NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 131

Maami ( 2011 )
Tunde Kelani
Funke Akindele ,
Wole Ojo , Tamilore Kuboye , and Ayomide Abatti
93 minutes
Tunde Babalola
The political relevance of the film today cannot be overemphasized . Baba Apana sings “ ko le ye won , yio ye won l ’ ola ” ( they cannot understand , but they ’ ll understand tomorrow ). In relation to our nation ’ s politics , the auteur Tunde Kelani is saying that we are yet to see the full repercussion of the greed and insensitivity that permeates the fabrics of our polity .
The resultant effect of the ever-increasing corruption is abject poverty on the masses , while the leaders swim in the ocean of abundance . Sooner or later , the people will revolt and take what is rightfully theirs . Through the cultural symbolisms of incantation and use of the drum as the voice of wisdom , tk hopes to reinforce the importance of culture and traditions in the history of the Yoruba . Tunde Kelani ’ s ideological interpretation shows oath-taking , as an agency for accountability and good governance . The characters are simplified and easily identifiable . Despite the spoken language barriers , the film became a hit to prove that self-reflective works can lead to a rampant commercial cinema . Saworoide shows how important some symbols are to Yoruba communities and Nigerian culture , in general . Films like this tend to redeem the masses ’ dreams and reconstitute the viewer as subject of culture .
The film is set two days before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa . As the stage is set for the very first World Cup on African soil , call up to the camp of the Nigerian Super Eagles has commenced and is being intensified by the need to produce a final list of players to partake . Amidst the pressure on the nff ( Nigerian Football Federation ) and the coaching crew to submit a 22-man list of players to represent the country , Maami x-rays the internal struggle of Kashimawo through his own eyes , as he reminisces and reflects on his pain-filled childhood . Though he has become a star striker at the English Premiership Club Arsenal , the ghost of his past continues to haunt him in the light of his brilliance and passion for football . He recalls how Maami struggles to cater for him , despite abject poverty and extreme lack . Under the thatched roof of her mud and brick home , she will do anything to support Kashimawo . Her sacrificial and passionate investment in the future of Kashy will set him on a path to abundance and sustainability . Maami is the self-imposed sacrificial lamb who goes through several humiliations , assaults and deprivations just to sustain Kashimawo .
Maami ( 2011 ) opens with the revelation of the period in which the film is set . The South African World Cup kicks off on 11th June , 2010 . Nigeria is revealed as one of the six African countries to represent Africa in the thirty two nation tournament . It also shows the poverty stricken neighbourhood from which Kashimawo emerges .
He arrives into the country from England and wanders intermittently in and out of the crude world of his childhood , even as the pressure to get him into the world cup camp increases . His academic excellence and sheer proficiency in football is fundamental to his success , even though Maami could not afford meat as a reward for his outstanding performance in school . It is a constant struggle to meet up with daily demands , but Maami ’ s consistence as a woman with bravery , great-spirit and industriousness is all he needs to succeed . Events lead to tragedy as Maami dies on his 10th birthday in a ghastly motor accident on their way from his diabolic father ’ s house from which Maami has hid him for ten years . Kashimawo eventually finds courage to confront his father , Otunba Bamisaye . He laid the ghosts of his turbulent past to rest and moves on to partake in the World Cup competition , after he visits Maami ’ s grave to pay respect , while recalling all the vital life lessons learnt from her .