I used to be a Nigerian movie fanatic; I grew up with Nollywood movies around me at all times because of my mom, her best friend and her sister’s love for it, I had no other choice than to get on that bandwagon. I remember classics like True confessions, Conspiracy, Silent Night and so on, and as the years evolved, people like Genevieve Nnaji were thrust into the spotlight, so my romance with Nollywood movies even grew stronger.
Theatrical Release Poster for Living in Bondage (Breaking Free)
But then there was a shift; especially when Nigerian movies started making it to the Silver Screen, the storyline and plots became weaker and weaker. I decided to give up on them altogether and yearned for classics to make a comeback even if it was just a channel on cable television like TNT dedicated to showing our old movies, where stories actually had a message embedded in the midst of them; but DSTV has refused to hear my outcry.
Then alas one day I discovered Living in Bondage was making a comeback! I was so elated, even if I still hadn’t watched the first part, but it was nostalgic seeing our veteran stars from back in the day, like Kanayo O. Kanayo, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, and Kenneth Okonkwo, making a comeback like they never left. I looked forward to this film, and couldn’t wait for the day I had a chance to go see it and I was not disappointed.
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Although told with a mix of Igbo and the English language, I enjoyed every bit of the journey, and even the love story that played out in it. If you are an avid reader of this blog, it wouldn’t surprise you that I am a hopeful romantic and always love a good love story; I was actually impressed at the way the love of the main character and his beau unfolded.
So the break-out star of the movie, Jide-Kene Achufusi who played Nnamdi Okeke grew up in a home with his brother and parents. He left the village in a quest for a better life, after he graduated from university, and was able to land a job five years after the fact. Only to quit later on to start his own business, after some time had passed.
His father wasn’t too thrilled about his decision when he went visiting them one day, but still offered his love and support. Now one day after church, a woman approached Nnamdi, telling him that he could come to her husband Chief Omego, portrayed by the amazing Kanayo O. Kanayo for help, but his parents warned him against it, as they revealed that the Chief’s ways weren’t pure. He had acquired his wealth through dubious means.
Well a young impressionable Nnamdi, did not heed his parents advice but still went ahead to form a relationship with Chief’s son, who then introduced him to a Richard Williams, played by Nollywood sweetheart Ramsey Nouah, who then went ahead to bring the guy contracts worth millions of naira. Nnamdi quickly acclimatized to his new-found status, and started rubbing shoulders with the big dogs of society. But the time for him to pay for his riches came soon enough.
Richard Williams, on a trip to South Africa with Nnamdi, revealed to him that it was time for him to make that choice to join the brotherhood of the six, which was an occult group. If Nnamdi wanted more influence, money and all that life could offer him, all he had to do was to accept to join their clan. He thought about it for a little bit, and then agreed to join them. He was initiated, and it became official, he was one of the six! He then had access to all the finest things money could buy! Fast cars, jewelry, clothing and even women.
But he had no peace of mind. Externally he was doing great and excelling in his career, but internally he was fighting a battle, that he had no way of overcoming, and even worse, couldn’t open up to his family or girlfriend. Then the head of the brotherhood came to him saying it was time for him to sacrifice someone he loved dearly.
This reminded me of the storyline in the first part of the movie, even if I never watched it; I heard that the people who were a part of this brotherhood had to sacrifice their loved ones in exchange for riches and clout. It was at that point Nnamdi began to struggle and wanted out by all means; was he going to sacrifice his mom, dad, brother or lover? You will have to watch the movie to find out!
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?”
These were words of Jesus. Jesus was a big proponent of people gathering treasures for themselves in heaven, rather than chase after earthly treasures which are here today and gone tomorrow. If you are rich or wealthy here on earth, He wants you to take care of those around you who can’t fend for themselves. But the characters in the movie were chasing after earthly riches and they went about it the wrong way, willing to shed blood for things that were only temporal.
One thing we have to realize is that no matter how much we gather for ourselves here on earth, it doesn’t guarantee that we will be here tomorrow to enjoy it. The entire time I was watching the movie, I kept thinking—this doesn’t guarantee longevity, this doesn’t give you eternal life! So to what end?
It’s so sad because today, young people chase after all these things that they are willing to kill, steal and destroy, just to drive the latest cars and live in the best part of town. No one thinks about God, no one worries about what He really feels concerning this matter so they go ahead and do all sorts. That was why Jesus asked the question—what shall it profit a man, if he spends all his days on earth, gathering all the riches in this world, but ends up spending eternity separate from God? My answer is worthlessness.
No life is worth living if God is not in it. Life as it is here on earth can be challenging no matter how hard you work or if you get your wealth through dubious means, now imagine a life-time without any contact with God, that is a hopeless life.
I believe this movie is a call to people, especially young adults, not to be carried away by material things; those things don’t matter. Focus on what truly matters, which is what you were put on this planet to do, and God will elevate you when the time is right.
I am usually skeptical with remakes of classic movies and television shows, because people usually don't do justice to the originals, but Nollywood outdid themselves with this one! Congratulations to Ramsey Nouah and his team for putting this masterpiece together; it is the best Nollywood movie I have seen in years. The acting, cinematography, effects, and storyline were spot on, although it could still get better with partnerships and bigger budgets.
Living in Bondage (Breaking Free) is showing in cinemas nationwide, and I believe it will be released on major streaming platforms in the coming months so those outside of Nigeria wouldn’t be left out. Make sure you go watch this movie and find out more about why it is a movie with a message.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.About The Author
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.