboli’s third feature film in 2017, and the fatigue seems to take its toll on her acting, as there are portions where she seems to try too hard, but she holds her own nonetheless. Katherine Obiang spices up the cast with her effortless humour and a bit-over-the-top acting, but the same cannot be said for Kate Henshaw, who for all her pedigree, happens to be a virtual no-show here. Ojefua’s comedic sequences light up the movie, Femi Branch is a bit of a balancing act, Tony Monjaro’s acting seems forced but he aces the role of oblivious husband nonetheless, and Kalu Ikeagwu, who plays Teni’s husband Bez, does not seem to have too much to do on this one.
The movie itself starts slowly, but eventually picks up and maintains a decent pace up to the closing credits, though one cannot help but feel that the twists and resolutions were arrived at a bit too quickly. The dialogue is worthy of commendation, but the sound engineers deserve some talking to; they could have done a lot better. A big chance to dwell on the issue of post-partum depression is passed up too, and that part of the film does not get the attention it deserves.
“The Women” in general reinforces the cliché that a gathering of ladies is always a tense and complicated one, but clichés wouldn’t be what they were if they were not valid truths in the first place. The movie has its rough edges, but it is a more than decent effort, it will cause genuine giggles, and movie goers should add this clip to their schedule.
Rating: 7/10

Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer and freelance writer who lives in Lagos. An amateur photographer and sports enthusiast as well, Jerry’s works have appeared on Blanck Digital, Elsieisy, Oshodi.tv, The Kalahari Review and Brittle Paper. He is the author of ‘The Colours In These Leaves’. Get the book here
You can follow him on Twitter @J_Chiemeke, and also check out his craft on his blog at pensofchi.com

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