While TV shows like Skinny Girl In Transit or The Men’s Club suffice to keep us entertained enough while they’re on, we can all agree that there’s room for improvement in the Nigerian small screen. Since most of what we get is so bad it’s good (don’t @ me), we’ve reached a point when we have a certain level of quality we’re expecting from Nollywood since it’s what has been the order of the day for so long.
For as long as tv has existed, we’ve had access to content from all over the world and there was always the few International tv shows and soaps that Nigerians were drawn to. Back in the day, Passions was a fan favourite, and we all gathered around the Tv after Super Story to keep up with the Lopez-Fitgerald’s and company. While when we were younger, we had to wait until the next day in school to speak to our friends behind our textbooks in class about these shows, now the TL has united us and we’re able to enjoy discussions about these shows in real-time together.
All lockdown, we’ve been bonding on the timeline over the dynamics of Molly and her Asian bae and the love triangle between Issa, Lawrence and Condola on Insecure every week for the past 10 weeks, and now it has come to an end. Shows like Empire, (well before Cookie got in that Gorilla suit) also had our collective attention, and as divided as we usually are, we ALL collectively hate Tariq from Power’s guts.
Now that we have the likes of Netflix investing in Nigerian film, and we’re getting a TV adaptation of one of the best Nigerian books ever made, The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives, and it seems like the variety we crave is well on its way. Until we get these, we’ve decided to imagine what it would be like if some of our favourite TV shows were set in Nigeria. Starting with ‘Power’, we’ve paired some Nollywood actors to the characters and created a storyline for a Nigerian version of the crime-drama. From Banky W as Ghost to Rema as Tariq, here’s how we imagine a Nigerian version of ‘Power’ would go.
Banky W as Ghost
Banky W’s signature tipped hat makes for the perfect gimmick any drug lord who is laundering yahoo money through his agency which builds custom apps and digital products for enterprises. Nigerian Ghosts’ real name would be Tijani (fka TJ) Ajirola and much like Ghost, TJ would have his ride or die wife who he met in NYSC camp. She stuck by him through his long suffering until he finally hammered 8 years ago, and of course, in typical Yoruba demon fashion, he has a few side chicks for the different days of the week. While he managed to successfully hide his philandering (and other parts of his life) for years, it became a topic of worry in his marriage when he reconnected with an old friend from uni who he tried to be with back in the day, but she friendzoned him and they never got the chance to date.
Dakore Egbuson-Akande as Tasha
Nigerian Tasha would be perfectly portrayed by Dakore Egbuson, and we’ll call her Efosa. She met TJ at NYSC camp when she had just moved back to Nigeria after uni in England. When she met TJ, he was a promising tech aficionado, who was very keen on developing apps for big Nigerian conglomerates. What Efosa doesn’t know about him, is that before they met, he used to ‘sase’ and he lived a double life as a yahoo boy. With connected parents, she forces them to help him land a big break, which unfortunately brought about his downfall when EFCC started sniffing around. Their marriage is currently suffering because of their problem child, and her recent knowledge about his secret life of crime.
K10 as Tommy
General is TJ’s best friend and right-hand man, who is a club owner in Victoria Island. Six years ago, he married Vicky for papers and moved to London to set up another branch of his club, after coming into a large sum of money. He’s also the legal guardian of TJ and Efosa’s son, Junior who was sent to boarding school in England after being kicked out of 3 schools in Lagos. Due to General’s fecklessness and affliction for showing off his designer clothes, General is also very popular on social media, and is mostly known for his interest in a particular designer and also fancies himself as a motivational speaker of sorts.
Adesua Etomi as Angela
Adesua Etomi will be our EFCC Agent, Samira Umar who was TJ’s coursemate while they studied Computer Science at Obafemi Awolowo University. They lost touch over the years, and while TJ got caught up in a life of crime, she worked her way up and recently become the head of the ICT department in EFCC. They crossed paths when Efosa’s parents were informed about an ongoing investigation on Ghost, who they had been searching for for years, and have now linked to TJ’s company. The whole investigation is brought to a sudden halt when Hadiza is given an order from the top to make everything go away. After recognising his name, she steals his phone number to catch up with her old friend. While her intention is to question his choices, they end up reconnecting and old feelings are rehashed.
Bolanle Ninalowo as Kanan
Kene, who will be played by Bolanle Ninalowo used to be TJ’s ex-partner in cybercrime before he finally managed to get residency in the UK 10 years ago. Unfortunately, he ended up in prison after getting caught with a gun and some drugs in his car. Before he went inside, he made an offer for TJ to launder his drug money for him through his legitimate company. However, by the time he came out, he lost everything when TJ usurped his position and also suaved him of about 500 thousand pounds. Desperate to do his own back, he vows to ruin the life of TJ’s son when he meets him on the streets of London.
Rema as Tariq
In our version of Power, Tariq is not nearly as irritating and certainly does not get away with doing as much rubbish. From a young age, Tijani Junior aka Junior or Juny (with the mandem) exhibited antisocial behaviour and was always getting into some trouble or the other. He got sent to boarding school at age 10 when his dad hammered, and because he was so troublesome was asked to leave after GCSE year. He then lived with his dad’s best friend and guardian, General, in London, where he found himself involved in gang activity and a life of crime after meeting Kene. One day before he turned 18, Kene set him up, and he ended up spending 6 months in prison and was then deported back home.
[All Illustrations Are NATIVE Originals by Debola Abimbolu]