BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
So, I recently re-watched all parts of Tunde Kelani‘s classic Ti Oluwa Nile which began with the first installment in 1993. Thanks to the filmmaker’s YouTube channel, I was saved the pain of having to look for a DVD copy of the film which many regard as the most gripping of Nollywood horror stories. I don’t, though – I find Igodo more scary.
Anyways, regardless of your opinion of it as regards horror, you have to admit that it is one of the greatest stories ever told in Nigerian filmmaking history.
So, below are five reasons I think you should watch Ti Oluwa Nile (again, if you have seen it before).
Ti Oluwa Nile is the story of an unscrupulous village chief who uses his position to enrich himself and cause havoc in his community. Perfectly played by Baba Wande, one cannot help but appreciate the satirical relevance of the lead character which is just as voracious today as it was 23 years ago.
It is a story which tells a tale of greed, disloyalty, corruption, lawlessness and retribution.
Kareem Adepoju’s (Baba Wande) performance.
Baba Wande’s interpretation of Otun is one of the best lead performances in memory. He carried the burden of the role almost as effortlessly as he drove the film to artistic glory.
If Otun made scheming and dissent appealing, Baba Wande made it even more appealing with his role play. His infusion of comedy, sarcasm, anger and petulance were all in the right doses as he led the viewer, by the nose, into his world. One he only partly releases you from when the film is over.
The collection of stars
It is no exaggeration to say that you will struggle to find a more star-studded film that this one. Tunde Kelani assembled the biggest faces in the already expansive acting pool of the Yoruba industry at that time. From Dele Odule to Lere Paimo (Eda Onile Ola), from Yemi Shodimu to Adebayo Salami (Oga Bello) to Ayo Mogaji and Oyin Adejobi, the list goes on and on.
We are even presented with a rare treat of Nigeria’s current number one art director, Pat Nebo as an actor.
If there’s one thing TK’s films are known for, it is the presence of total theatre. Total theatre refers, in theatre vocabulary, to the presence of all forms of performance art in a production. These include – but is not limited to – acting, dance, music and oral poetry.
All these you are certain to find in abundance (and in all glory) in Ti Oluwa Nile.
Just for the memories
Don’t you just want to roll back the hands of time and remind yourself of what our output was in the 90s? This was a period when we told memorable stories. This was a time when most of the older actors in the industry today were either just starting out or just about hitting the peak of their careers. This film is one of the classics that emerged when we still focused on the artistic rather than hiding behind the frames of technology to put out forgettable films.
If not for any other thing, re-watch Ti Oluwa Nile for the memories.