When I hear the word ‘Nollywood’ come up in a conversation that I am in, I generally hear one of these responses;
- What’s that? don’t you mean to say Hollywood
- LOL Nigerian movies, the acting is just bad and the storylines are rubbish
- Nollywood movies have really stepped up their game big time in terms of production and acting. (My response)
If you’re response has ever been the first or second one then I suggest you watch Lionheart on Netflix…like NOW! (okay not now because you have to finish reading this lovely post). Being someone who grew up watching Nollywood movies, I had stopped watching them a few years ago mainly because the storylines were repetitive and were not turning me on mentally. If you were and are still an avid ‘Nollywood movie watcher’ then you would definitely notice the tremendous shift and improvement that has happened. And I’m talking high quality production, the themes and even where they are being showcased e.g cinemas in other countries and our very beloved Netflix. Now I got Netflix BECAUSE of Lionheart, I had no idea what it was about but I knew that Genevieve Nnaji was the main character and director (and she’s amazing). Lionheart has done so well globally and I’m really happy that more and more Nollywood movies are being watched and recognised worldwide.
Now as you know I enjoy thinking a lot and I’ve reached a stage in my life whereby I question the intention of things>>>whatever it may be, from films, books, FOOD, can I be impacted positively or negatively? So without giving away too much about what this movie is about, here are some things that you could grasp by watching Lionheart.
Family is a key theme that really stands out in the film. Firstly because ‘Lionheart’ is a company that was founded by chief Obiagu (Pete Edochie) and later down the line the line his daughter Adaeze Obiagu (Genevieve Nnaji) also becomes a part of the company. The Obiagu’s are presented as a close knit family who can trust and rely on each other for advice and emotional support. From the great bond Chief Obiagu and his brother have, to seeing how Adaeze’s mother (Onyeka Onwenu) is always there to give her that encouragement whenever she feels unmotivated.
Another family business we see is ‘Maikano Transport’ owned by Alhaji Danladi Maikano ( Sani Muazu) and working alongside him his son, Hamza Maikano (Yakubu Mohammed). Though we don’t see too much of them and even the rest of their family at all, you can tell Hamza is trusted by his father to be able to run his company and strike deals with other companies.
To me both families are a sound and positive representation of how families should be portrayed to us in the media especially Nigerian families. Or could we say because they are both families of money and influence that obviously they will be happy and merry all the time?
2. Women Empowerment
I think in a country like Nigeria where it could be very traditional (to an extent) and where some cultural beliefs may favour patriarchy rather than the ‘liberation’ of the W-O-M-A-N, it’s important that young girls and women know that they can break the glass ceiling. Now it is not new seeing women working in the corporate world in Nollywood movies (Yes maybe we see it less often but we do see it ). I’m happy that Lionheart portrayed Adaeze as a go-getter, an intellectual, if not for her where would Lionheart be? The future of Lionheart was basically in her hands and even though she felt all hope was lost at one point she never gave in. She was later appointed the CEO as her hard work had definitely paid off. Her mother gave her that tough love she needed. I think for women sometimes we need to be given that tough love to reassure us that we can do it…THAT WE MUST DO IT. Sometimes when we’re treated like a ‘puppy’ we may think that we can’t achieve what we set out to do initially because we’re mentally weaker than the man which is a no-no.
3. Business and Networking
Lionheart does a great job in tailoring the whole storyline on the world of business. It shows us ways you could take your business or company from a shallow point of darkness to a field of light. It makes you realise that there is not just one way of sorting out a financial woe but sometimes its about who you know and not always what you know. Networking and meeting different people is highlighted. If Godswill never helped Hamza from being conned by those men then lets just say Lionheart would’ve probably gone into the hands of Igwe Pascal (Kanayo O.Kanayo). It also taught me that you need to careful who you do business with, don’t just try and look for quick money. With that it lets us know how money and greed can cause corruption. When Adaeze and Godswill went out seeking loans for the company, we saw how Godswill wanted to bribe his way in but Adaeze wasn’t for it. Her body was seen as a price to pay for a loan which is the harsh reality in the world we live in today. In many industries this happens and sadly many women give in as they see no other option.
4. Language and Culture
With Nigeria having over 100 languages and ethnic groups, you could say it’s an extremely culturally diversified country. I think its very good that we are opened to the Igbo language (language spoken in Lionheart) showing its not only English that is spoken around the world. Also like as mentioned before, Godswill wouldn’t have been able to help Hamza if not that he spoke the same language as the con men. With tribalism being sometimes an prominent issue in Nigeria and possibly other parts of Africa, Lionheart shows that their is simply no need for it. When it comes to finding a solution or getting the job done, you can get help from anyone, nothing should be a barrier. We can relate this to race, age, gender, sexuality, cultural background, literally anything, once you look away from those labels you would realise that when we come together in unity, a problem can be solved. (Aww look at me preaching)
Lastly I think Lionheart encourages us to be determined to not give up. Like many movies, plays or books, the ending always concludes on a happy note. Eventually we know all storms will come to a halt and the sun will take it’s rightful place. From Adaeze being determined to know make sure the company doesn’t go into the hands of Igwe Pascal, both her and Godswill took an extra mile (or should I say miles) to get Lionheart out of debt. Similarly Obiora Adaeze’s brother (Phyno), felt the need to constantly prove himself to his family as an artist. It was difficult at first convincing his busninessman father that music was the path for him. But in the end didn’t he come out on top and surprise him? So with that go for passions and always be determined to achieve your dreams, because you can do it, don’t let your mind tell you otherwise. Very cliche I know but tell yourself that a million times a day if you have to.
Thank you reading ‘the diary’, be free to comment on other things you also grasped from Lionheart and SHARE this post!