Much Ado about “Gangs of Lagos”

17 Apr 2023

Hi Folks,

Much ado about “Gangs of Lagos”

Trust your week is off to a great start. Weekend was quite engaging from this end, from Lagos to Ìbàdàn, Abeokuta and finally back to Lagos.

I will touch on my Abeokuta trip only briefly.

The late Justice Bola Ajibola

The respected Hon. Justice AbdulJabbar Bola Ajibola has gone to meet with his Creator on Sunday 9th April 2023.

I attended the burial on same day according to Islamic rights and again attended the 8th day fidau prayer as organized by the family at the Crescent University which he founded.

Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN), was a former Attorney General and Minister for Justice in Nigeria, from 1985 to 1991 and a judge of the International Court of Justice from 1991 to 1994. There are many positives to that name. May his soul rest in peace.

Gangs of Lagos

“Gangs of Lagos” is a Nigerian crime-action thriller produced and directed by Jade Osiberu. The thriller movie stars Tobi Bakre, Adesua Etomi, Iyabo Ojo, Demi Banwo, Chioma Akpotha, Damilola Ogunsi, Tayo Faniran, Zlatan Ibile, Bimbo Ademoye, Toyin Abraham, Yvonne Jegede, Yinka Quadri, Chike, Pasuma and a host of others.

The movie, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 7, 2023, as the first Amazon Original Movie from Africa has been getting both positive and negative reviews across different divides.

I had to go see for myself to be sure what the real issues were.

First, the plot of the movie was quite interesting and the caste was superb. Picture quality, special effects and choreography was on point.

The cultural part which seems to be the most controversial part of the story to me is rather too subtle to make a case out of.  I am guessing the custodians of our culture are rather fixated on the sanctity of the “Ẹyọ” and that os fine by me. However, bad eggs, criminals, touts have always exploited festivals as an avenue to perpetrate evil.

What I find curious is the fact that the story didn’t try to show or inspire any form of understanding of the “Ẹyọ” except the norm that It is a ceremonial idol. This I insinuated from the various scenes where it was featured.

Criminals have always hid under different religious guises to perpetrate their acts. We have seen criminals disguise as Pastor and Imams to carry out their nefarious activities. So, for me; the producers and directors of “Gangs of Lagos” have done no wrong.

However, to placate we culture enthusiasts, a scene showing where the custodians of the “Ẹyọ” are condemning and cursing the action of those who hid under the cloak or cover of “ẹyo” to do evil and show how the gods have dealt a great blow on evil people. There are a thousand and one ways of achieving such.

If we are to go by realities, I think the flick should be let alone for the world to enjoy. For natio al peace, Jade Osiberu, should go and edit some part and add the part that portrays the gods as being against crime always.

The industry will continue to grow as we push even deeper narratives about our unique cultures.

Remember to make someone smile today through your acts of kindness.


Ilupeju B