‘Shanty Town’ Echoes Bola Tinubu’s Life as RMD Plays Notorious Drug Lord With Influence Over Lagos, National Politics
Resonating Chidi Mokeme, the newly released blockbuster Netflix series ‘Shanty Town’ has dominated the mind of viewers with its unique storyline and extreme exhibition of drugs, avarice, nudity, and undiluted street lingo.
The series released this weekend followed the plight of hapless sex workers in a ghetto characterised by the exploits of drug dealing, bootlegging and prostitution — all under the grips of fetish, two-faced politicians on a quest to achieve power notwithstanding the price.
The series undoubtedly narrates a very relatable storyline for most Nigerians.
For one, and perhaps most apparent message from the raving show, actor Richard Mofe-Damijo played a power-driven drug cartel boss and human trafficker running for election. His moniker Chief Dacosta Oluyomi Fernandez sought control of the streets with his ill-gotten fortune, first controlling a crucial section of his domain before seeking an outright takeover.
In episode two, Chief Fernandez, whose signature cap and pair of glasses cannot be mistaken, bragged that he had control of a large chunk of Lagos and was prepared to take over the entire city.
His role, a satire of sorts at a time Nigeria is preparing for a general election, bored of snippets of Bola Tinubu’s life as a powerful Lagos politician with documented history of drug dealing, thuggery, public corruption and fierce racketeering. Mr Tinubu has been in control of Lagos for decades, and is now seeking to take over Nigeria as a leading candidate in the presidential election due next month.
Mr Tinubu has continued to deny all wrongdoings, and federal authorities have been reluctant to move against him on the account of his friendship with President Muhammadu Buhari.
As a production, ‘Shanty Town’ cinematography was well received across the country. Unlike many plays that were knocked recently for unforced sloppiness, the crime series effortlessly displayed the extent of violence using convincing explosives, gun fights and other reels to obscure disturbing scenes.
Still, the movie has been criticised for containing some poorly executed scenes, while some others were seen as just unnecessarily drawn-out.
The movie also fell short in diversity among its prostitute cast members. Following the storyline narrating the nightmare of low-class prostitutes in the hood struggling to pay off their pimp, it was deemed illogical that most of the cast members had surgically enhanced bodies that should ordinarily be beyond the reach of actual low-class struggling prostitutes. Other similar inconsistencies were also noticed in the movie.
The cast was, however, richly packed, resonating old time Chidi Mokeme and featuring other talented actors like Ini Edo, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Uche Jombo, Nancy Isime, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Shaffy Bello, Zubby Michael, Mercy Eke, Ali Nuhu, Toyin Abraham and others. The cast came through with individual roles.
Chidi Mokeme delivered an outstanding performance in the series, playing the role of vicious drug lord pimp ‘Scar’ who was the star of the series.
‘Shanty Town’ is seen as an outstanding production that nonetheless failed to pay attention to a slew of ingredients, starting with the background story and its connection to unravelling events in the series. So many questions evolved and were unfortunately unanswered at the end.
The first season of the series was released on January 20. It’s yet unknown if there would be a season two or when it would be released.