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B Side, Film

Is ‘Oloture: The Journey’, A Prank?

The long-awaited sequel release takes a wrong turn and leaves all hanging.

  • Faith Oloruntoyin
  • 8th July 2024

On June 28, 2024, Ebony Life Studios debuted Oloture: The Journey on Netflix as a sequel to the 2019 drama feature Oloture. The story of the titular Oloture (Sharon Ooja), a Nigerian journalist working undercover as a sex worker to expose human trafficking crimes. However, in the recently released three-part series, the story continues with Oloture’s perilous journey into Niger, Libya, and then to the Mediterranean, all in the quest to get to Europe.


The first episode continues from where things were left off and reintroduces us to the key players in the story. From Beauty’s (Adebukola Oladipupo) escape before the cross into Benin Republic, the result of Emeka’s (Blossom Chukwujekwu) confrontation with Sir Philips (Patrick Doyle), Alero (Omoni Oboli) and Tony’s (Daniel Etim Effiong) squabbles over Linda’s (Omowunmi Dada) death.


Disconnect between the First Release and the three-part series.


The very first thing one would notice is the poor concentration as regards the continuity of little details from the previous release. Beauty escaped in a particular outfit and then we saw her in something entirely different, the same thing for the lead Oloture, who woke up in an entirely different wear. Also, it was clear as daylight that Emeka saw Beauty run past him and one would have thought that the reason the producers let them come across each other would be further established in the sequel. However, that was completely crossed out with Emeka’s death, which begs the question as to why Sir Philips never had any sign of a bruise when narrating the assault by Emeka to Alero. Often times, what’s forgotten is that this little details are what make up the believability level of the story.


Character Narrative Flaws


How is it that even in this sequel that came out five years later, Tony failed to really embrace the bad boy role his character demanded? There was always some form of disconnect with the character and actor whenever his scene came on, as if it was more of forced actions as opposed to real acting. With Etim-Effiongs long list of lover boy and subtle roles, one might question if villain roles might not be his strong suit.



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Emeka and Oloture often forgot their journalistic roles as one can’t fathom why Sir Philips was able to get a hold of the journal. At least put some suspense and let it be that it got tucked away somewhere safe before Emeka was killed, because according to the previous release, the journal binds the essence of Oloture’s mission and constant suffering. And now, in the hands of someone that treacherous, then a vital element of the mission has been killed.

Back to our lead, undercover journalists oftentimes find it hard to trust people and constantly stay alert to the possibility of things being a trap but Oloture constantly fell into traps due to plain-sighted naivety. Or is this some way the story questions the quality of the undercover journalists we have in the nation?

Ade’s (Bucci Franklin) first introduction was very strong and the proper bad guy scene for someone who took the daring step of killing a bus filled with innocent ladies. But it made absolutely no sense to see someone who had commanded such intensity get wasted so easily by Chuks (Ikechukwu Onunaku). At least give us a fight-to-death scene that justifies how he ended up dying, not an easy in-and-out move.



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Failed Potential of the Story


At the end of the series, two questions arose: is this all? Where is the rest of it? Because throughout,  it felt like one was watching introductions, what storytellers call buildups to the main story and we never really got to the real thing. The wait was too long and overly-hyped for the audience to get something so surface value.

The story being told has so much potential to be expanded to various points or sizes, although the argument might be that the producers might be limited because it is based on a true-life ordeal. However, even with that, the simple thing is to leave the story as it was and not create something so watery for a story that should command so much importance from its audience and key institutes in society. the story is 

On a final note, sequels aren’t a must and must only be done when the audience can be assured of something that supersedes the initial release. Also, the way we tell our stories is why the world at large does not believe that our negative ordeals in the hands of well-connected people are true. If you will tell the African story, please in the words of Nigerian Gen Z’s, “tell it with your full chest”.

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