Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Home Video

Thunder booms in background, jagged lightning slashes across sky, rapid-fire commentary delivered in "grave" tone, accompanied by video montage almost guaranteed to induce an attack of epilepsy.

Address flashes across screen, listing addresses in Onitsha and Lagos, and leaving viewer to wonder just how many movie companies can occupy not just the same street, but the same address. Screen goes blank...

Mournful song is played containing lyrics telling the entire story of the movie to follow. Ok, you think, since you now know exactly what's going to happen in movie, time to move on. But you've discovered a hidden masochistic streak which glues your butt to the chair. Brain sends message to butt cheeks: "Send all nerve endings into stand-by mode. This is going to be a long one."

Screen slowly brightens, showing village setting. Festival in progress. Flute and drum players take center-stage. "Hey, culture!," you say gleefully, and settle back to watch. Dancers prance on screen, and proceed to gyrate till covered from head to toe in glistening sweat. You check your watch: 30 minutes gone in movie, and still not a word of dialogue. Ok, so it's a musical, you surmise, or perhaps a dance fest. Camera zooms in one scowling figure, one smiling one, and two ovbious love-birds, then pans to dancers, and screen fades to black. Huh? you ask.

Screen brightens again, showing palace, or at least, that's what it looks like. Men gathered in council. Some wearing cotton vests. Er, you ask, wasn't this movie supposedly set in 1403 or something of that nature? Men argue on screen, scowling figure prevalent. You check watch: another 30 minutes have flown by. Screen fades to black.

Screen brightens again. Love-birds shown doing, well, love things. Characters prance around screen, chasing each other, music plays. Screen fades to black. You check watch: another 30 minutes of your life seem to have mysteriously vanished.

Message appears on screen: "To God be the glory" quickly followed by "Watch out for Part 2".

You blink slowly. You try to rise from your seat, but your brain seems unable to restore power to your legs. You sense liquid on your chin, and wipe it away, only to discover it's spittle. You shake your head, wondering where all these damned cobwebs came from. You try to remember your name, and the letters seem to come to you a lot slower than they did a scant 90 minutes ago. Brain gradually reboots, but is sluggish, seems to have been infected by a nasty Trojan.

Congratulations, you have just endured a Nigerian "Home Video"...

(Watch out for Part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,...)

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I love my country, enjoy a cold beer once in a while, rabidly support Arsenal FC, but I don't get Diet Coke...