My initial plan was to wait till the weekend, get cozy and enjoy Ijakumo: The Born Again Stripper, a movie that’s brought out the vicious critics in its viewers. But I had zero self-control and bowed to internet pressure. I’d rather have nothing to watch on the weekend than have the whole experience spoiled by Twitter comments. So I ran to Netflix and hit play.
The movie starts with drums and the voices of a group of Ifá women dressed in white, with beads to match, singing in remembrance of a late fellow Ifá initiate.
Enters someone with dreads so long, she has a person packing it for her. I start to ask who this Damien Marley wannabe is. Turns out it’s just Asabi (Toyin Abraham). She sits and the Ifá women welcome her. I’m quite surprised these Nigerian mamas didn’t even comment her hair isn’t part of their culture. Also, I’ve never seen a rasta with Yoruba tribal marks before. This is a discovery.
She enters a room and stands in front of a calendar that tells you it’s a funeral. She stares at it and leaves. On a day she’s allowed to be vulnerable, she chose stoicism.
Next, she’s at what appears to be her mother’s tombstone. She puts one 2006-ass rubber flower on it. No one’s mad at it sha. The dead can’t touch flowers, and real flowers will wither anyways.
The title card quickly comes and goes. Asabi is now on a mountain, touching the rock and having flashbacks of her younger self lying on the same mountain, in pain and covered in blood.
I still don’t understand what’s going on, but she’s now in her house, looking at data of different babes. I’m thinking two things:
- She’s a pimp
- She’s into women
It turns out she’s neither. But she has her eyes on one of the girls — a Sharon from Uganda. And even though Asabi’s workers urged her to pick another babe, Sharon is her choice for an extraction mission. This is a stressful scene. But Asabi money has to waste, why not hire from Uganda?
Next scene is in a church. Singing and dancing, everywhere. Then the pastor, Olujide (Kunle Remi), comes to the altar to scam believers of their dollars.
After service, Mary (Lolade Okusanya), the church’s chorister, comes to seek financial help, but Pastor Olajide turns her to God for support. Mo’fucker wants to eat all the dollars alone. Smh.
Then, we find out that Jide is a pastor by day, crime syndicate member by night. And… the syndicate is his church’s investor.
He faces the syndicate.
He’s spending their money, buying properties, but he explains he’s not stealing. They aren’t having it.
The syndicate boss (act by Bimbo Akintola) vexes, reminds Jide she’s his god and blasphemy won’t be allowed. But what’s the effect of her Scorpion-from-Mortal-Kombat-ass voice? Not even Jide in her presence is afraid. Lol.
Pastor Jide, angry at the elders still talking to him like he hasn’t leveled up from the Jide that came from Abeokuta, heads straight to the strip club to calm his nerves. He sees Sharon with a big bum bum — yes, the same Sharon that Asabi (from the beginning) chose — and he’ll do anything to get her.
Jide starts to force himself on her, and when she won’t let him have his way, he removes her masks but mistakes her for Mary, his church choir mistress. The creep pastor frightens the babe off. He heads home with that horniness and delivers a hot fok to Mummy G.O.
Another day, another morning, another direction. In typical Nigerian man fashion, he starts being nice to Mary.
Still confusing her for Sharon.
Next, we find out what Asabi and Sharon are up to. The mission is to get Sharon close to Jide and steal a thumb drive from him.
While Jide keeps drowning in lust for Sharon, Asabi remembers her late herbalist father and how he fortified her before he died at the beginning of the film — remember the Ifa ceremony? She also flashes back to the nice romance she shared with Jide before his pastor days, how he left her after tasting small money.
Jide’s at the strip club with Sharon again, but this time, Sharon will do anything to get his thumb drive. She did it. I don’t know how, but the thought I hold is they’ve been inside each other, so why can’t she be inside his pockets? Anyways, she presented the drive to Asabi, and it turned out to be the wrong one.
Jide a.k.a. always on the road, is already at the syndicate’s meeting house. Warmer temperament from their last meeting. Money is rolling in; everyone’s happy.
