Omoni Oboli’s ‘Wives On Strike’ an infotainment revolution

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I don’t think there’s anybody who hasn’t heard about the movie, Wives On Strike, written, produced and directed by Omoni Oboli. Except you’ve been in solitary confinement for the last year or are social media challenged, it has been the most discussed movie in recent times. She has rewritten the manuscript on how to market a move right. For the marketing, In my books, she scores an A+.

Wives On Strike is what you would call the complete entertainment package; great story, great acting and great message. It is truly an experience in infotainment. I don’t believe she’s been given the credit she deserves as a writer and as a director, going by the poignant dialogue and the artistry in which they were delivered by the actors. Holding an audience spellbound is what we normally expect from hollywood flicks, but to have our very own do it was far beyond our expectations as Omoni Oboli was able to do with her movie.

It is easy to see how the sales reached such a crescendo, with people trooping in their masses in, with high expectations, and out of the theatres feeling totally satisfied. The message, centered around the child bride and the empowerment of women, was delivered repeatedly, but everyone drank it in without complaining because it was laced with so much comedy. At some point, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, because the messages hit you so hard, but the humor kept you focused on the screen.

This was a classic case of infotainment; entertainment with a perfect fusion of comedy and a strong message at its core. No one would say that they came out of the halls forgetting what the movie was all about, as I have often had, even with hollywood movies. We have all heard this before, that a graceful woman is one that can tell you to get lost in such a way that you will even look forward to the event. This is a movie that would reach the perpetrators and have them laughing so hard, but they will still watch the movie to the end and hear the strong and clear message condemning their acts, and would not be offended.

What was the message? There were several. The issue of the child bride being at the heart of it. Not only was it presented, but Chioma Akpotha’s delivery of the reasoning behind it all made many see these issues in black and white. The idealism behind many people’s conviction when they go into politics was challenged in the movie. Why did you run for office and make all those promises? Was there any intention to make those promises come to pass? What about good old fashioned accountability? Another issue was that of women empowerment, with Mama Amina not being allowed to work while the other women could hold their heads up high because they were empowered to do so.

With the bill on gender equality still lingering, I suspect that this would spark these conversations in many quarters. There are many other things to pick out of this movie, like unity of purpose, the role of women in nation building, that burying your head in the sand doesn’t get rid of the problem and some others. The far reaching effect of this movie can be felt to effect positive change if it can be seen by as many people as possible.

The synopsis was well written; that the women, who hilariously (though not just the women) interpreted their roles, set a series of events in motion to give the movie many moments of laughter without missing a beat on the reason for why they were on strike. It’s a must see, and the complete infotainment package makes it worth everyone’s while. Nollywood has truly come of age.



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