I Belong

I Belong

Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever

Nigerian Movie Review
I Belong ~ 2003

Story, Screenplay & Director – Tchidi Chikere

Starring:
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde – Imperial/ Agbonmah
Lilian Bach – Bridgiditta
Ada Ameh – Bessey
JT Tom West – Stan
Tom Njemanze – Nkwo
Offia Afuluagu Mbaka – Dan
Dan Nkoloagu – David

Themes:
America as the promised Land in Africa
Envy African
Karma in Nigerian Movies
Poverty in Nigerian Movies

My Rating – 92%

Agbonmah is the daughter of a palm wine tapper. She is in a hurry to escape her impoverished background and goes to live in the city her dream life. This is a life where she tells people that she has just returned from the USA, has rich parents that send her money all the time and has nowhere to live at the moment because she is living at top hotels not able to find a house that meet her standards. Of course this imaginary life that she has created needs a name to go with it and so she names herself an Anglicised and rather pompous Imperial, deeming her old name too local.

*************SPOILERS*************

The film opens with Imperial being thrown out of her house for always quarrelling with people. The landlord is not even interested in the rent simply finding her troublesome and wanting her gone. As she is thrown out she is boasting about just returning from America, and having never ridden an okada before, despite the fact that she has no option but to go on one. Despite having never set foot in America she looks down on Nigerians with her background screaming at the onlookers,

“Is this how you people do it in this country?”

After being thrown out of her accommodation she returns home and clearly her parents are used to her behaviour because her father warns her,

“Beware before you get into trouble with this your fake life.”

She replies,

“Why should I mix with bush people? Are we the same class?”

She goes to her parents for money but being poor they do not have any more than 2000 Naira to give her which of course she is incensed by. Where does she even expect them to get the money from? She acts like it grows on trees!
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Imperial meets Bridgiditta at a hairdressers and spins her the line about just returning form America and not finding anything to suit her tastes only for Bridgiditta to invite her to stay in her home. Despite her humble background Imperial finds everything wrong with Bridgiditta’s home, even complaining about the soap, claiming that everything she normally has is better. It is hilarious that she thinks that her bush behaviour of bragging and putting down everything “local” makes her look superior, when in fact it is the total opposite.

There are many times when the things that imperial says are questionable and I think that at a point Bridgiditta becomes aware that perhaps Imperial isn’t quite who she says she is but still she puts up with her. One time Imperial is boasting about visiting the beach in Washington only to be told that there is no beach there, for her quickly to change the location of Miami. Another time she is talking about Justin Timberlake the actor. Bridgiditta even tries to give her some friendly advice in private that if she doesn’t know certain things, she should be quiet and stop embarrassing herself, but still Imperial continues with her never ending stories!
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I would recommend this movie. It is a must watch! One of Tchidi’s earlier films and one of his best in my opinion. It was concise and very funny all the way through. I have heard people criticise it by saying that it didn’t end well on the contrary I think the ending was very fitting. There is no need for a continuation. Although it was comedy we all can think of someone we know of that is like Agbonmah/ Imperial and it is being able to relate to the character that makes the movie all that more funny. Great cast (even Lillian fit her role perfectly) and outstanding performance from Omotola as the petulant and delusional Agbonmah!

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Comments

  1. Jumoke says:

    You know what Nolly? you have really spoilt me with this site. I wanted to watch this movie a couple of days ago, so I went on Nollywoodforever to see if it had been reviewed. I searched 'n' didn't see it there, but checking back today, behold you had done your thing (excellent review job). Thanx so much Nolly, am going to watch it right away. Keep up the good work.

  2. nollywoodforever says:

    Thanx Jumoke come back and tell me what u thought!

  3. Jumoke says:

    Hmmm! very interesting Nolly I laughed my heart out. I think the movie ended well, there is no point draging it further than that. Perfect ending. The movie reminds me of secondary school days, when students lie about their parents living abroad so they can belong., meanwhile they live in Ajegunle and would never want to take you to their house. Good job by Tchidi Chikere, Jalade and Lilian did an outstanding Job. Overall I really love the movie and would watch it again.

  4. nollywoodforever says:

    For real dragging it out would ruin it… Jumoke since u have good taste do u have any recommedations for me?

  5. chayoma says:

    92%
    Oya,
    i am on the hunt for this one oh!
    Jumoke u even saw it? Haa
    it iss a must that i must see this then.
    Nf

  6. Jumoke says:

    Nolly, do you mean movie recommendations? If so, then I would have to look at my few collection and recommend some. Hmmm Nolly, you scare me a little, you know why? I don't know if have watched as much as you. You are the SUPER CHAMP! LOL

  7. Jumoke says:

    Hi Chayoma,
    You really, need to see it, very funny. Agbonmah
    (Omotola) sabi lie O in the movie. Am sure when you see it, it will bring you down memory lane of some people like that in your life, past or present. lol!

  8. nollywoodforever says:

    yes Jumoke Movie recommendations! Don't be scurred!

  9. Feyi Okulate says:

    Checkout the following-
    Keeping the promise, unfinished business, A piece of flesh, critical decision, sound of silence, A time to love, letter to a stranger, promise me forever and caught in the act( the last movie has a continuation called titanic ladies) . Checkout these ones first while I think about other ones. Happy viewing.

  10. nollywoodforever says:

    Ok good choices Feyi. I have seen all but Keeping the Promise (which I actually happen to have just have never watched) and Sound of Silence… so I will check those out.

  11. Jumoke says:

    Ok you need to go and watch keeping the promise right away and let me know what you think. Very interesting, I am sure you will like it.

  12. Jumoke says:

    Hoops! I didn't mean to confuse you Nolly, I am also Feyi but I think I will like to stick to Jumoke on this website.

  13. nollywoodforever says:

    oK KOOL Feyijok I'll get on that… Just watching Late Marriage at the moment with Genny and Clarion… So far so good.

  14. Jumoke says:

    More suggestions for youNolly…Romantic Attraction, Prophecy, Chosen one, Pretty woman, more than sisters, Fortunate Woman, Governor's Wife (Sequel to Fortunate woman, very interesting too), Dead in Faith, Black Night in South America 1 & 2, Blood for Tears, Behind the Truth (Sequel to Blood for Tears.

  15. Jumoke says:

    Nolly, I goofed! I mean't Keeping Faith and not keeping the promise. I have not even seen keeping the promise myself. Sorry about that little mix up. I am also watching Late Marriage right now. We'll share comments later bye.

  16. nollywoodforever says:

    Ok Ive seen Keeping Faith… excellent… I'm still on Late Marriage too… Catch ya later!

  17. SG says:

    Nolly I understand why you rated this movie very high. It is also up there with my favorites as Tea and Coffee and Dollar. I think Omotola did a fantastic job. One thing that people should always understand is that you cannot run away from who you are. I think the roommate realized towards the ending that she is not who she portrays to be.

  18. nollywoodforever says:

    Yes she definitely did realise, that is why she advised her! YOu should also watch Dollars and Pounds if you haven't seen it that is hilarious!

  19. SG says:

    Hmm… Dollars and Pounds? Sounds like a comedy- I haven't seen that one. I will look for it.

  20. nollywoodforever says:

    Yes it is a comedy starring Patience.

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