King of Boys Review and How Kemi Adetiba Delivered

On seeing the trailer for The King of Boys in October, I honestly did not expect much from it because it was a Nigerian movie. Although I am Nigerian and a writer, our films can some times be heavily flawed. From weak movie plots to direction to actors not exactly fit for the roles they play. Saw King of Boys two weeks back and I just had to write a King of Boys review and how Kemi Adetiba delivered excellently.

The Wedding Party was the rave of the moment back then. I saw it in the third week it started showing at the cinemas and enjoyed every bit of it. This was the first film directed by Kemi Adetiba. I had to do a little bit of research about her and discovered she studied at the New York Film Academy after establishing herself in the media scene, no doubt a lady who knew her business. Kemi Adetiba as a producer, director and producer is a trailblazer in the Nigerian movie industry with her quality direction and storytelling. King of Boys still sits at the top of Nigerian movies in the cinema for five weeks now, raking in 160 million and passing the record for her first movie The Wedding Party.

King of Boys follows the story of Eniola Salami played by Sola Sobowale; a business woman, philanthropist who is also the kingpin of the underworld whose political ambition goes awry. Although there have been different opinions on the movie on social media, I saw mostly good reviews before I saw the movie and I was honestly hooked from the first scene of the approximately three hours movie. At first, I had been appalled when I saw the length of the movie. How could anyone possibly sit for so long for just one movie? Armed with popcorn and a drink, I found myself in Filmhouse Cinema Surulere screen 3 and so it began. I walked out of the cinema past 9 o’clock and could not get over how great the movie was.

king of boys review

The Casting and Acting

There is truly no one that could have killed Eniola Salami’s role like Sola Sobowale. From the birthday party scene, she was magnificent and such a natural. Her acting was comparable to that of The Wedding Party in which she plays the bride’s mother. She brought life to the role of The King of Boys. Her switch from gangster leader to emotional mother was simply beautiful. From being ruthless to breaking down in the prison cell, Sola deserve awards for her role in this movie.

Making their first acting debuts, the Nigerian rappers Reminisce and Ill Bliss captured their roles as well. I was skeptical about them delivering as acting is a different ball game from music but they did. Apparently, it took almost 8 months to convince Reminisce to play the role he did because of his work but Kemi was determined that she wanted no other person for that role. Damn! Like I said earlier, a lady that knows her stuff. On showing up to the movie shoot and seeing Sola Sobowale at work, Reminisce felt he could not match her energy. Reminisce as Makanaki makes being a bad guy look so good. That may have been his first movie role but he killed it. Looking forward to seeing him in more movie roles.

Photographer turned actress Toni Tones aced the role of a younger Eniola. Apparently, she had to add weight plus deliberately make her voice huskier for the role. If you ask me, it worked well. While I really want to say Adesua Etomi did a great job in the movie, her acting in this particular movie was just there.

Another character whose acting I really find commendable is Paul Sambo who plays Inspector Gobir. He deserves an award for his role as he was actively on his feet and yet dishing out emotions in his hospital scenes. He brought the Hausa flavor into the movie and totally blended it well into the Lagos based story-line.

I should mention it at this point that I may be developing a crush on the actor Demola Adedoyin who plays Eniola’s son in the movie. His role was cool, calm and collected, yet he delivered. He is a great actor too and so fineeee! I did not get why his character had to commit suicide though.

The Story-line and Plot

King of Boys starts with a birthday party scene obviously thrown by someone of affluence. Not only did Kemi Adetiba direct this movie, she also wrote the script. A what? A genius! I particularly loved the fact that the script had a different story, one not popularly approached by writers. Set in Lagos and covering several issues including crime, religion, siblings rivalry, politics and corruption in the system, the story-line was everything. The ending also leaves room for more as there is a what next feel attached to Eniola still being the King of Boys even after fleeing Nigeria.

From the part Makanaki challenges Eniola for her throne, I was anticipating what the next scene would bring. Most Nollywood movies are terrible in the sense that their ending is predictable right from the second scene. The plot was fast paced and there was no unnecessary drag popular with other movies. The flashback tool employed in showing young Eniola’s rise as the King of Boys perfectly blends with the present without leaving the audience confused. The problems associated with infidelity comes up in Chief Salami courting young Eniola as he loses not only his family but his life and consequently, seat at the table. There are a lot of lessons to derive from the movie.

Did I mention how mind-blowing the African proverbs and traditional references were? They were indeed something.

The Cinematography

I foresee an award for this movie in cinematography and direction because it was simply great. Both the angles and the setup of the scenes. The burning prison scene had me gasping. Expected actual fire but the lighting and smoke effect worked as well. I feel like there really is no other way the movie could have been better shot. I love the picture quality of the movie and it was topnotch.

Popular Nigerian musician KWAM1 makes a cameo in this movie at the beginning birthday scene and it promptly reminded me of his music which was a key feature of growing up in Nigeria. From the Lagos landscapes to hiding money in septic tanks to the costumes to the underworld portrayal, Kemi captured Nigerian lifestyle very well. Most movies do not capture night scenes well but this was not a problem in King of Boys at all.

The Flaws

There was an unexplained part with the judge’s family kidnapping. I still do not understand that part and the phone call Kemi made. The soundtrack was louder than the actors voices in some scenes, especially the birthday party scene. Sincerely, the story could have been a little bit more polished. The ending shows the ruthless kingpin turning weak when it came to fighting for respect in her own establishment when a worker gets harassed. Feminism could have been a strong point to make here. For a movie that started off showing how powerful the main character is, that move was awkward.

In conclusion, Kemi Adetiba no doubt did excellently on King of Boys and her work is laudable. To take on a project like that and create magic with the right cast and team is not easy especially in Nollywood. She is someone I would really love to sit and converse with. Could learn a lot from her and tap into her creativity.

