Culture and Lifestyle

Critical Acclaim for Kunle Afolayan’s “Citation”

“Citation” is a movie written by Tunde Babalola and directed by Kunle Afolayan. The Nollywood film centers on Moremi. Moremi is an intelligent student with high hopes of working for the UN. She becomes attached to N’Dyare, a charismatic university lecturer. The innocent student-teacher relationship took a sketchy turn when Moremi started noticing that N’Dyare’s altruistic behavior towards her is rather becoming inappropriate. Her impression soon culminated into an allegation of attempted rape filed against N’Dyare. Much of what follow sees N’Dyare trying to prove himself non-culpable, but Kunle Afolayan serves us indications in flashbacks that shows the lecturer guilty as charged.

Many have praised Afolayan for attempting to tell a story that touches the core of issues particularly gender-based as they come out in many Nigerian universities and by extension West Africa. It is rather indubitable that there is the prevalent although stealthy trend of sexual harassment in many school settings. Many female students are victims of this harassment and are often afraid to speak up against their celebrated tutors as in the character of ‘N’Dyare’. Concerns like this is what accounts for the BBC African Eye documentary, which captures live the decadence in many Nigerian universities. With the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana as the center of attraction, Reporter Kiki Mordi, who knows first-hand how devastating sexual harassment can be, reveals what happens behind the closed doors of some of West Africa’s most prestigious universities. It is this same discourse of gender abuse in grooming and lewd comments, one finds in “Citation”. This is in fact what inspired the partnership with Access Bank, recognized for their women empowerment programs especially the ‘W-initiative’.

“Citation”, more so, scores a high point on grounds that it stars the daughter of billionaire oil magnate, Femi Otedola. Temi Otedola, who made her acting debut in the movie, has been praised for having done outstandingly well for a first timer. From comments made by Femi Otedola himself stating that because of her role in the movie, it should not be surprising that the movie has enjoyed some more popular acclaim.

Read Also: ‘Citation’: A Good Movie Without New Grounds

Other factors that ground the success of the movie will include Afolayan’s place in the Nigerian movie space. Acknowledged to be one of the top movie producers and filmmakers in Nigeria, Kunle Afolayan has become a force to reckon with. It is perhaps no wonder it features in one of the top digital streaming platforms for videos, Netflix. The fact that that Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) was also used as a set for the movie is another high point given that the university boasts of top personalities in the creative industry. In the light of this a facebook user commented, ‘Since the release of “Citation”, OAU people have started making mouth upandan.’ Some critics have however slammed the movie for the very fact that it is star-studded. Others have also faulted the structural pattern that informs the movie. Following this, an online user identified as Sam Omatseye opined that, ‘the story is long, winding without a taut plot or thematic focus.’

Notwithstanding the criticisms, “Citation” deserves commendations for addressing the moral decadence in the educational system and for the creative input that defines it. It is an adequately pitched Nollywood film that adds credit to Kunle Afolayan ’s practice as a producer.

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