BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Great pictures are a given where Ndani TV is concerned. I haven’t seen one Ndani TV production that doesn’t have sharp pictures and cinematography colourful like an array of fruits. And music, oh music! Lovely lovely Nigerian music with pretty women and well-made-up faces.
The first episode of Rumour Has It drags for forever, and the second episode isn’t better for the first half. The series finally picks up when Blossom Chukwujeku shows up on the scene and gives a rousing speech on how victim-blaming is a big evil. “Lady in the streets, freak in the sheets”, boy! Who wrote that line? Blossom would go on to drop the ‘sickest’ and most profound lines the rest of the series.
Rumour Has It is a story of Obi Obi, a celebrity gossip vlogger who is successful and career-driven. Her husband of one year impregnates his mistress and causes a huge scandal, and Obi gets a taste of her own medicine as the media would not stop talking about her story. She must now deal with all the gossip and in-laws who are selfish and disloyal.
The story bears too many similarities with the real story of celebrity vlogger, Toke Makinwa, but then again, fiction is never really novel, but a mishmash of true events. No harm done here.
The resemblance between the protagonist, Uru Eke, and Chioma Nwosu, the woman who plays her mother is noteworthy. The mother, who is a huge drama queen, is like the typical Nigerian mother with archaic ideologies. This is typical of Ndani TV mothers. When she says this is Nigeria and every married woman has a stack of issues and just learns to adjust so as not to be fallen by the weight, the reality is sad and scary at the same time. The mothers in the series would eventually face off when they meet, and it is all so saddening that Nigerians think the way Wole’s parents think. It is disappointing, to say the least.
Rumour Has It stars Uru Eke as Obi Obi, Stan Nze as Arinze, Blossom Chukwujekwu as David, Jemima Osunde as Ranti, Annie Icha as Seyi, Toni Tones as Jennifer, Bayo Alawiye as Wole (who is a terrible actor by the way), Linda Osifo as Sylvia, Bukky Thomas and Femi Durojaye as Wole’s parents.
It is directed by Adeola Osunkojo and produced by Jadesola Osiberu, Agnes Marquis, Olabisi Jinadu and Oluwatosin Oludare. It is written by Jadesola Osiberu and Damilola Elebe.
I live for the banter between Obi and her friends. It is so natural, you just fall in love. And when it is time to tell one another the truth, they do not hold back. This is a model of what friendship should be, and the writers get it a hundred percent.
Rumour Has It has a lot going for it. The story is straightforward but very rich with side attractions like Arinze’s marriage and Ranti’s two-facedness. The acting is remarkable all round and the characters seem very comfortable in their roles. The movie also brings with it real life’s lessons on marriage and does its research on the life of bloggers and the world of social media gossip. Adeola Osunkojo does all these without being preachy or trying to force her opinions down anyone’s throat.
That the pregnancy turns out to be someone else’s falls a little into cliché-land. Bad things happen, and we have watched enough Nollywood films that tend to make every bad guy regret. But this isn’t always the case in the real world. Not every rapist is brought to book, not every evil step mother confesses and runs mad. Not every good person gets a big reward. It is life, and we have no choice but to deal with it.
The seemingly forced resolution notwithstanding, Rumour Has It is perhaps the best Ndani TV series after Gidi Up for its brilliant story, continuity and naturalness. It is short but highly entertaining and definitely worth the while.