If you haven’t watched this Kunle Afolayan film on Netflix, you definitely should right after reading this.
A lot of Nollywood movies we know and love usually follow similar storylines, lighthearted, comedic and generally fun. However, ever since Netflix began showcasing Nigerian films, many hidden gems have been brought to light, movies with compelling stories and brilliant characters have been made easily accessible to viewers all around the world. Authentic African stories with depth, around social issues and that showcase our cultures in its beauty.
The movie follows three separate women and their struggle with cancer. Aisha, a company MD in her early 60s, played by Joke Silva. Labake, a lower class shop owner in her 40s, played by Bimbo Akintola and Teniola, a University student in her 20s, played by Omowunmi Dada. The story sheds so much light on such an important topic that I believe isn’t explored enough in Nollywood. Cancer is still an unfortunate plight many men and women go through in Nigeria and worldwide. People need to be aware, and no better way to raise awareness these days than implant it into their tv screens. There is so much about cancer that people aren’t aware of. While watching the movie, so much information about cervical and breast cancer was infused into the dialogue; myths were busted, and truths were clarified.
Cancer in women is a pressing topic that women and young girls need to be educated about. One thing I truly admire about this story is the age diversity in the characters. It gives female audiences of different age ranges a chance to see themselves represented in these characters. The variety in their ages and social class symbolizes that cancer is no respecter of age, wealth or social class.
Asides from the age representation to make the story more relatable to all ages, the infusion of the Yoruba language also helps non-English speaking Yoruba people understand medical terms used in the movie and the general message of the story. Kunle Afolayan loves the mixture of African languages in his films, from The CEO, to Figurine and October 1st. These multilingual movies help diversify the audience to make them feel seen and heard in the film industry.
This 2019 movie also addresses the stigmatization of cancer patients. Nigerians generally don’t particularly enjoy discussing health issues open because of fear of being ridiculed or shamed. We could see this same fear in the characters through the film, fear to seek help because of ‘what would people think’ mentality. This honestly hinders many Nigerians from seeking the mental and physical support they need. But these characters were able to break free from those fears, and I believe that alone will give viewers the courage they need when it comes to health matters.
Out of the many Nollywood movies out on Netflix, this is truly a gem amongst them. The plot definitely makes up for the subpar direction and other technical aspects of the film.