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“Afamefuna” Is A Name That Will Not Quickly Be Forgotten

From the handbook of the Igbo apprenticeship system, springs an exciting murder mystery.
December 20, 2023
3:34 pm
Kanayo O. Kanayo - Afamefuna

From the handbook of the Igbo apprenticeship system, this movie directed by Kayode Kasum is an exciting murder mystery.

 

“Afamefuna,” which translates to “My name will not be lost” in the Igbo language, tells a “Nwa boi” story. It is a narrative informed by the apprenticeship system practiced by the Igbos in Nigeria. It does not stop there though, better still, it does not begin there.

 

The beautiful tune of the “Ogene” draws us into the first scene, which is an eye catchy scene peopled by denizens in colorful traditional attires whose dance steps make you want to party with them, whatever it is they are celebrating.

 

Stan Nze – Afamefuna

A man is surrounded by the people dancing and no further evidence is needed to prove that he owns this party. He is easily the best dressed and the people spray some money on him. His name is Afamefuna (Stan Nze).

 

Unfortunately, though, the people’s dance steps slow down, and Afamefuna has some people whisper in his ears. His dancing stops and a sense of worry fills the air.

 

Very quickly, the unease in this film seeps through the screen and caresses your neck. It is at this point that the bowl of wahala is served, and it is too late to turn back away now because you must partake of it.

 

Afamefuna is ushered into a room with minimal lighting and a camera that has previously been set up is switched on. Afamefuna is accused of murdering a man. The man’s name is Paul Obiaju (Alex Ekubo).

 

Considering the lavishness of Afamefuna’s party, this murder looks like a ritualistic one. This is when the real story begins and he takes us back to the beginning, his first encounter with Paul in Lagos as a “Nwa boi” from Onitsha.

 

Atlanta Bridget Johnson – Afamefuna

“Afamefuna” is a film that slays, taking no prisoners. It touches on the medium through which the Igbos picked themselves up and revived their community after the devastating effects of the Nigerian civil war. It also touches on the themes of honesty, dedication, brotherhood, and hard work.

 

This film educates its audience irrespective of their backgrounds. Teaching the workings of the Igbo apprenticeship is one thing but to teach it through a murder mystery is an incredibly impressive feat, which is a testament to Nollywood’s growth.

 

Apart from the educative storyline of this film, many other things make it a masterpiece. First, the actors who played the younger versions of the characters.

 

Paul Nnadiekwe embodies the role of a “JJC” completely. He constantly looks around in awe of this dreamland that he has now been transitioned to. Nnadiekwe’s facial expression and body language in this film convey so much authenticity to the extent that, if he does not open his mouth throughout the movie, we would still be able to understand him.

 

Paul Nnadiekwe – Afamefuna

His body language also transitions from the little humble jog of a timid, lowly servant to the confident skip walk of a loyal competent servant in whom his master has full trust. It is at this point that his portrayal of Afamefuna morphs with Stan Nze’s portrayal of the same character.

 

Nze plays the adult Afamefuna who is confident, wise, rich, and expressive. He dances, walks, and talks like a free man. Together, Nnadiekwe and Nze portray a round but faithful character in whom there are no loopholes.

 

“Dera of Africa” plays the role of the young Paul Obiaju, a man who knows his way around. He is great with the customers, cool with the street urchins, and good with his fellow apprentices.

 

In every situation, Paul can be trusted to handle things well. He teaches Afamefuna how to run things in Lagos and, as Afamefuna watches him, he learns a great deal. Dera plays this role effortlessly. Switching from Igbo to Yoruba, to pidgin and English, Dera is the replica of the average Igbo apprentice who convinces you to buy things that you do not even need.

 

The way he runs around, sweet-talking buyers, the street urchins, and others, instantly transports you to the shop of your favorite Igbo businessman. However, this character does not remain the same.

 

 

Alexx Ekubo takes over the adult role and the minute he gets disappointed by the boss (Kanayo O Kanayo), a switch goes off and we are introduced to the devil himself. A sarcastic one. Alexx Ekubo does a fantastic job right to the very end.

 

The boss, the “Odogwu”, is Kanayo O Kanayo. Kanayo, though seemingly comfortable in this role, does not give anything less than is expected. As he warns Afamefuna against stealing his money, we also pay attention to avoid stealing his money by any chance because he says it as he means it. Kanayo brings a unique vibe to this film, and it is incredible.

 

Segun Arinze is another interesting character as the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Shehu. This character is fascinating. He starts as a man who speaks English with a thick northern accent, and, in a few minutes, he is speaking Igbo like a native. Segun Arinze is a delight to watch.

 

The transition in this film from one scene to the next is beautiful. Most especially is the transition from Afamefuna’s adolescence to adulthood.

 

The use of Nigerian music in this film is also commendable. However, what adds the most color to this movie is the costumes and make-up. The team responsible for these outdid themselves. The attire was vibrant, and the make-up was stunning.

 

To tell you more about this film would be to rob you of the beautiful experience. “Afamefuna” is now showing in Cinemas nationwide. Do not miss it!

 

Afamefuna

Release Date: December 1, 2023.

Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes

Streaming Service: Cinema

Director: Kayode Kasum

Cast: Kanayo O Kanayo, Stan Nze, Alexx Ekubo, Atlanta Bridget Johnson, Segun Arinze, Paul Nnadiekwe, Joseph Chukwuka, Chisom Oguike Hillary, Dera of Africa, Noble Igwe

TNR Scorecard:
4/5

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