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A Tribe Called Judah (Movie Summary & Review)

Updated: Jun 14

Is it Good to do Bad for a Good Cause?

Written by Evi Idoghor

My Aunt called me last week and said she wanted to see the movie titled, “A Tribe Called Judah.” There has been so much buzz about the movie since its release last month which generated a desire for me to also want to watch the movie. So, I told her that I’d pick her up on Saturday and we’d head to the cinema. We chose the 12:40pm showing time and I was at her house by 9:45am. We agreed to live by 11am, to hopefully arrive at the cinema by noon.

While she was ready to go when I arrived at her house, we chilled, gisted, and ate food. By this time it was 11:30am. We figured that since the road was free, it will take us no time to get there. How wrong we were. About 15 minutes into our journey, we were surprised by a gridlock (what else is new in this Lagos). I was still hoping that by noon, we’d be past the “reason for the traffic.” But as we like to say in Nigeria, “for where?” It took us two hours to get past the traffic area. Thank God there was another showing for 2:15pm.

When we got to the cinema, we purchased our tickets and sat down to enjoy the movie. The story unfolded with a middle-aged woman who had five sons from five men. She lived in a low-income area with her children, while they all hustled to make ends meet. You know how all these stories go. Out of the five sons she had, one was a thief, and another, what we Lagosians would refer to as an agbero. The first two seemed responsible, and always called their straying brothers to order. Their mom then falls terminally ill with kidney disease, due to her incessant consumption of alcohol, and she is in dire need of a kidney transplant and dialysis.

The boys are told that it would take 18 million Naira (about $18,000) to solve their mother’s problem, and they were faced with a dilemma to provide the money. Where the agbero used to hustle money from was blocked by armed security. The first son’s boss refused to lend him money, though he was extremely wealthy. The others on the other hand remained helpless, watching the sickness of their mother overtake her once vibrant personality. I’d admit. I am not one to get emotional about movies, let alone a Nigerian movie, but this movie was a tearjerker for me.

You were made to feel the emotions the characters felt, and if you have lost a loved one through terminal disease, it reminded you of what you had gone through. Not to run the risk of narrating the entire movie here, they all came up with a plan, when their eldest brother revealed to them that he discovered his boss was laundering money - millions of dollars. Their plan was to break into their brother’s place of work, steal some USD, and then save their mother’s life.

They went ahead with this plan and blood was shed in the process. They eventually got the money and escaped with their mother. When we were done with the movie, my aunt asked me and my sister-in-law this question, “what did you learn from the movie?” I immediately replied, “nothing, it was just pure entertainment.” My aunt said she learnt that children could go to any length for their mother. When me and my sister-in-law further pondered the movie, she asked me: “Is it Good to do Bad for a Good Cause?” Hence this article today.

My answer to her was no, as we examined the topic from a Christian worldview. I explained that it was because people lacked trust and faith in God, and perhaps believe for whatever reason best known to them that He will be slow to answer them or may not even answer at all. As such, they take matters into their own hands thinking themselves to be a better problem-solver than the one who is a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1), or the one who says: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).

This mindset which causes us to sometimes believe God is moving slower than a snail would, or that He is busy preoccupied with answering those who have the physical strength to climb to the mountain top, hence demonstrating more faith, is also the reason why unmarried Christians settle for unbelievers or those who don’t take Christ seriously, because they are tired of waiting, and time is running out (well, this is article for another day.)

While God may not answer us when we want Him to, or while we may not get the desired outcome for which we are praying; God can still be trusted. If we search scriptures, we’d see stories which support this truth that God can be trusted. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.”

Additionally, we shouldn’t allow desperation to lead us to break God’s laws. What God has prohibited, He has prohibited. The bible says, “thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal.” There are no caveats to these. God’s word remains God’s word. Sometimes, we rush ahead of God and expose ourselves to consequences more severe than the relief we believed we’d bring ourselves if we break one or multiple of His laws.

While I’ll never minimize the pain and heartache many face; breaking the law to find some comfort is never the solution. God can do anything, and sometimes He acts faster than we can imagine. And if for whatever reason best known to Him we don’t get our desired outcome, we should be quick to remember that as believers, our eternal hope remains in the fact that Christ will return and do away with all these evils and sorrows that this life is plagued with.

Remember what those in the Old Testament faced, when they were in slavery, or in captivity, time and time again, they were reminded that a savior will one day appear who will take away the sins of this world, and He came.

We too are also reminded that this same savior who came thousands of years ago will return, and all who have believed in Him and are awaiting His return, He will bring into eternal life with Him. This is where we should hinge our faith. No matter how difficult life gets – you can’t sell your body (it doesn’t belong to you), you can’t manipulate numbers at work, you can’t falsify your CV to get that job, you can’t lie just to japa from this country, you can’t marry an unbeliever because he/she is rich and can alleviate your financial hardship.


Hebrews 11 shares some of the difficult circumstances’ believers endured. Verse 37-40 says, “they were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,  since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 12:1-2 then says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before uslooking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

From this we can deduce that if Christ suffered and is now relieved of His suffering, where He seats and the right hand of God, that we too, one day, we will be relieved of our hardship and spend eternity with Him. One thing I usually tell myself when I hear of the evil which plagues even our country, I say, “these things are not eternal, they have an expiration date. It is Christ who is eternal.”

I will end with what 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT) says: “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

As far as the movie goes, (while I do not agree with everything that went on), I’d say it was a good watch. All the characters delivered a stellar performance, each brought to the table, something unique and something you'd admire about them. Additionally, a movie with such a storyline would usually be loaded with profanities, but the producer, Funke Akindele, showed us that such stories can be told absent of cuss words, nudity, and sex scenes.

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