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HomeMetro NewsMOVIE REVIEW Anikulapo: The burden of absolute power on leaders

MOVIE REVIEW Anikulapo: The burden of absolute power on leaders

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Anikulapo by Kunle Afolayan is a mystical folklore drama revolving around the life of a young zealous man seeking greener pastures in the great Oyo Kingdom. Unfolding events and his illicit affair with the king’s wife leads to his untimely death and encounter with a mystical bird, Eiye Akala believed to give and take life.” Global Financial Digest special correspondent, Nike Adegoke delves into the core of the movie and explores each personality and their uniqueness in the making of the movie.

Saro! A fine young man who only wanted to weave his Aso Ake and make a decent living. His good looks served him well but that was also his undoing. All the women wanted him, literally. Awarun got him first, no wonder. She had everything he needed to begin a life and she offered him on a platter of gold. At a cost!


A consummate sugar mummy. No strings attached, she likes her men young, handsome and fit. She gave Saro the soft landing he didn’t know he needed but she didn’t hesitate to set him straight when he hinted on exclusivity. Awarun lived life on her own terms and even though she was stigmatized for being an unmarried cougar, she had enough money and influence to avoid being ostracized in society.


An unwilling child-bride. She was literally handed to the Alaafin at a tender age to become his youngest wife. She never loved him, but he doted on her. Why not? She was beautiful, young and had a firm body. Kabiyesi expressed his love by warming her bed more often than she was entitled to have him and showering her with gifts- actions that elicited hostility towards Arolake. His ‘love’ wasn’t all-encompassing: he couldn’t protect her from the palace sharks. They almost killed her!

And then she found love….or was it lust? Her loins stirred for the first time genuinely, maybe, upon setting her eyes on Saro. The feeling was mutual, and then things went out of control from that moment.

Some argue that they weren’t in love but I say they were. Madly enough to have risked the wrath of the Iku Baba Yeye, the Alaafin.


Arolake was one brave lass. She literally made all the decisions from day 1. Maybe the mythical Eye Akala would have sent Saro to the eternal abyss when he had first died but Arolake attacked it and didn’t let it complete its mission as told in the introductory tale at the beginning of the film. Eye Akala didn’t get to ask him what killed him, a very salient question which would have formed the divine decision of whether to keep him alive or not.

Not just that, she stole its gourd which brought the dead back to life.

I’ve read quite a lot of narratives expressing disappointment in Arolake for handing over such a powerful object to her man, Saro,   she could have used it to her own advancement. I agreed at first but upon deeper assessment of the times they lived in, I think she did what most women would have done at the time which was to defer to her husband. They lived in times when women were seen and not heard.

What happens when you have the most sought-after power in the world? It’s quite natural that you begin to feel like a god.

Look at Awarun! She couldn’t raise the dead but she had wealth and she used it to her satisfaction all the time. She was a powerful member of society who was allowed to sit with the Oyo Mesi, an honorary chief, maybe. Imagine if she had grabbed the Eye Akala’s guard?

Saro would probably have married another even if he hadn’t been cursed with that kind of power because in those times, it was the normal thing to do -even if Arolake had had children of her own. However, would he have been able to live life on his own terms if Arolake was Anikulapo? He would probably not have dared marry another except she personally approved.

In all, I think Saro had his life master plan taken from him the moment he walked into Oyo Alaafin and it spiralled out of control in the hands of the women he got entangled with.

You know what they say about absolute power.

We all can take one or two lessons from this beautifully retold Odu Ifa.

I hope to see more of such productions.

Kunle Remi , Bimbo Ademoye, Sola Sobowale all ate up their lead roles.

I’ll give it a 9 out of 10. The one mark, I’m holding on to for Aunty Sola Sobowale’s and Kunle Remi’s wonky Oyo accents. Bimbo yen n tie, (that Bimbo!) she can’t tell me anything! I heard the tribal marks in her voice.

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