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Prophetess: A confluence of spirituality and criminality with over N140mln tag (Review)



On April 2, 2021, Anthill Productions and FilmOne’s comedy film, Prophetess, had its world premiere in Nigerian theaters.

Directed by Niyi Akinmolayan, co-written by Niyi and Yusuf Carew and Amaka Chidoka, the movie stars Toyin Abraham, Kehinde Bankole, Deyemi Okanlawon, Kunle Remi, Lateef Adedimeji, and Tina Mba and others. Additionally, Ronke Oshodi-Oke, Muyiwa Ademola, Stan Nze, Uzor Arukwe, and Seyi Awolowo, a participant on the 2019 season of Big Brother Naija, made an appearance.

Here’s a belated but important review of the movie, which grossed over N140million across Nigeria cinemas and garnered a large fan base in 2021. The box office success of Prophetess was sort of a shock to its critics who thought the story and set was too ordinary to generate as much viewership, giving that Nollywood hits hold common traits of showing the pop culture.


Prophetess tells the story of a prophetess who unwittingly made a series of forecasts that all came true, prompting an entire community to wager on her last prediction about how a relegated side will beat one of the league’s top teams.


The protagonist of the tale is Ajoke (Toyin Abraham), a prophetess whose capers are caught on camera by Dipo (Kunle Remi) and posted on social media. Salewa (Tina Mba) and Iya Ibeji (Ronke Oshodi-Oke), OAP Dipo, who resides in Lagos and with a huge fan base, to Ajoke for cleansing. The prophetess responds to various inquiries from Dipo with some insights that the audience could take the wrong way. When two of her prophecies come true, people all around Oyo State place a huge, unconventional bet on a neighborhood football game. As a club that was demoted, WonderBoys faced overwhelming odds, and they manage to pull off an unlikely triumph.

Ajoke wakes up to a large group of new parishioners after the news went viral, and Dipo gains another 100,000 Instagram followers as a result. However, as political candidate Amani Olofaina (Seyi Awolowo), who fell for Ajoke’s trick, soon disturbs the quiet in the church, the cause-and-effect run of the plot began. Soon, Labake (played by Kehinde Bankole) enters and engages Ajoke in combat after spotting Ajoke on TV earlier that day. According to the storyline, Ajoke and Labake are sisters, and seven years ago, Ajoke fled with Labake’s money. The money was intended for investments by Labake in her future, which led to their sisterly animosity. However, the reason why they fought was because Labake, who was still carrying around the hurt from the past, couldn’t bear to lose more money to Ajoke as Hakeem, whose relationship to the family is unmentioned, placed a bet with the $300,000 that had been sent to him for their mother’s medical expenses.

Akinmolayan exhibits an entitled attitude prepared to place the blame elsewhere when the word circulated that the first forecasts were only happenstance and that there was a rabid crowd during the same wave. As soon as this problem involved some extremely dangerous characters, including Fogo Bombastic, a well-known street mafia lord who threatens to kill Ajoke and her nephew if her prophesy fails, Ajoke and Dipo immediately set out to solve it.


Fond Nollywood memories prior to the age of extravagant costumes and high-tech cameras were stoked by Prophetess. It is not a flawless movie though. Far from it, and to be perfectly honest, it makes no effort to be. Prophetess is a melodramatic movie about melodramatic individuals, despite the fact that it contains probably an excessive amount of melodrama.

You might initially wonder why the movie continues to capitalize on the cliched dramatization of a religious practice of ‘white garment’ churches, but the plot goes to reveal credible themes touching tale of suffering, rejection, family, and salvation. The fact that Prophetess is about regular people, in our opinion, is what endeared it to the moviegoers the most.


Prophetess’ problem is that most of the humour appears to be an outcome of the performance, not the actual content of the movie. Though the performance is excellent, the lines are not up to par. The conversation might occasionally come out as being very commonplace and unoriginal. Although Prophetess has humour, it suffers from humour that is centred on the actors rather than the picture.


The plot was skillfully crafted to reflect a number of societal truths, including the themes of love and forgiveness within a family, religious sentiments that influence decision-making, employer-employee relationships, mob mentality, social media trolling, and sports fandom, by award-winning director Niyi Akinmolayan. It is also quite intriguing how the author gently highlighted the poor condition of our regional football clubs and the disregard for former players and football legends. Nollytrailers thought the intertwined storylines were insightful and well-integrated.

Casting and Acting

The cast of the film represented a diverse range of individuals from various backgrounds, with various aspirations, and leading various lives. We witnessed the difficulties and obstacles faced by actual people experiencing actual emotions while going about their daily lives. From the wealthy to the poor, tech-savvy to inept, educated to ignorant, the characters were not out of place and were discovered in their natural elements, right down to the finer points of their appearances and etiquette.

Nollytrailers would like to assume that the performers who portrayed each role did a better job of capturing the personality of the characters than anyone else could have. With Toyin Abraham playing the major role and actors like Kehinde Bankole and Lateef Adedimeji.


The Prophetess chose a genuine and well-thought-out place; Ibadan has a long history. The director documented the city’s historical past by photographing prominent and noteworthy landmarks such as the Liberty Stadium, Mapo Hall, and a few more. The characters’ separate residences were also nicely chosen, with a clear portrayal of and differentiation between rural and urban areas.


Niyi, with this project, once again demonstrates that intriguing cinematography is not all about choice locations and beautiful landscape. The A-List filmmaker here displayed a strong command of image compositions and shots that effectively told the tale. The use of on-screen social network pop-ups spiced the story-telling – they were funny, extremely realistic, and added to the story’s growth.