Surprisingly, Sharon calls Jide that afternoon for hot knacks and insists it must be in his house. Though he’s a married man, the mf is not the type to turn down sex.
After rounds of satisfying coital meet-and-greet, Sharon shares a bit of her life trajectory. Jide Jendo recollects his history with Asabi; he broke her heart, poisoned her and even left her for dead… isn’t he insane?
His syndicate boss’ call snaps him out of his memory lane. He rushes out, leaving Sharon alone at his home. She finally gets what she came for; the real thumb drive.
Asabi discovers billions of dollars in Jide’s thumb drive and turns Robin Hood, distributing the money to people Jide and the syndicate have duped. Sharon gets paid and plans to return to Uganda. But only an unserious person will think they’ll escape unscathed.
Burning with anger, Asabi remembers her dad once more, and he tells her she’s destined to have only one child. Because she wasted her one child on Jide, she vows revenge.
In other words, the thumb drive isn’t the end of the fight. She confronts Jide at the funeral of one of his syndicate members.
He insults her and reminds her that her face looks like she fought a lion. Asabi’s response was that she’s proud of her tribal marks (she should’ve stopped here), culture, heritage and Nigeria. I’m lost. How did this become a patriots and custodian matter?
The statements Asabi made that she’s behind Jide’s successes haunt him in his sleep. He wakes up just in time his boss calls to tell him the syndicate has been exposed, and she’s fleeing.
Without caring to wake his wife who’s sleeping beside him, Jide speeds to his backyard and escapes police arrest on a boat.
Jide still thinks Mary is Sharon, so he and the syndicate kidnap and torture the poor church girl for the stolen drive. He’s about to shoot her when Wale, Jide’s younger brother, calls to tell him he has the real culprit.
While in the booth of Wale’s car, on the way to Jide’s location, Sharon miraculously manages to untie herself and texts Asabi that she’s been held hostage. Wale didn’t collect her phone? Didn’t tie her hands tightly? This movie plot keeps losing me.
At the kidnapping lair, Mary meets Sharon, the troublemaker that has complicated her life. Then it gets quickly confusing for the viewers. What’s this sudden family reunion? How did these ladies become blood sisters? What’s that Ugandan accent? Writers of this movie, how?
I was still thinking how that’s possible when Asabi’s men burst the door open with a grenade. BOOM!
Gunfight ensues; men flying up and down, left and right.
See Jide and Wale in action. Jide is many things: a pastor, whore, murderer, crime syndicate member and fighter too.
Finally it’s time, Jide and Asabi meet for their last face-off. He isn’t here for long talk, so he shoots her straight. But odeshi. Asabi controls the bullets and turns them back to paralyse him, eventually causing his death. E be juju, e be things.
But the display I find the maddest, that bursts my head is when she sends Wale floating in the air then tears him into cosmic dust.
Unfortunately, the innocent Mary dies at the scene.
The movie ends with Asabi and her bodyguard on her favourite mountain top. And honestly, it’s giving budget Eniola Salami and Ade Tiger. Now that her enemies are destroyed, is Asabi satisfied or is there another conquest coming?
Hmm.. some questions you should be asking too.
- Why’s there “born again stripper” in the movie title?
- Any reason Asabi has dada that’s longer than wire for drying clothes?
- She’s always riding in black SUV and handing out crisp naira notes. What’s her actual job aside from being an ex-babalawo’s daughter?
- Is her hair stylist in Lagos?
- Does the syndicate have spiritual powers? Their meetings have people carrying calabashes and give shrine vibes, so how come they didn’t go spiritual when their members started dying? What was the “disease” sef?
- Not exactly a question, but Sharon’s overacting when she eventually found the thumb drive killed my brain.
- How did Asabi’s bodyguard know with just one look that the thumb drive he got was empty?
- This may just be me, but Jide is supposedly the pastor of a mega church. How come he doesn’t even try to preserve his reputation? Guy whipped off his mask because he saw his church member. What if she decided to leak his secret? What kind of fake pastor talks explicitly so casually over the phone?
- Why did Asabi sacrifice her men in the last fight when aunty knows she has odeshi?
We’re looking forward to receiving your contribution.