If there is anything Nigerians love to see in a film is good representation of their reality and that is one thing Omugwo by Kunle Afolayan did.
This movie, through the Omugwo tradition, highlights the issues of class, personality differences, marital issues caused by lack of sex in marriages due to postpartum depression new mothers go through, which is sometimes not well understood by their husbands who feel they’re being punished and abandoned as little or no attention is given to them.
The comedy movie opens with Nollywood actor, Ken Erics (Raymond), whom I think did a wonderful job playing his role of a loving husband and new father, and also a radio host, except is sometimes obvious he has . It tells a story of how these young couple became new parents, but if that wasn’t enough excitement, they have their mothers to deal with, mothers who decided it is their sole duties to take care of Omotunde (Omowunmi Dada), who just gave birth and has no single idea of how to take care of a baby.
Chimamanda, (Patience Ozokwor), who said she has been dreaming of the day she’ll take care of her grandchild told her son about it, but the son would not hear of it, because he believes it is the duty of the wife’s mother, “Can-Dance” but that was obviously not a good idea as Can-dance doesn’t even know how to take care of anyone but herself. Eventually both mothers move in with the couple and spent a “three month” that can last them for years.
During these months of Omugwo, the strengths and weaknesses of the four major characters were exposed and a lot was learnt. “Can Dance” represents the selfish 21st century woman who sees nothing but herself and does not even expect her daughter or granddaughter to spoil her fun. To her, she is a civilized 21st woman who knows better, but in her bid to know the world, she didn’t know her immediate family, which cost her a good relationship she could have had with her daughter. Her not knowing how to take c are of a baby brought on different hilarious scenes as she tries but fails woefully.
Patience Ozorkwo who is known for being the wicked mother in-law changed her clothes this time and became the kind and understanding mother in-law, now that was initially scary. Although I don’t know if saying her recent “born again” status has anything to do with it would be wrong, but it was refreshing seeing her as the loving and caring mother in law. At first it was difficult to envisage, but then she just carried you with the movie seamlessly, making you remember your mother or the typical African woman from the hood who does nothing but live for her husband, children and grandchildren. Unlike “Can-dance”, Chimamanda needed no invitation or planning to storm her son’s home in happy times as these, which is what most African mothers would do, especially a Nigerian.
For Omotunde, while this is a time she really needs her mother, her mother had already planned a trip that has become a priority over her daughter. She eventually decided to take care of her daughter, but that was out of the jealousy that Patience Ozokwor would be given a lot after her time spent, for that reason, Can-dance decided to join in the Omugwo journey, a journey she has no clue about. This Nollywood actress played her role with such ease, showing a daughter without her mother’s love and presence, thereby calling the shots on her own, hence her choice of husband. But this time, it is not another choice to make because she has no experience in it. For that reason she needs guidance and she feels helpless with the thought that she might not be able to train her daughter right like her mother didn’t train her right.
This problem, added with the lack of interest in herself, plus the lack of sex in the marriage which was also causing tension in the home made her more depressed. Her husband wanting sex not long after she gave birth made her feel like he wants a son instead of the daughter they have, this further increased her depression, leaving her with no one to talk to but her mother… bad idea!
For Raymond, the man in the midst of women with different personalities, it takes wisdom to handle all and still maintain peace. Becoming a new father was really exciting at first, but then, it lost the excitement and he started feeling left out, keeping late nights and seeking solace by talking about his troubles at home on air.
This movie tackles the issue of appropriate communication, because while Raymond was talking about his problem, he was telling it to the wrong audience, whereas he could’ve easily told his wife about it. Not talking about it and allowing his wife’s body language to communicate with him made him feel like he is no longer wanted.
This is one mistake some wives make, and while we are feeling our husbands no longer love us, they are probably thinking we no longer need them because we now have a child to give our loveand affection to, and because that is not communicated, we grow apart everyday, continuously. So let the communication line between EACH OTHER be strong.
Now with this movie, Patience Ozokwor made her son, Eric, understand that he has to cut his wife some slacks as she is trying to handle family and job at thesame time, some thing women in her time did not do. So yes, the movie is embedded with enough wisdom for married couples, mother in laws, mothers, husbands… Everybody!!!
At the end of the movie, communication is king as Omotunde made effort to be the babe the husband knew, after apologizing for making him feel he is no longer wanted. The mother in laws made pact and enjoyed the baby in their own ways.
Watch the official trailer below;