Gangs of Lagos is a Nigerian gangster action thriller film produced and directed by Jade Osiberu, starring Tobi Bakre, Adesua Etomi, Iyabo Ojo, Demi Banwo, Chioma Akpotha, Damilola Ogunsi, Tayo Faniran, Zlatan Ibile, Bimbo Ademoye, Toyin Abraham, Yvonne Jegede, Yinka Quadri, Chike, Pasuma and a host of others.[2] The film premiered on Amazon Prime Video on April 7, 2023, as the first Amazon Original Movie from Africa.[3][4]

Gangs of Lagos
Directed byJade Osiberu
Written by
Produced by
Music byTolu Obanro[1]
Release date
  • 7 April 2023 (2023-04-07)

Synopsis edit

Gangs of Lagos is about a group of friends whose lives have revolved around crime and violence since their childhood in the Isale Eko area of Lagos, Nigeria. A young boy, Obalola, robs a bag from a woman in traffic with his friend, an act which results in a summons from the king of the streets, known as "Eleniyan" or "Owner of Men", who lauds his confidence and ability. Amazed by his intellect and courage, a gang leader named 'Nino' (played by Tayo Faniran) shows interest and immediately becomes a father figure to him. Nino, though, wants him to go to school and become something great in life.

Unfortunately, Nino is later found dead, and the dreams he had for Obalola (Tobi Bakre) and his friends Ify (Chike) and Gift (Adesua Etomi) have died with him, as the trio begin to work for his partner Kazeem (Olarotimi Fakunle), a greedy and ruthless leader.

As adults, they continue to play different roles in the gang, until things go sideways when Kazeem murders a rival gang member and pins it on Ify, which results in his gruesome murder. With Ify's surviving friends hellbent on revenge, Obalola discovers several skeletons in Kazeem's closet. Determined to avenge all the loved ones whom Kazeem's greed has taken from him, Oba leads a bloody gang war to seek revenge on Kazeem.[5]

Selected cast edit


Production and release edit

Gangs of Lagos, a film written by Kay I. Jegede and Jadesola Osiberu, and produced by Jadesola Osiberu and Kemi Lala Akindoju has marked the start of a three-year partnership with Amazon Prime Video and Jade Osiberu's production company. Amazon Prime Video has established their interest in delivering local and authentic African films and series to the global community and this has given rise to their partnership with Jade Osiberu.[2][4]

Controversy edit

The film's depiction and characterization of the Eyo masquerades, an important aspect of Lagos culture, proved to be controversial. Many respondents on social media felt that the filmmakers had shown a disrespect for the traditional institution that the masquerades are part of.[7][8] One group of Lagosians threatened a lawsuit in response,[9] and another actually followed through and took the matter to court.[10]

Amongst those who also condemned the film on these grounds were the Lagos State government,[11] the Kosoko royal family of Lagos,[12] Chief Adebola Dosunmu of the Dosunmu royal family,[13] and Nollywood veteran Prince Jide Kosoko acting in a private capacity.[14] The National Film and Video Censors Board, Nigeria's censor, also weighed in on the matter; its head explained that it was not empowered to regulate films and television shows shown on streaming platforms, though a legal amendment to give it that power was currently being considered by the National Assembly.[15]

References edit

  1. ^ Gambari, Luqman. "Tolu Obanro: Crafting Cinematic Soundscapes for Nigerian Blockbusters". Leadership. Retrieved 3 March 2024.
  2. ^ a b (2023-03-20). "Jade Osiberu's "Gangs of Lagos" is Prime Video's First African Original Movie & it Premieres April 7th". BellaNaija. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  3. ^ "Prime Video's Gangs of Lagos for launch on April 7". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 2023-03-21. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  4. ^ a b Vourlias, Christopher (2023-04-07). "'Nigerians Want It All': Inside the Glitzy Premiere of Prime Video's First African Original, Crime Thriller 'Gangs of Lagos'". Variety. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  5. ^ Oladotun, Shola-Adido (2023-04-08). "MOVIE REVIEW: Gangs of Lagos: Finally, a crime thriller that captures Isale Eko's reality". Premium Times Nigeria. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  6. ^ "Prime Video's Gangs Of Lagos premieres, set to revolutionise filmmaking". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 2023-04-06. Archived from the original on 2023-04-08. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  7. ^ "Controversy trails depiction of Eyo in "Gangs of Lagos"". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  8. ^ ""Gangs of Lagos": Controversies trail portrayal of Eyo masquerade". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  9. ^ "Lagos indigenes threaten lawsuit over Eyo masquerades portrayal in new movie". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  10. ^ "Court approves N 10 billion fine application against "Gangs of Lagos" producers". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  11. ^ ""Gangs of Lagos": Isale-Eko union, Lagos govt. condemn portrayal of Eyo masquerade". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  12. ^ ""Gangs of Lagos": Controversies mount over portrayal of Eyo". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  13. ^ ""Gangs of Lagos": "If anything happens to you, carry your cross" - Lagos chief warns against the portrayal of Eyo". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  14. ^ """Gangs of Lagos" desecrates people's culture" - Jide Kosoko, royal families". Retrieved June 6, 2023.
  15. ^ "Insensitive portrayal". Retrieved June 6, 2023.

External links edit