“Teju, I just heard from God, he called my name 3 times”.
Let’s talk about Man of God, the movie. If you have been online for the past weeks, I’m sure you scrolled past a lot of talks about this movie, especially on Twitter. From the people who felt it had no plot, the ones who thought there was a mixup with editing somewhere to the believers who were quite disappointed to nd that it was a movie portraying spiritual leaders in a bad light.
Starting this movie, I had no expectations- it was “head empty” for me. I tried to watch it without channeling the viewpoint of others and it looks like I succeeded (*yay Angel!*).
The plot as I watched it, was basically a pastor’s child (I’m sure we have heard stories 🌚) who went rogue. Samuel Obalolu, Sammy king, Samuel king, Abami or Pastor Samuel King- really a man of many names, started as Abami, a student of Unilag, lost focus and decided to do Fela style music shows in school. I may be biased, but I really enjoyed the scenes that showcased Unilag buildings- the architecture is top notch.
With Abami, we meet Teju, the Christian, typical scholar who constantly encouraged Abami to focus on his studies and God. Personally, I do not see why and was constantly screaming “focus on yourself at her. I’m not surprised that she didn’t listen- she was in love with him. Reks short for Rekya and what is a Nollywood movie if no bad bitches are in it. Reks is a bad bitch, an illegal one o but yeah thumbs up to her except for her pidgin. I wish she stuck to English but E for e ort. Then Joy, Teju’s church mate. When Abami met Joy, it was a funny moment. His corny lines? He should not try that again!
My favorite scenes from Abami’s phase are the instrumentals from the music, background singers and the friendly conversations with Joy who later became his girlfriend in Uni. A character I did not like was Pastor BJ who is too judgmental for someone with the duty of leading others to Christ.
In the Samuel King phase, we meet Teju again. This time, She is Samuel’s wife (she got what she wanted but at what cost?). There’s also Reverend and Bishop, the owners of the Church where Samuel worked as a minister. Shocking? That’s Teju’s in uence but unfortunately, it isn’t strong enough to prevent him from cheating and he did a lot of it. Thinking of it now, Teju is a supportive character even at her expense.
Reks came back after 9 years with drug dealing money and discussed the idea of opening a church with Samuel. A chance for redemption? You wish!. This is where we nally meet Pastor Samuel King, the Man of God.
Pause, let’s go back to the beginning. The opening scene of Man of God shows Samuel being beaten severely by his Prophet father for straying away from the church and it wasn’t the rst or last time. These actions largely in uenced Samuel’s refusal to associate with his family and God as an adult. I think a lot of young Nigerians, even the older ones will relate well to this. Tracing Samuel’s childhood, I guess it will be surprising to see him become a preacher as an adult except if it is likened to the story of the prodigal son but the writers of the script brought in the money factor and that’s a good line to tow given Samuel’s history.
Back to the present, the church is ourishing thanks to Reks bankrolling it, Samuel’s charisma and Teju’s support. The past comes knocking as joy is reintroduced into their lives, transforming an already fragile triangle into a square.
It goes downhill from here and for a slow start movie, the ending was quick like a late night okada ride in Lagos. Turns out that Reks was into drug and human organ tra cking and Samuel, a smart character, was unaware of the organ tra cking part. Teju, in a shocking act of vindictiveness and resolve, submitted evidence that proved Samuel’s involvement with Reks. This was de nitely a break from the supportive Mummy GO role she played so well and it was about time for a change.
This may be an unpopular view but I admired DSF’s character, Reks’ hustling spirit. From the Abami phase, she was always ready to work although not the legal type. Teju played by Osas Ighodaro was towing the ne line of being a pest in Abami’ life and a concerned friend. Good thing for the Teju character? She nailed the pastor’s wife role, it was sweet and demure with excessive support for her husband even after she knew he was cheating (I do not recommend). Joy on the other hand was really sweet and the actress, Atlanta Bridget Johnson, was the perfect cast for this role, a real life form of the name Joy.
Akah Nnani’s portrayal of Samuel King and his many names? Well, I don’t have much to say except that it was okay, he got the high pitch of Nigerian pastors, the bars and ceremony. Two thumbs up to him.
Watching the ending, I was pleased that Samuel paid for his crimes, not the usual ‘go scot free’ that happens in real life. I’m not sure if I liked that he went back to his father but the prodigal son archetype was complete, I guess. Overall, I will give this a 2.7/5.