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“Saving Onome” Looks at a Child’s Life Through the Eyes of Parents Running Out of Time

When disaster threatens, desperation lurks. However, how far will you go to save your child?
April 30, 2024
3:49 pm
Saving Onome

They say a parent’s love remains whole no matter how many times divided. This statement rings true in “Saving Onome,” a heartwarming tale about the life of a young couple, Jite Oghene (Olumide Oworu), and his wife, Tola (Nancy Isime), who face desperation when Onome, their only child needs a heart transplant.


For Onome to have this heart transplant, Jite and Tola must provide ten million naira in three weeks, which is an amount that they do not have. To raise the money, Jite, although not celebrated by his conscience, decides to rob a bank with the help of his friend Tega (Nasobi) and a woman, but the robbery does not go as planned. They end up being chased by the police; the female member of the trio gets caught, while Jite and Tega manage to escape with Tega threatening fire and brimstone on Jite for messing up his plans by being jittery.


When Jite returns, telling Tola the disappointing news, we see how deep their love for each other runs. When Tola begins berating herself for the misfortune that has befallen them, Jite reassures her of his love for her saying; “…don’t kick my wife when she’s down.” If one looks closely enough during this scene, one will see the beautiful butterflies in Tola’s tummy. Jite not only refers to her as his wife but also tells her comforting words. Couple goals for real!


“Saving Onome” shows the difficult choices the couple faces in a bid to save their child and the adversities that come in the form of family, friends, and finances. The film tells a story that most couples who have ever had a sick child can relate to, and it is refreshing to see the human approach that director, Dimeji Ajibola, took with this heartwarming tale.



One of the most endearing aspects of the film is the deviation from the normal “African men are disconnected from their emotions” narrative. African men do not have to be tough to prove that they are real men; they can be caring, warm, and comforting just like Jite. The “my-husband-does-not-care about-my-child-so-I-have-to-suffer-alone” storyline, often seen in Nollywood films, was getting annoyingly repetitive.


The characters in “Saving Onome” shine on another level, contributing to the beauty of the film. It does not go overboard, bringing in unnecessary characters to complicate things, and the characters’ roles are perfectly executed.


Olumide Oworu (Jite) takes on a fresh role in this film: the role of a father. Though new to this, Oworu executes this role so well that he absolutely has to do it again! His expression of shock when he finds Tega sitting by his sick daughter in the hospital is nothing less than fatherly. He stutters, finds his words, and makes audiences feel sorry for him. When faced with a dilemma, he asks Tola (Nancy Isime) questions on the mind of every responsible father: “What example are we setting for our child?” “Is this what we want her to think of us?” Touching!


Oworu is the sweetest on-screen husband, and he has no competition. Amidst all the chaos that ensues, he still finds time for some lovey-dovey with the love of his life, and his flirting skills have audiences wriggling in their seats. Not only is he a lover, but he is a jealous man. In summary, Oworu’s portrayal of Jite the father and husband feels authentic, and it is not surprising because he is married in real life.



Nancy Isime’s delivery as Tola is a moving one. She plays a daughter who disappointed her family nine years ago and is reminded of it in her most trying time; a mother on the verge of losing her only child, and a wife who has to regain her husband’s trust after making a difficult decision. When Isime defends her husband (Oworu), expressing her love for him to her family, she becomes her character: a young woman who is in love with her man and will not stop loving him no matter what.


With each decision-making process, her brows furrow and her eyes widen, conveying the familiar look of anxiety on the face of a mother in troubled times and, most heroically, she is an eagle when she flies through the window with a bag of cash. Okay, maybe not an eagle, but a brave mother with poor landing skills. She also plays the supportive wife all too well. Even when she does not agree with Jite, her facial expressions during a disagreement show that she wants to cooperate with him.


Prior to this film, it seemed unlikely that Oworu and Isime would blend perfectly as a couple, but they devour their roles, and it will be a delight to see more of them as an on-screen couple.


Tega (Nasboi) is another intriguing character. Though this character does not have many scenes, he is not easy to forget. He has a lot of abusive words in his vocabulary, but he administers them better than Shakespeare. He is sarcastic, greedy, and cannot be trusted with your money, your girl, or your child’s neck. Nasboi masterfully plays the role of the annoying character who is unavoidable. One minute, he expresses brotherly love for Jite, advising him to set up a GoFundMe for Onome and, the next, he threatens to snap Onome’s neck.


Keppy Ekpeyong (Inspector Dayo), Tola’s father who is repeatedly let down by Tola’s life choices, shows the weighty feeling of a father who has played all his child-bearing cards and can only hope for the best. Although he does not support Tola’s choices down to the end, he extends sympathy to her and does his best to help her and the one she has chosen to love.


The other supporting characters add color to the story, making up the threads that weave the scenes together perfectly. The costume design and cinematography are nothing short of award-winning, and it will be no surprise if the film gets nominated for several AMVCAs next year.


“Saving Onome” has an interesting storyline that sticks to business, with every scene performing an important role and paced perfectly down to the end. The decision of the writer to stick with simplicity pays off big time.


“Saving Onome” weaves together the themes of desperation, sacrifice, love, and determination to form a cinematic excellence. It is now showing in cinemas nationwide.


Release date: April 5, 2024

Runtime: 1 hour, and 47 minutes

Streaming Service:  None. Cinematic Release

Director: Dimeji Ajibola

Cast: Olumide Oworu, Nancy Isime, Keppy Ekpeyong, Mary Lazarus, Ashinoye Michelle Raccah, Femi Jacobs, Kelechi Udegbe, Nosa Rex, and Nasboi

TNR Scorecard:


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