Nollywood. I have never been big on Nollywood. But this evening, the one showing on African Magic got half my attention, and the baba who seemed to be enjoying it so much, got the rest of my attention. I don’t even know what the title of the movie was, and I guess, the Urhobo Man don’t know it either. He is an Urhobo Man, judging from his accent. The Baba had walked into the tombo joint, and took a seat on the same bench I was sitting on, and order a a drink for himself earlier.
The movie featured, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Chioma Chukwuka, Patience Ozokwo et al. Patience is the overbearing mother of the character of Bob Manuel Udokwu and Oge Okoye; Chioma played the part of a naïve village girl whom Bob put in the family way, Married (unwillingly) and introduced to city life: she soon became corrupt by the company of her new city friend played by Oge Okoye. Chioma had fallen into bad company and is in police net. The comments of the Baba Urhobo was what got me riveted to the drama climaxing on the silverscreen. In his undisguised Urhobo accent, he said:
“You see now? You no see now? Women eh? All this Women dem eh? Na one day dem go kill all of us finish for this world. Very dangerous people like that. Aha”.
He was raising his voice, shaking his head, and violently waving his fist at the screen. His passion is something to be seen rather than told. Soccer fans could learn a few trick from this Man. I kept watching him, as he kept shaking his head, his fist and my nerves.
As when Bob Manuel’s character was throwing out his wayward wife (Chioma Chukwuka’s character) Baba Urhobo was cheering him on, his passion-ladden voice increasing in decibels. He said:
“Pursue am, pursue am well-well, otherwise she go plan kill to you one day one day if you no take time now, now, now!
Yess! …Pursue am comot… Pursue am well-well.” Laughing raucously, and stamping his feet.
I expected to seem him foam in the mouth, but he wasn’t. I wanted to say, “baba take easy o! It is only a movie ke!” But just then, he ordered a round of Tombo for everyone present. I was the only other person apart from the bar maid, so I got my mug refilled with the frothy juice. He had not touched or covered the round he’d ordered for himself. He seemed so riveted the movie, and the flies kept drowning themselves in his mug of tombo. The better part of valour dictated that I take it easy with bursting his bubbles. I am one man who would not tamper with another man is religiously passionate about. I am not a Nollywood buff, but this Baba is, obviously.
The anger that Baba exhibited at the misdemeanour of the character Chioma Chukwuka’s and the joy he exhibits at the chauvinistic disposition of the character of Bob Manuel Udokwu was nothing short of the febrile frenetic fervour of religious folks are inclined to. You would wonder if that fanatic Baba has ever sucked the breast of a woman- Mother, Wife, Girlfriend, or Concubine, he seemed diminished on regard for the feminine mystique. The mystique I subscribe to, the mystique I worship. Well, we are different- he’s old school and conservative, I am new school and progressive.
Me, I was rooting for the Character of Chioma Chukwuka (privately) a woman should be at liberty to exercise her God-sanctioned “right to life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, even outside the bounds of marriage. I knew I will be stoned to death if I expressed this opinion, so I kept mum, and judge and condemn Baba Urhobo in my mind.
What the character of Chioma Chukwuka did was actually wrong. She was only a village girl of 17 when Bob Manuel Udokwu’s character got her pregnant. Coming to the city to live with her husband, she should have been discerning enough to beware of the corrosive influence of the “city bright lights” (the red ones). She should also have been wise enough to remember her sunday school lesson that “evil communication corrupts good manner. Well, all my opinion went unexpressed, and the chauvinist pig, who’d offered me a drink, never got to know my mind. This is Warri. We the people of this embattled city could use tolerance in working out their tribal, political, and generational differences. Nollywood could be a binding factor, even if not all of us subscribe to mediocrity.
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