‘Oloture: The Journey’ Review: An Essential Piece On The Realities of Illegal Immigration from Africa

Oloture: The Journey" lacks the poignancy of the film, which is more emotionally moving than the drama series. This lack of emotional resonance is most likely owing to the lack of a source of inspiration, such as the film, which was inspired by Tobore Ovuorie's investigation.

Adedibu Liasu By Adedibu Liasu
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Photo credit: Premium Times
Sharon Ooja as Ehi/Oloture on the right and Beverly Osu as Peju on the left.

The film ‘Oloture: The Journey’ is a sequel to the film “Oloture” (2019) tells the story of an investigative journalist who infiltrates a human trafficking network to expose the dark side of prostitution in Europe. However, this film is inspired by the true story of Tabore Ovuorie, a multi-award-winning journalist who wrote an undercover article for Premium Times in 2014 titled “INVESTIGATION: Inside Nigeria’s Ruthless Human Trafficking Mafia.”

Plot

In the article, the journalist goes into detail about her undercover experience as a s*x worker in Abuja. After the death of a friend, she became compelled to explore Nigeria’s sex trafficking operation.

“Oloture,” directed by Kenneth Gyang, is a moving social critique of Nigeria’s s*x trafficking industry. Inspired by a true incident, this criminal drama delves into one of the darkest industries of the earth with amazing realism.

The ending of this film left the majority of the audience emotionally unsettled and curious about what happens next as Ehi, the film’s undercover journalist, becomes stuck in her own story. “Oloture: The Journey,” which is currently streaming on Netflix, continues the story from that moment on.

When we see Ehi again in “Oloture: The Journey,” again directed by Kenneth Gyang, she has reached a point of no return after being caught while attempting to flee and forced to rejoin the group. On their trip to Europe, the girls are ambushed and killed by Tony’s (Daniel Etim Effing) competitor, Silverbird. However, only Ehi (Sharon Ooja) and Peju (Beverly Osu) survived the accident unhurt.

When Ehi tries to contact Emeka (Blossom Chukwujekwu), the editor of the Scoop News daily where she works, she discovers that he was assassinated because of the story they were both working on the s*x trafficking network, which implicated an influential Nigerian politician, Sir Philips (Patrick Doyle).

So Ehi is harshly admonished by the newspaper’s top editor, Theo (Segun Arinze), not to return. So our girl has no choice but to charge forward, through the Sahara and across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. However, the journey is not as smooth as one might assume, as the film delves deeper and deeper into the issues of modern societal commentary on the slave trade and human trafficking in northern Africa.

Before then, they meet two Ghanaian brothers, Ben and Andrew, who are also traveling to Europe via the same route. Both cliques get along. And when Ehi meets Femi (Efe Iwara), whom she believes connects her with a famous Aljazeera journalist, Femi sells her to a lady pimp who forces her into prostitution, but only for a short time until she is rescued by two Ghanaian brothers. In Libya, Ehi and Peju had to raise funds for their journey to Europe; otherwise, Ben would be sold as a slave.

Meanwhile, Beauty (Adebukola Oladipupo), who fled at the Bénin Republic border, discovers her mother has died and her home has been torched. With no one to save her, she meets Chucks (Ikechukwu Onunaku), a pimp and dinosaur in the world of s*x trafficking who wants to be back on top like Alero (Omoni Oboli), whose head is put on the line by Sir Philips for failing to adequately vet Ehi.

The cinema experience

While the film “Oloture” delves into the theme of s*x trafficking and commodification of female bodies, the series adds to it a social commentary on the present migration malaise in Africa that drives millions of youth seeking greener pasture to venture willingly into the deep abyss of the Sahara desert with their gaze set on the Western World.

The series depicts the reality and peril of the journey of these illegal immigrants on the way to the promised land, their subjection to inhumane treatment, and their risk of being sold into the slave trade.

Performance analysis

“Oloture: The Journey” lacks the poignancy of the film, which is more emotionally moving than the drama series. This lack of emotional resonance is most likely owing to the lack of a source of inspiration, such as the film, which was inspired by Tobore Ovuorie’s investigation.

This is because some of the characters are shallow, and we must find a way to peek inside their past, fear, and ambition as they embark on a new journey to the West. Beverly Osu’s performance as Peju serves as a side diversion for Ehi on their voyage.

We don’t know what her motivation is. But we know Stan Nze aspires to be a football player, but that’s where his story ends. We’re not sure what he’s leaving behind. Even as a footballer, we have no idea who his fantasy team is.

There’s a feeling that the writer, Craig Freimond, and the director, Kenneth Gyang, could have extended this three-episode drama in time or episode to have a fully developed cast of sympathetic characters like Linda (Omowunmi Dada in the prequel), her sister, Beauty, who turns out to be flat in this series, and Ehi, whose presence alone can’t elevate this Mo Abudu-produced series.

Verdict

While the crime and drama series “Oloture: The Journey” lacks the spark of the prequel, it is nonetheless an essential piece on the realities of illegal Immigration from Africa.

Rating: 6/10

 

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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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