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A Naija Christmas: The Intricacy of Nigerian Feasts

    A Naija Christmas is a family drama with three boys and an overly dramatic mother at its core. It tells the story of three brothers who make a promise to their mother, a promise that they have to fulfill to prove themselves worthy of a grand inheritance. It was directed and produced by our very own grandmaster, Kunle Afolayan.

    As usual, the characterization was lit, the visuals was top-notch, I feel impeccable visuals are Kunle Afolayan’s forte. He’s been blazing trails in the industry and it seems like as the years go by, he harnesses divergent strategies to blow my mind. There’s so much to say about this movie, but we’ll just talk about three things, Characterization, Character Development, and Themes.

A Naija Christmas Review

     I must add that I’ve never really seen a movie that accurately describes the exuberance of the Nigerian Christmas like this one. It’s the way he blended the humor with the storyline, honestly, you wouldn’t even know how hard you’ve laughed until your stomach starts to ache. The only thing that I believe that he missed was the fireworks, and the yellow and pink food packs that just appear in the handbag of every Nigerian, yet, he was able to fill that gap brilliantly with the lights and design. Let’s go into the center of the movie, shall we?

Charcterization and Character Development

  Characterization is picking the right characters for the right roles, it takes discernment and the ability to understand the kinds of talents that are needed for a movie to get it right. Sometimes, a movie isn’t bad ‘cause the storyline isn’t great, it’s bad when we have the right talents fixated in the wrong roles. Afolayan was really smart in this part ‘cause we had the likes of Kunle Remi, Late Mrs. Rachel Oniga, Efa Iwara,  Abayomi Alvin, Segilola Ogidan, and several others.

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  They got lost in all of their roles and wore the roles perfectly, and about the magic that Efa Iwara did in that movie, it cannot be properly explained in words honestly. He brought the spice of method acting and brought his character to life in all its nerdiness, Lateef Adedimeji’s acting patterns deserve to be studied, his character only said a few words but with his facial expressions and corny laughter, he was able to carry the weight of the character. Late Rachel Oniga wrote her name in the sands of time by being comfortable in the character of Mrs. Agu, now don’t get me started on Kunle Remi and his Character Ugo. I’m not really a fan of TMC (The Men’s Club), if I was, I would have met Segilola Ogidan before this time, Segi brought her A-game to the table and had proper control of her character Sister Ajike.

   I believe what marks a movie with greatness is the dynamic character development, the movie just had that subtle but strong presence of character development that you barely recognize it, so much so that the differences and similarities between the characters added conflict, color, meaning, and excitement to the movie. Now to the best and hardest part of this review, themes;

1. The Intricacy of Nigerian Feasts

  I believe that Nigerians, no matter the race, tribe, or language are interconnected by a strange sense of brotherhood and this brotherhood is strengthened by feasts. In this part of the world, feasts are delicate because, enemies are made, friends are made, relationships are patched, and forgiveness flows from every dance step orchestrated by the exuberance of feasts.

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   And yes, Christmas is one of these feasts, most Nigerians don’t even understand the true essence of Christmas pertaining to the birth of the Monarch of the Universe, Jesus Christ, but they know for sure that one way or another, its a time to merry and eat as much as you can with the people that you care about.  In the movie, the Christmas feast sponsored every conflict, every development, and growth of all of the characters, It felt like Afolayan was silently trying to tell us that the Christmas feast is one of the many feasts that keep Nigerians sane.

A Naija Christmas Movie Quote

2. The Imperfection of the Nigerian Ghetto

    I liked the fact that the movie poked fingers into the noses of people like Ugo who found it hard to believe that a place like Mushin produced an impeccable character like Ajike. Once the word ‘ghetto’ is mentioned we associate it with filth, thuggery, killings, starvation, and crime. Here, we see that the products of the ghetto are clean at heart even though uncontrollable circumstances confine them to estranged thinking patterns. However, this never makes them less human than those who are more privileged. I also love the fact the Christmas feast was not without its hiccups and fallouts, it’s a hint at how fights and feasts work hand in hand in Nigeria.

3.The ‘Brothers’ Beef’ and its Importance

    This is where I celebrate the acting of the main characters, Kunle Remi, Efa Iwara, and Abayomi Alvin. Here we see the incessant bickering between brothers in its full regalia. I used to wonder why brothers would do everything to fight with each other, in fact, if you want a brother to puke, just tell him to go say the words ‘I love you’ to his brother. This movie made me understand that the fights help cement the relationship between brothers, weirdly bringing them closer in the strangest ways. ‘Cause, how can you explain three brothers who incessantly argue, still doing the most to make sure that they protect and keep one another from trouble?

   So that’s it for me, A Naija Christmas is a 78% for me, this movie is one of the diamonds of the industry and if you haven’t seen it, please do, and tell me what you think in the comment section. If you’re still skeptical about whether or not to see the movie, I’ve got the trailer below and the full movie is on Netflix for your enjoyment.

  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Advance!

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My name is Ogbonna Chimezie and welcome to a very important part of my universe, where I make it an assignment to light up the beacons of hope, fun, love, and light.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Philip


  2. Miwrites

    Waited to finish it before reading this and in the end there were no spoilers, you gave a great review, I realized I really don’t know these actors by their name. I’ll rate the movie a 7/10, every single song fit into the scenario.

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