‘Swallow’ is sweet, bitter pill for Nigerian audience

Motion picture title: ‘Swallow

Foundation on Sefi Atta’s novel of the very same title

Jogging Time: 2several hours 8minutes

Directors: Kunle Afolayan

Writers: Sefi Atta and Kunle Afolayan

Producers: Netflix studios

Direct forged: Eniola Akinbo (Niyola), Ijeoma Grace Agu (as Rose), Deyemi Okanlanwon (as Sanwo), Eniola Badmus (as Mrs Durojaiye), Chioma Akpotha (as Mama Chidi), Kevin Ikeduba (as OC), Offiong Anthony Edet (as Johnny) and veteran Olusegun Remi (as Mr Salako), Movie News.

Date of Release: Oct 1, 2021.

For greener pastures outdoors of Nigeria, the guide characters in Kunle Afolayan’s most up-to-date film, Swallow, are all set to risk it all-basically, anything, such as their lives.

The film, which is an adaptation of the monitor adaptation of Sefi Atta’s 3rd novel ‘Swallow’, was shot in the town of rusty roofs, Ibadan in Oyo State, and Lagos.

It follows the tale of a naive financial institution secretary, Tolani Ajao, who, right after a series of profession woes, considers her roommate’s supply to perform as a drug mule in mid-1980s Lagos.

Even so, Tolani faces a crisis of conscience, and as she questions her own morality in a repressive armed forces regime, she finds herself flung into a journey of self-discovery, Movie News.

It is the 1st screenwriting credit score for the Nigerian novelist, who co-wrote the display adaptation with Afolayan.

Nollywood is speedy evolving from the period of predictable storylines to dynamic and thematic narrations which is an offshoot of the wide capabilities, knowledge, and developments in filmmaking.

Great film adaptations are ordinarily tasking since they go past just screenplay. It requires additional efforts to coherently delivery the tale (with its peculiarities) into a movie and make relative psychological proximity involving the reserve and the film. To this conclude, Afolayan justifies some accolades, Movie News.

On the other hand, Afolayan, who is in the perspective of casting non-actors in direct roles of his flicks, really should, from his prosperity of knowledge, realize that these non-actors experience selected shortfalls. Not several of them can, in reality, deliver the ingredients that spice or if you like, make a fantastic motion picture. Was swallow a sweet or bitter pill for the Nigerian movie audience?


The first tale, “Swallow” by Atta tells a easy and exciting narrative about the quest for survival by young girls entangled by their unifying struggle to endure in a patriarchal society.

The plight of these girls depicted in the figures of Tolani Ajao and Rose, her obstinate buddy and roommate, is relatable and this realisation is keenly specific plenty of to retain the visitors glued to the e-book.

The movie, reminiscent of Lagos in the 1980s, usually takes into cognizance the customs, the currency value, the cars in use, the discourse, and the Nigerian football online games aired via radio, all depicting a usual 80s lifestyle.

Set in the heart of the war versus indiscipline, a hallmark of Muhammadu Buhari’s 1983-1985 armed forces govt, Tolani and her roommate Rose, two very pleased unbiased women, put up with injustice in a bid to survive the bureaucratic procedure of the financial institution in which they operate as clerk and secretary respectively.

Aside from get the job done, they reside collectively in a small room, at an open up compound, among persons from several ethnic groups in Nigeria. A single can not forget about the exciting figures of her neighbours like the stringent and occupied nurse, Mrs Durojaiye, performed by Eniola Badmus and the smart Igbo housewife, Mama Chidi, performed by Chioma Chukwuka.

Rose, fed up with the harassment from her obsolete and corrupt boss, Mr Salako, resigns from her career, while Tolani replaces her as secretary. However, Rose seeks economic assistance from her relative who owns a salon but was turned down. This opens her to the truth of existence and survival.

Tolani on the other hand is optimistic as she continued with her job, holding in significant esteem the values her father instilled in her at a young age. Tolani unbending to the illicit innovations thrown to her by her manager and the controversial rumours becoming peddled all over the place of work encounters equivalent difficulties as Rose and is on the verge of offering up, Movie News.

Turning level

However, Rose fulfills OC, an acclaimed ‘big boy’ who showers her with presents and soon introduces her to his resource of livelihood-smuggling medications with a stable of female drug mules. Rose, decides to be a part of OC in his unlawful small business, to swallow medicine and journey abroad to evacuate them in the lavatory for product sales. Rose begins to observe and in no time gains mastery on how to swallow and hold the prescription drugs in her stomach

Rose before long introduces Tolani to the company. She agrees at to start with but clinging to her father’s instructions and her mother’s information back at Makoku (her hometown), “Protect your popularity. Do not allow life or any guy take it away from you,” “be articles with what you have.” Tolani refrains from joining Rose on the journey.

This is the place the plot thickens and the drama we signed up for, genuinely starts.


The dominant languages in the motion picture had been English, Yoruba, and pidgin English and they assisted established the tone for the movie.

The acutely aware make use of of indigenous languages in current Nollywood flicks like Igbo in ‘Lionheart’, Hausa in ‘Voiceless’, and Yoruba in ‘Citation’ and ‘Swallow’ is applaudable, Movie News.

The producers paid out added interest to the little details which are hitherto disregarded in most Nollywood videos. The established designers ought to have accolades for the set and props. It is surely no necessarily mean feat taking pictures an 80s film in the 21st-century modern Nigeria and bringing into fact some 1980s relics and props which gave the motion picture a loaded taste of history.

Sweet bitter because it is not the typical motion picture we see in which the hero or heroine generally wins. Bitter mainly because it is a tragedy, sweet because there are classes to discover from it.


Singer Niyola, popularly acknowledged as Eniola Akinbo, struggled with the position. Possessing featured in songs videos that have to have a lot less motion, the acutely aware potential to impersonate and provide the character ‘Tolani’ to lifetime was majorly missing.

Nonetheless, the supporting direct, Ijeoma Grace Agu, who played the role of Rose, owned the spotlight.

The direct character should shine all through the film, but Agu’s brilliant portrayal of Rose gave the a lot-needed ‘action’ that we all longed for in the film. It is secure to say Afolayan, and most likely his cast, played also harmless in the film

Plainly, the director targeted far too considerably notice on acquiring a believable 80s location but failed at offering the substantially-necessary punch in which it was wanted primarily at the climax of the movie.

For occasion, we had been anticipating far more motion toward the conclude of the film, in particular in the plane scene where Rose died. We did not want to be informed how she died, it would have made far more sense if it was vividly portrayed.


‘Swallow’ is a sweet and bitter tablet for the Nigerian audience. It is a reminder of the travails of the typical Nigerian trying to get greener pastures abroad versus all odds and bitter due to the fact it is a stark reminder of a time when items essentially labored in Nigeria.

It is a good movie value looking at particularly as a loved ones. It is didactic and entertaining.

Rating: 6/10

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