Movie Review: Afamefuna: An Ode The Igbo People And Their Industrious Spirit

ByAdedibu Liasu5 Min Read

Afamefuna movie review

Afamefuna movie review: The Igbo apprenticeship system is a community and commercial enterprise model used by the Igbo people of south-eastern Nigeria. This approach reflects the Igbos’ industrial mentality.

The Igbo apprenticeship system, also known unofficially as Igba-Boi, is an indentured servitude in which a kid is brought to serve a successful entrepreneur who then educates the boy about the trade through mentorship.

The apprenticeship lasts approximately 6-7 years, following which the apprentice is provided with funds by his supervisor to establish his own firm. When the apprentice becomes his own boss, he perpetuates the system, creating an endless circle.

This economic system has and continues to sustain the Igbo people, as Igbo states with the system in place, such as Abia, Anambra, and Imo, have some of Nigeria’s lowest poverty and income inequality rates. Igbo Apprenticeship (IAS) is one of the world’s largest business incubators according to Harvard Review.

Kayode Kasum’s “Afamefuna” does not wait to progressively engage the viewer in the plot; rather, it swiftly engulfs the audience with the discovery of Paulo’s (Alex Ekubo) death. It’s a lovely and uplifting story of an Igbo apprentice who overcomes adversity through hard work and dedication. This is a film that celebrates the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity and prevail.

When the police investigated with their main investigator, CSP Gidado (Segun Arinze), they discovered Afamefuna (Stan Nze), a successful and wealthy entrepreneur. The police take Afam into jail for questioning, during which we get a glimpse into the characters’ former lives via flashback.

When Young Afam (Paul Nnadiekwe) comes in Lagos with his mother, he is handed over to Odogwu (Kanayo Kanayo), a prominent merchant in building supplies and construction, to learn the craft.

During the mentorship years, he is taken under the wing of young Paulo (Chidera David), who teaches him everything he knows about the business, and the two become close to becoming brothers. But Paulo is having an affair with their boss’s daughter, young Amaka, whom Afam has fallen in love with since the first time he laid eyes on her.

As the year progresses, Afam demonstrates the type of upright and devoted apprentice he is to his boss by reporting Obum’s (Joseph Chucks) greed, paying more than enough commission after selling, and assisting with confiscated goods by immigration.

So when Odogwu chooses to settle Afam, Paulo, who has been learning the art for longer than Afam, is upset because he believes Afam stole what is properly his. This brought an end to their romance. And years later, Afam, now a prosperous businessman, renewed his feelings for Amaka, who was still with Paul. The two finally marry, much to Paulo’s chagrin, as he feels betrayed by Afam again.

Afamefuna” is a film portraying the industrial spirit of the Igbo people. The film explains the various aspects and nature of the Igbo apprenticeship system, using phrases like apiriko to describe a business in which the price of an item can be raised, if marginally, to satisfy the client, or the envy that occurs among the apprentices.

The film is a testament to the spirit of the Igbo people, who, despite the Biafra pogrom of 1967-70, in which even the wealthiest of them had access to only 20 pounds of their wealth, managed to rise above all of the atrocities they witnessed. So, “Afamefuna” is an ode the Igbo people and their industrious spirit.

Kayode Kasum has made a number of interesting films, but “Afamefuna” may be his most simple, straightforward, and best film. I believe with this film, he is becoming a household name.

Afamefuna” is an inspiring and heartwarming film about the Igbo people’s determination and hard work. It’s a film that is only culturally elevated by the decision to have all of the characters talk largely in Igbo in order to make it more fascinating and immersive.

Rating: 7.5/10


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I am Adedibu Liasu, a dedicated film critic and writer with BA in French from Obafemi Awolowo University. I'm enthusiastic about African films, particularly Nollywood. A seasoned blogger who reviews films and promotes African cinema, particularly Nollywood films. Email: [email protected]
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