It is equally a notable fact that when we hear of Nigerian movies typically a whole host of dark gloomy voodoo filled scenes come rushing through our minds.
Well we have news for you, Desmond Obviagele former investment banker has definitely claimed his space as an African story teller to watch out for as he has brought a totally different style of telling the Nigerian story.
It is no secret that Southern Africans love Nigerian movies!
In fact we are by far the biggest consumers and fan base of Nigerian movies outside of Nigeria itself, even if we just speak about Zimbabwe and South Africa.
We have not seen his first offering to the African cinema space “Render to Caesar” which received a number of accolades including being entered into the official competition at FESPACO in 2015.
The Milkmaid which he wrote, produced and directed his is second offering and certainly a must watch as it brings home the cold hard truth of religious fanaticism combined with the scourge of patriarchy in Africa that must be tackled head on.
Set in rural sub-Sharan Africa, The Milkmaid brings to life the story of Aisha a Fulani milkmaid who is searching for her sister Zainub after being separated by religious militants.
Aisha is forced under desperate circumstances to approach the very militants who were responsible for their separation and goes head to head with Dangano the one who actually ruins her life!
The story unfolds in the most gripping way as we see another form of jihadist movement take over the lives of innocent women and girls exposing them to all forms of blatant slavery as they are forced into marriages and abuse that they have no say over.
Aisha is the story teller as she embarks on a journey to change of sheer courage and determination to overcome this brutal form of slavery and get back to the sublime life of a simple Milkmaid.
The triangle of deep entanglement with the two sisters being married to the militant leader Dangano turns into a deep and tragic story of sisterly love, rivalry, deception, betrayal and centred on suicide bombings, known to them as “Going to Paradise”!
The filmmaker’s passion for story telling is evidenced in the production design the scenic locations chosen, the wardrobe design and make up along with some authentic African music make for brilliant watching from start to finish.
Aisha eventually emerges “victorious” and as much as we are left feeling sad and helpless, over the tragedy of this senseless kid of war fare, we are encouraged by Aisha’s bravery and courage in the face of absolute adversity.
Ultimately there is hope for women and girls who are able to stand up and say no to any form of abuse and this story will bring hope to all women in both Africa and the world who have been subjected to slavery.
A Review by Madoda Ntuli and Genevieve Nkiwane ©