If you are yet to see this movie, you really should and come compare notes. If you have seen it, do drop a comment below on what you think about it. The best part of posting here is getting your feedback and comments. Cheers!

p.s I realized this post passed the 1300 words count and that is a first this year. Pheww! Also, you may notice the Guide to Getting Over Parents Separation and Friday Fiction posts are missing on the blog, this is due to a mistake I recently made and sadly, they cannot be recovered. I am really sorry about that.

Living – Life After Graduation and Adulthood

Looking at the blog post calendar today, I realized how much time had passed since my last blog post. I was shocked, considering the fact that one of my new year resolutions is to post more this year. But really, navigating life after graduation and adulthood at the same time is not easy as I thought it would be.

There really isn’t a survival guide to this adulthood thing. If you happen to know someone who is a boss at it, kindly recommend so I can hit them up and learn too.

Read The Big Deal About Growing Up

What have I been up to? I obeyed the clarion call for National Youth Service in April and it has been a whirlwind since then. From moving to South-South Nigeria and having to adjust to a totally different environment from my beloved Ibadan. Language was a barrier and I was honestly not ready to learn. They have fairly different food too. I taught at a secondary school for about a month. It was a good experience I tell you. Just the disappointment that came from how little the interest students have in education these days, stemming from the fact that so many illegal things are paying big money these days.

I saw some of them wondering why they should go to school when they can become politicians and steal from the country. Needless say, their performance academically were majorly woeful. Majority of them in school could not even read nor write but yet, the school keeps them just for financial gains.

Anyway, I had to redeploy back to Lagos following an attack on our corper’s lodge by armed men. They were arrested after the incident but I could not wait around without guaranteed security. Moving back to Lagos has been blissful to an extent although finding a new workplace was a big problem.

It is dawning on me now the stress that comes with growing up – making decisions yourself, responsibilities, bills and having to work. The year practically sped by. Just a couple of months ago I was dealing with final year project and it seems like it was so long ago.

Read Birthday: Chronicles of the Twenties

Turning the big twenty one on Monday August 6! I have been posting a black and white photo series on Instagram which you can find right here . Follow me and check the series out. Each photograph is accompanied with a note about life. Why black and white? In black and white photographs, colors no longer distract and you can focus on the subject(s) of the photograph as well as emphasize emotions and details, establishing a stronger connection which might not occur in colored photographs.

playground media

I have quite a number of things planned out for the new birthday year and hope to share more on this blog. The first blog post went up December 2014, which means the blog turns 4 later this year. Not much to show for it as I have to admit, I have not been putting much work into creating content consistently.

On balancing friendships and relations, I am pretty much following the rule of reaching out when I can to those who really want to be a part of my life. I feel I have reached that point where I really don’t have to force friendships or remind people how to be friends. A close circle of people I care about would pretty much do it for me. Can you relate?

I do hope you’re living your best life and smiling wide. Keep it in mind that things could be worse and we all just have to be thankful. There is still so much that can still happen this year. How has life been so far for you? Do share below and your thoughts about this post.

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

One term that defines my type of style best is casual and if you randomly run into me in public, you can bet on me having jeans and a T-shirt on except on Sundays and special occasions. Through the course of being a student, having to go for lectures made casual style almost too convenient and I must say I have become used to it. Today’s blog post is about casual street style featuring o21 designs.

o21 designs is a Nigerian brand into graphics, corporate branding, customized T-shirts and creating creative solutions. They are based in Lagos Nigeria but however provide deliverable items. They make branded items such as mugs and souvenirs as well, on both small and large scale.

Custom T-shirts design started in the early 1950s when some companies in Miami started decorating T-shirts with the names of local resorts and other tourist attractions. Custom T-shirts in recent times are used as a medium of expression and passing information through which individuals can express their political and social views, advocate for causes, or just to amuse people.

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

Still journeying on the natural hair lane, this T-shirt had my heart with the caption. The quality is top notch and it is super comfortable. This caption says everything, answering questions from those moments I have been questioned on why my hair is not relaxed or why did I choose to go natural. I have been natural for over two years now and honestly, there are days being natural is blissful and other days it’s just plain annoying.

My hair shrinks a lot and can be difficult to maintain which makes me put it in protective styles most times. However, I discovered leave in conditioner is super great in softening it up. It is my choice to go natural after all and I intend to enjoy the process all the way even on its bad days. Trust me, I have had some of those days in which you try out a YouTube tutorial and it comes out like nothing you watched your favorite YouTuber do. Who can relate?

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs

I styled the inscription T-shirt with track pants which was a trend last year and paired it up with sneakers because casual is the way. The sunglasses was last minute accessory. How cute are my earrings from Nigerian jewellery brand Zivanora? You can style the T-shirt with other pants or skirt color as white goes with everything. Plus the caption T-shirt is available in other colors. Other ways to style this T-shirt includes; with a skirt and flats, with a skirt plus a jacket with high heels, with jeans with flats or sandals and with dungarees and sandals.

As an advocate of supporting Nigerian brands, I rate this T-shirt 10/10 as I really love it and would gladly order more and so should you too. Side story, the pictures in this post were all taken by my dad and he had so much fun at it that it brought back memories of him introducing me to photography when I was younger. Could you tell the pictures were taken at Tafawa Balewa Square Lagos? The place is really cool and a great site for taking pictures although the bus station officials told us to keep our camera at a point.

Casual Street Style Featuring o21 Designs


You can find and shop from o21 designs here. The best part of posting here is getting your feedback and comments. What are your thoughts about this post? Are you a fan of casual style? What is your go to fashion outfit? What do you think about inscription T-shirts? Do leave a comment below.

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