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“Ajosepo” Is An Epic Clash of Family Imperfections

Kayode Kasum’s two-hour romantic comedy is shockingly good and may already be the best movie of 2024.
April 30, 2024
4:18 pm

You would be forgiven for not expressing explosive levels of excitement upon viewing the teaser of Kayode Kasum’s romantic comedy, “Ajosepo.”


With the synopsis and teaser screaming 2016’s “Wedding Party,” this story focusing on a young soon-to-be-wedded couple dealing with family tensions on the eve of their wedding, seemed to promise nothing new.


However, writers – Dave Olaitan and Kayode Kasum – had a trick up their sleeve (or lenses): a simple, shocking twist.


We knew a family member was going to jeopardize the wedding. We know this because of the stark contrast between the bride’s – Tanis (Tomike Adeoye) – perfectly Christian and wealthy household, and the separated and dysfunctional one that the groom, Dapo (Mike Afolarin) had to present. The fact that all the family chaos converges under the same roof adds for a more intense spectacle.


But how the potential wedding-crasher was going to unfold was indeed a surprise. So tightly was it sealed in the bag of mysteries that when it opened, the “ghen ghen, e don happen” from the audience was very well earned.


It is understood but expect to see some very relatable dysfunctional family dynamics. “Ajosepo” is the Yoruba equivalent for “relationship” or “interactive.” However, the movie intriguingly shifts focus to showcase a classic, Yoruba-flavored confrontation among family members. The uniqueness of each character may leave you feeling little for the two lovers thanks, in part, to the somewhat dull chemistry between Afolarin and Adeoye. Nonetheless, you can manage that.


Timini Egbuson

A nominee for fan favorite is the father of the groom (Yemi Solade). It turns out that he is smarter and more rational than initially introduced. But, as suspected, that rationality is limited. He is as funny as he is flirtatious, which is a hobby that would lead to a catastrophe on such a hilarious scale as has never been shown before in Nigerian cinema.


Although it is safe to say Yemi Solade did justice to his character, an epic clash of households would not be a chaotic one without that one mother-in-law, flanked by her supporters. In steps Ronke Ojo with her best “Mama Gee” moment and her three musketeers to fill that gap.


By far the most memorable moment of the two-hour ride was the strong brotherhood theme. Ironic as this is supposed to be, and to some extent is–a clash of households.


When it seemed that the wedding was a discovery away from being disgracefully called off, everyone, despite imperfections, does his or her best to ensure the wedding ceremony is not derailed. The overwhelming rally behind Dapo and Tani oozed unforced moments of love.


Jide (Timini Egbuson), elder brother to Dapo, best encapsulates this cure. Putting aside the “bad boy” image that many have largely come to associate his characters with, he certainly can make the emotional sparks fly. He always has his brother’s interest at heart, especially at times like this when all the poor boy wants to do is get married and the forces at play are putting his union on a knife’s edge. Timini’s unspeakable performance will surely silence critics who think he’s been “overused” by Nollywood.


Other surprises abound. Skit maker, Lizzy Jay’s never-disappointing appearance. Bisola Aiyeola (Yetunde), with whom Yemi Solade’s character was pretty much bound together, literally and metaphorically. Timini Egbuson speaking Yoruba: you heard right. TIMINI EGBUSON SPEAKS YORUBA!



If we agree to omit the romantic subplot involving Timini and Bolaji Ogunmola (Mary), the bridesmaid, which the movie wrongly assumes would be of little interest to the audience, there’s little to not like about “Ajosepo.”  Its relatability underscores a significant theme: Nollywood’s potential lies in its ability to entertain and resonate with local audiences rather than mimic Western cinema.


Kayode Kasum had no business making a movie as good as “Ajosepo,” nor did co-writer Dave Olaitan, who launched his Nollywood career writing “Knockout Blessing,” “Blessing” and “Ile Owo.” With movies such as “Sugar Rush, (2019)” “Afamefuna” (2023) “Oga Bolaji” (2018), and now “Ajosepo” under his belt, Kasum’s status as an A-list director in Nollywood is placed well beyond doubt. Stephen Okonkwo’s well-coherent script as well as the meticulous production design team result in an enjoyable viewing experience. Keen-eyed viewers would spot some beautiful statues in the house.


“Ajosepo” didn’t need to do much. Just take the well-known Nollywood family drama, add a slice of twist, topped with some rarely seen performances and great dialogue, with what should be a relatively small budget – nearly the entire setting was in a single building in Ibadan – and you get a wonderfully made movie.


“Ajosepo” might be the movie to beat this year. And that’s saying something given that 2024 is just four months in.


Release Date: April 10, 2024

Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Streaming Service: Cinematic Release

Director: Kayode Kasum

Cast: Timini Egbuson, Mike Afolarin, Tomike Adeoye, Mercy Aigbe, Yemi Solade, Ronke Oshodi, Deyemi Okanlawon, Bisola Aiyeola, Muyiwa Ademola, Bolaji Ogunmola, Kanaga Jnr., and Lizzy Jay.

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