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A rich man and his irresponsible young son. The narrative is older than the Nigerian movie industry, but don’t dismiss this story yet, because it comes with a knockout twist. In Seven, Tosin Igho’s new film, the rich man’s doctors discover a malignant tumor in his brain that they cannot treat. Before his death, he makes some arrangements that he hopes will help his misguided young son. In the Seven trailer, we see Kolade devastated by his father’s death, and then we hear the message his father left for him:

“Kolade, if you’re watching this, it just means that I am dead. Before you can take over my estate, I want you to spend seven days in Ajegunle.”

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Why Ajegunle? It seems Kolade’s father spent a part of his youth there. At the beginning of the trailer, there are indications of Kolade’s reckless lifestyle: he wakes up in a daze and his friends are still passed out around him. There are red cups and alcohol strewn all over the place. In the next few scenes, the father complains about his son’s behaviour to a confidante: “He is my son. He didn’t learn any of the things we learnt growing up.” The confidante (played by Richard Mofe-Damijo) responds with a faraway look in his eye and a knowing smile: “In AJ, right?”

AJ must mean Ajegunle, since that is where Kolade must go later on. Soon, we see Kolade in Ajegunle. The excitement begins here. There are flashes of Richard Mofe-Damijo in a heavy fist-fight, and Daddy Showkey appears on screen; throwing someone bodily to the ground. But the trailer cuts us short just as things begin to heat up. We’ll have to watch the film to discover Richard Mofe-Damijo’s true colors as a street fighter. More importantly, we’ll find out what kind of street-racing, bottle-breaking, action packed adventure Kolade ran into in Ajegunle. For some, seven days in Ajegunle is just another week in Lagos. But to a young, privileged man used to the good life, seven days in Ajegunle may be a very long time.

Lagosians who have seen the many faces of Lagos may be eager to see how Tosin Igho portrays one of the most squalid and unsavoury areas in this city. I know I’m excited. And those who only know one side to Lagos have a good reason to watch this film: it is an opportunity to discover the Lagos that truly bites. Hopefully, Tosin Igho does justice to Ajegunle, by going beyond the violence to show us its humanity as well. Perhaps that is the purpose of this film: to show us what we can learn from the underbelly of civilisation. After all, the only logical reason a father would send his son into the arms of danger is if he thought those arms could offer something more important than pain.  

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Bimbo Manuel plays the role of the rich father, and Efe Iwara is Kolade, the irresponsible young man. Daddy Showkey and Richard Mofe-Damijo are major characters in this film, and other members of the cast include Orezi, Uche Nwaefuna, Patrick Diabuah, Sadiq Daba, Uzikwendu, and Koffi Tha Guru. Seven was directed by Tosin Igho, a creative who launched his filmmaking career with music videos. His last film, The Eve, was funny, beautifully shot, and received some positive reviews.

Seven is out in cinemas today. I’m calling it a ‘should watch’.


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The Native

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This article was first published on 30th November 2019


Tochi Onwubiko is a 'Jack' of many trades. A designer, book editor, lawyer and happy freelance writer. She enjoys drinking tea, sitting in quiet spaces, and reading thick books. She hopes to publish books one day. She also loves a good house party. If you know about any good books or parties, leave a comment on one of her posts.

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