Runs ~ 2002
Story/ Screenplay – Reginald Ebere
Director – Tarila Thompson, Elochukwu Anigbogu

Genevieve Nnaji – Adesuwa
Georgina Onuoha – Grace
Oby Edozie – Victoria
Anita Hogan – Anita
Steph Nora Falana – Nene
Uche Uwuji – Sandra
Basgorge Tariah Jnr – James
Christy Okonkwo – Adesuwa’s Mother
Donald Okolie – Rev Father
Ike Okor – Cchief
Rose Ofuzim – Dada
Chinelo Nancy – David Girlfriend

Economic Migration

My Rating 73%

Adesuwa, Nene, Victoria and Grace are group of girls at university live in a house together and fund their studies by doing “runs.” For all those that don’t know Runs is, it is basically prostitution. These girls are patronised by Aristos. In the Nigerian context Aristo refers to rich middle aged to old men who patronise female students. All the girls are involved in runs apart from Grace.

Grace was advised by her aunt before she came to university about the joys and the lows of sex,

“Sex can be sweet, very very sweet but it can also destroy you.”

It is advice that she tries to pass onto the other girls but they pay her no mind. As we see Grace try and talk each girl out of their lifestyle choice we also get a glimpse into the character of each girl and why she makes the choices she does.

We hear that Nene has been raped and by doing runs she feels that she is taking control over her sexuality where once she had no control. Oby’s long term boyfriend cheated on her with a close friend, and she has lost trust in men, seeing them only good for using for money, and for Adesuwa runs is simply a means to support her flossy lifestyle.


When the girls are invited to Italy to do what they are doing anyway with the chance of making way more money all the girls except Grace go for it. They raise all the money needed for the documents and flights and it is only then when they have made all the plans that they are told by the guy arranging it that they will need to go to a Babalawo for charms. They find this alarming and are put off, even moreso when they are told that the guy will retain 50 percent of their earnings.

Gradually things do not seem as great as they first did but still they go ahead with the plans and fly to Italy. It can be seen through this how easily young girls can be lured into prostitution. They were told only of big money and nothing about the negatives was presented to them. It was only once they had invested financially and emotionally that it became apparent that it wasn’t the perfect easy solution as they had imagined.

When they first get to Italy it seems as though they are living the high life. Adesuwa is sending back money to her boyfriend to build her a house and Anita one of their friend’s at university expresses regret that she did not join them. It is only after a few years that the true and ravaging effects of prostitution become apparent. Vicky is dead after being raped and murdered. Nene is a drug addict facing deportation and Adesuwa contracts HIV.

At the end of the movie we are shown both Adesuwa and Vicky on their hospital beds looking like they are suffering immensely. They way they had them marked up with black spots all over their body looked a bit ridiculous and they were both “made up” (if you can call it that) in the same way, it looked like cigarette burns or something. They would have been better off leaving Adesuwa without all the cigarette burn effects. After all don’t they say, “AIDS no dey show for face.”

Since I could not find a picture for the cover of this movie I posted a picture up of Genevieve instead!

The movie opens with a long drawn out dancing scene. It is way too long and all you can see for about 5 minutes is butts wriggling at the camera. It seems pointless, even now when I look back upon it, it did not serve any purpose.

It was good seeing all these actresses that you hardly ever see anymore, I used to love Oby Edozie (how do you spell her name anyway? I’ve seen it also spelt Edozien and Edozieh!) in her bag girl roles. In this one she was doing her usual fighting and wahala over a man. I have never actually seen her in a role where she wasn’t doing that! All the girls had an easy chemistry together and there was a lot of yarning in pidgin.

I would recommend this movie. It was a nice short movie with a clear and loud message: MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING. If you have money and in order to have that money you catch HIV, what is the point? How will you enjoy money when you are dead? There is also the message that if something sounds too good to be true then is probably is. There will be a price to pay. Nollywood Production Idumota Lagos Nigeria Africa Movie Watch Nigerian Movies African Movie Review Reviews

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  1. My next movie on my to watch list.
    Enjoyed Guilty Pleasures.
    Haven't seen Nollywood Hustler, u have a review for that? Have been away so need to do some catching up asap.

  2. Runs??? run away from this movie.
    Big wasting time and money,the movie is not even worth a cent!!!

  3. right on point nolly…a classic if i may call it dat…wat i enjoyed most was watchin d fashion n thinkin …"did we use 2 wear dis n feel so cool in campus bk in d days..?"…lol

  4. I would like to know why Gene doesn't have a movie with Chioma Chikukwa together.

  5. NF: This one of the one's I have on VHS when Genevieve Nnaji, Georgina Onuoha, Steph Nora, and Oby Edozie and Robert Peters were it at the time. This movie was really nice.
    RUNS, Who are they? Back then movies made more sense!!!

  6. Yeah this is proper old school… I miss some of these actresses!

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