All na Vibes: The Dangers of Uncertainty

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All Na Vibes is a 2021 Nollywood movie written by Isaac Ayodeji and directed by Taiwo Egunjobi. The cast is a mix of familiar Nollywood actors, Jide Kosoko, Kayode Olaiya and a newer generation of actors; Molowa Davis, Tega Ethan, Tolu Osaile and more.

With the backdrop of a University Strike, All na Vibes explores the complex lives of three teenagers, Lamidi, Abiola and Sade. In the first couple of scenes, there is a reflection of the typical Nigerian family dynamic. We see Abiola, an aspiring musician with a supportive mother, and a father who will only support goals “he understands” – music not being a part of this. Lamidi’s father, played by Kayode Olaiya, foreshadows a major plot twist in the movie when he calls Lamidi an irredeemable fellow after trying and failing to get his attention for an errand. Sade, whose background is remarkably more privileged, argues with her father about plans for her future, ignoring his instructions to apply to a University abroad in favour of her dream of being a model. These short scenes accurately summarise the struggle of managing family’s expectations whilst also trying to follow one’s dreams. And in Sade’s case, the sweet, spoilt life of an only child of a rich man, having the freedom to talk without a filter and sometimes mock her father without repercussions. 

With a University strike and nothing else to do, Lamidi gets the brilliant idea to throw a party for his friends. He enlists the help of his good friend Abiola who convinces Sade to host the party at her house. Lamidi invites his classmates and promises them the time of their lives. From the response he gets, it is obvious he has a reputation for being a big talker who does not follow through, and this makes Lamidi more determined to throw the best party.

It was delightful to watch normal conversations and interactions in teenager friendships, especially where while half of the friendship group are discussing the effect of a shared experience (the strike), the other half punctuate the conversation with outlandish and often times idiotic comments.  Employing dialogue loaded with the kind of humorous insults explicitly used amongst close friends, and sarcastic retorts popular in conversations between young Nigerians, All na Vibes captures the essence of teenage friendship and banter.

Showing one of the dangers of keeping young adults in limbo with uncertainty and frustration dominating their days, the party sets in motion multiple events that change the course of the three teenagers’ lives. There is also the inevitable consequence of playing God and orchestrating chaos.

All na Vibes attempts to spotlight issues like unrequited love and inappropriate relationships. There is also mention of political unrest, but this is treated as an almost insignificant event, simply something to add to the plot without actually developing it. Or perhaps, this is a reflection of the kind of political ignorance found in most teenagers, especially with things that don’t “directly affect them”? The unresolved conflicts left the end of the movie a bit lacking, with many questions unanswered. 

Overall, the movie was an enjoyable one, forcing a couple of unexpected laughs from me.

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