It is late 2019 and Africa Magic is back with a new telenovela, Unbroken.
If you are an ardent follower of Africa Magic – especially their premium channel 151, then you will know about their telenovelas.
Of course, they usually come earlier than this. Usually in the first three months of the year. But for some reason (perhaps Big brother naija?) it’s late this year.
Unbroken focuses on the Gyado family. A family that is suddenly torn apart after a ten-year-old affair, surfaces on the part of the patriarch of the family.
Not only does Mr. Gyado snr have a ten-year-old affair, but his mistress is also very pregnant and is willing to have a seat at the table by all means.
Of course, for the purpose of drama, she arrives at the Gyado home on the night of their 30th wedding anniversary.
The mistress, Diana is desperate to have her voice heard. Especially after her lover abandons her in the hotel after yet another tryst. This time, with a stern warning and a cold goodbye.
However, she is unprepared for the response she gets at the mansion.
A staggering response. Literally. Because before she exits the party, she is tossed down the stairs and left for dead.
Unbroken knows its business as a telenovela. And in its first episode, it doesn’t shy away from the truth of its genre.
Perhaps this is something that cannot be said of its 8:30 pm counterpart, Brethren.
Unbroken teases, tickles, sprinkles the right amount of steamy, romance and pleasure right before it takes it all away.
And perhaps, this is how it easily gets away with some of its flaws.
Its willingness to conceal a little before revealing a big picture may be considered as one of its flaws. For instance, Iyoma’s encounter with a man in a bar who (for some strange and unconvincing reason) calls her a prostitute.
Even after she outrightly tells him she finds it offensive, he doesn’t stop. Hmmm, stupid much?
When he coincidentally shows up at the office the following day, he forgets who she is. She tries to remind him but he insists he does not have a clue what she means.
One cannot help but wonder if only one person can suffer from cluelessness and amnesia at the same time. In equal doses too.
Perhaps, the storytellers hope he learns from his mistakes and realizes much later? One cannot help but wonder why another approach was not taken to this little story arc? Considering this might be some brewing love story.
However, once you move on from the disturbing guy donning a turtle neck to unwind at a bar, sipping on cosmo and saying ‘I just moved to Nigeria’ 365 times in 2 minutes, then you will most likely enjoy Unbroken. Genuinely too.
The pictures are convincing, maybe a little more than the earlier days of Afmag’s previous primetime baby – Forbidden.
The story worlds are vast, the Actors mostly convincing.
And while every episode is not Christmas, the story strives to give you a good time every night.
And hey, is that not why we are here?
Unbroken airs 8 pm every weekday on Africa Magic showcase.