Sunday, 20 June 2010

An honest review on the Storyville BBC four documentary the 'New Kings of Nigeria'

Apologises first:

Honestly I am not a sloppy blogger, to my fans out there (the ones that are left if any are left at all) I have a perfectly sound explanation for this. I haven't had a laptop for almost a month. I just got it back two days ago. Now that's out of the way, back to my post.

Its Origin:

I have been motivated to do this post because of another post on one of my fab blogs Nigerian Curiosity. And again it has to do with some of the crazy comments that was left after the post. After the pain of not having a laptop for a while, the second I got it back, I decided to use my weekend to catch up on some programs I missed on air. So I googled this docu... (the one am blogging about silly), and it landed me on the already mentioned blog. So I read the article and continued reading to the comments. Standard Nigeria, they just started insulting the poor film including the main character, Walter.

So like a woman with higher intelligence and one with experience of the falsehood attached to some comments left on blogs, I decided to watch the documentary myself. I was so determined to see how this documentary related to the now infamous 'Welcome to Lagos', that I connected my laptop to my big flat screen to ensure that I captured every bit and aspect of this film.

NigeriaKings - The most popular videos are here

Obi-talker verdict:

I don't understand what is wrong with this documentary, at first I was like here we go again, what is BBC's latest fascination with Lagos. My options were 'maybe its the world cup so a lot of 'profiling-like' films on Africa will happen'. Fore mostly the people who compared 'New kings...' to 'Welcome to Lagos', know nothing about television or documentaries. Both films couldn't be so different. 'Welcome to Lagos' was a classic attempt to portray Lagos, and dare I say Nigeria as a land of abject poverty with hustlers in every corner. 'New kings' was to show the potential and growing money making culture of the younger generation in Nigeria's media and entertainment sphere, hence the reference to The Apprentice Africa (which I never liked from the second I heard its name, and have no intentions of discussing why in this post), koko mansion, Big Brother Nigeria, Dbanj, Dr sid, Obi Asika, and apperances of the likes of Sauce kid, cohbams, Naeto C etc. These are the new faces of Nigeria's thriving entertainment and media sector. It can not be compared to how 'Welcome to Lagos' tried to portray 'Slender' as a budding musician when clearly the young man had no talent. Though we must admire his resilience and by no doubt made him an interesting on-screen character to follow.

The debates around the character, Walter were exceptionally vile, with one person referring to him as 'a spoilt brat who couldn't hold down a job in London'. Now I must make it clear that I don't know and have never met this Walter man in question, however I don't know where this 'bad belly' people get these hideous ideas from. To put down the main person in a documentary that tried its hardest to be as fair as possible is just plain unacceptable in my world. The documentary never hinted that Walter was a loser, rather it did the exact opposite. It painted a picture of this Nigerian boy who went to a public school (what we would call private school in 9ja and frankly most other parts of the world), got a good university education, spent pretty most of his time in London, so what are the odds of him not holding a job in London? Rather he chose to return to his motherland and if that's how the dude wants to roll, then I don't see what the problem is. And if the BBC decide to document his story then that's their business and the business of those who pay for a TV license.

The documentary is a storyville type format, very personalised and great room of expression encouraged. That sort of format, I can understand, would not go down well with a lot of Nigerians especially if they are conservative with what they like to view with their eyes and trust most Nigerians are like that. Walter on the other hand is a London boy so in some scenes he is just himself and throws caution out the window to replace it with just good old mocking about. For example when he spoke about his ideal woman having big boobs. Now am not saying that should be every man's standard or encouraging the fact that he was that honest on TV but to a lot of Nigerians he would have sounded 'raw' in his desires, but that's nothing, BBC and really most British documentaries that I have seen are even ten times more 'honest' than that. Some Nigerians watching it would be like, damn I would never say that on TV but hey that's why its you and your conservative self. Not everyone thinks like you, especially laid-back Walter.

The fact is, at the end of the day, this is the only film about Nigeria that I have ever seen on a British channel that says even the smallest possibility of any positivity, even going as far as showing our innovations in the media and entertainment world. We shouldn't condemn this Storyville documentary rather we should encourage this sort of 'truth' when our stories are been told by foreigners. Surely you must have noticed how they captured both the poor life and the affluent life in Lagos, very few documentaries about living in Africa will ever do that!

Peace Out Word:

What a delight that Wande Coal scooped five awards at the 2010 HipHop World Awards