Sound Design and Music

The uniqueness of this film’s musical creations was a joy to the ears. The invention of a character song for “Fogo Bombastic,” as well as the majority of the instrumentals used, was fantastic. At times, the music was a rich mash-up of well-known Yoruba songs. Some may argue that Yoruba people would like and relate to the music more as a result of this, however ethnicity is not a barrier to appreciating the mood generated by the music at various moments throughout the film.
It is also worth noting the sharp and clear sound production. Sounds that appeared to be routine, such as the crushing of pepper – a mannerism by one of the characters – were intensified for a greater impression.

Rating (4/5)

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Adire Review: There are loose ends…



Tunde is a psychopath, who is unconsciously infatuated with the town preacher’s wife…

Sade is the holier-than-thou mummy GO’s style. Yet the most intelligent of them all…

Did you know that a storey building was burnt down for the sake of a movie about a prostitute?

If you think I’m lying? Then watch the movie here.


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A Tribe Called Judah: And so what?!



By Victor Ojelabi

“A Tribe Called Judah” is not your typical movie about the teachings of the Christian faith; it’s a wild ride that challenges conventional norms.

Also read: Funke Akindele’s movie “A Tribe Called Judah” breaks Nollywood records

While the storyline might seem contradictory to religious principles, the film’s engaging narrative and stellar production make it a must-watch.

Produced by the talented Funke Akindele, the movie revolves around five brothers faced with the daunting task of raising funds for their ailing mother’s kidney dialysis. Their solution? A daring plan to rob one of their sibling’s wealthy boss.


Akindele’s dedication to this project is evident, with the film boasting twists, turns, and a level of professionalism that cements her position in Africa’s thriving film industry.

The five brothers, born into a family unapologetic about their unconventional origins, embark on a heist to steal over $2 million from an upscale furniture company.

The plot thickens as their well-planned operation takes an unexpected turn when another group attempts to pull off the same daring theft.

The movie not only delivers an engaging heist story but also tackles pertinent social issues. It defends women’s rights, condemns domestic abuse, empowers single mothers, advocates against alcohol abuse, and ensures that justice is served.

While “A Tribe Called Judah” may not be an adrenaline-pumping action movie, its well-delivered messages, impactful dialogues, and excellent cast choices make it a standout production. She still found a place to tuck in the forgiven Toyo, even if it’s just a waka pass. Forgive na forgive.


The film serves as a testament to Akindele’s storytelling prowess and her ability to weave together diverse themes seamlessly.

One of the movie’s strengths lies in its relatability, offering several takeaways for the audience. Whether it’s defending marginalized groups or promoting social consciousness, the film strikes a balance between entertainment and meaningful commentary.

However, one may still need to investigate the type of pistols used in the movie as they only seem to run out bullets as the director needed and how a direct shot through the right side of the back goes straight through the heart to kill someone.

Akindele’s latest work, having grossed over N1 billion at the box office, marks a historic achievement in African cinema.

“A Tribe Called Judah” is more than just a heist movie; it’s a captivating exploration of family dynamics and societal challenges, making it a worthy addition to your must-watch list.


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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘The Black Book’ on Netflix, A Revenge Thriller from the Streets of Nigeria



You know Hollywood, you’ve at least heard of Bollywood, but do you know … Nollywood? That’s Nigeria’s film industry, which is booming enough to give its cinema a catchy name with some cultural caché. Netflix is even getting in on the action with The Black Book, now streaming on their platform.


The Gist: Corruption is running rampant in contemporary Nigeria within the world of The Black Book, so much so that the police can just openly kill a young man on a beach and expect no consequences for it. But they don’t know what they’ve gotten themselves into this time because bereaved father Paul Edima (Richard Mofe-Damijo) is far more than just the pacifistic deacon that he appears. Paul has a checkered past in the country’s military that he’s tried to bury even in his own mind, but the soldier in him re-emerges to take justice into his own hands. Enmeshing himself once more in the web of violence and corruption is not something he takes on alone, however. His journey nack into the underworld that he once inhabited requires engaging with some old allies as well as a surprising new one: a crusading journalist intent on using the press to expose the country’s bad actors.

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: The Nigerian hybrid of Taken and Spotlight you didn’t know you needed.

Performance Worth Watching: The leads fighting for justice in their own way are good, but it’s Shaffy Bello as Big Daddy who proves the real MVP of The Black Book. She (yes, you read that pronoun right) is a force of nature in her capacity as a high-powered enforcer.

Photo Netflix

Memorable Dialogue: “The past must die to truly serve the future.” A line so nice they say it twice, once at the beginning without context and again at the end when it means something very different.

Sex and Skin: The Black Book stays focused on the action in the streets, not between the sheets.

Our Take: There’s plenty to admire in co-writer/director Editi Effiong’s dramatic thriller, but there’s little that really inspires a viewer to really lean forward in their seats. It’s always pitched between two very different ways a movie can be without fully committing to either. For example, it’s partially a character study of Paul’s final reckoning with the past, but it’s also somewhat allegorical for the Nigerian nation on the whole. Technically sound filmmaking can only go so far within a work that doesn’t really have a strong sense of what it wants to be. It can’t help but be a bit deflating to watch the big final scenes and know that they could have been a real wallop with a full film’s worth of momentum behind them.

Our Call: SKIP IT. The Black Book is not nearly bloody nor brooding enough. There are interesting components in this Nigerian thriller, but without a stronger sense of cohesion between plot and style, it feels instantly forgettable.

Marshall Shaffer is a New York-based freelance film journalist. In addition to Decider, his work has also appeared on Slashfilm, Slant, The Playlist and many other outlets. Some day soon, everyone will realize how right he is about Spring Breakers.



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