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A Tribe Called Judah movie poster

A Tribe Called Judah: A Family Bond Beyond Adversity

Submitted by Editor on 10 April 2024

By Chidiebere Sullivan Nwuguru

Judging from a superficial perception, one would easily classify the movie, ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ by Funke Akindele, as a heist film, but on a deeper dissection, one would picture how the movie mirrors the depth of the love that exudes from a family, and how much sacrifices could be weaved into the intricacies of such love. This particular movie is the kind that would prompt one to dig into how much we all are willing to sacrifice for our families in times of adversities and challenges; a movie built upon individualising the chaotic hustles of Lagos with Jedidah Judah’s family love at its centre. 

I still remember the night I watched this movie, how that night was the first time the earth welcomed the first rain this year. With the pitter-patter sounds of the rain against the thirsty earth in the background, my headset delivering the movie sound right into my ears, and my eyes keenly fixed on my laptop's screen, I was ready to delve into the movie I had heard so much of. The movie opens with a scene where Jedidah (Akindele), a single mother of five boys from five different men who all hailed from five different tribes in Nigeria, is praying for all her sons. The first and the second sons, struggling and purpose-driven young men who worked as sales rep and security guard respectively at the C and K Furniture, the third and fourth sons, the prime source of problems and shame that the family constantly faced, were pick-pocket and hoodlum respectively. The fifth son, a painter who was mostly occupied with his love for his girlfriend and didn't mind stooping so low as a street beggar just to finance the love they both shared with each other.

A Tribe Called Judah 2

The movie plot thickens when Jedidah’s kidney problem becomes severe, especially since she had always relied on alcohol as a means of escape, from the difficulties that come with being a single mother of five sons whose personalities were a blend of different ups and downs. To resolve this major conflict, the movie's plot builds into a strong love from the family for each other, as a way to annul the force of adversities tearing the family into shreds with the unending struggles. This is also where the plan for the heist comes from; the sons in a bid to save their ailing mother who now relies on dialysis, weaved a plan from the earlier discovery, Emeka, the foremost son, had while working for his boss, the Chairman of the C and K Furniture. Emeka earlier found out that his boss was into money laundering and had huge sums of dollars sewn into the cushions at the VIP sections of the shop. The plan for the heist was to be smooth for Judahs, as they were supposed to break seamlessly into the VIP section of the shop where they would steal money, enough to offset their mother's hospital bill and possibly get a better life for themselves. However, the situation got messy when they encountered another group of robbers whose sinister plans coincided with theirs. The confrontation between the two groups led to the death of Emeka, the most promising son of Jedidah. At this point, I as the viewer, couldn't help but share in the misery of the Judahs, especially since Emeka was my favourite of the Jedidah's sons, and I had so much wanted him to survive the situation and get the chance to enjoy the life he tirelessly worked for. However, there is always a price to pay and someone must rise to offset it; it was Emaka in this case.

A Tribe Called Judah 3 shot

The heist, although with a huge loss on the Judahs, enabled us to see how deep the bond in the family ran, and how much each of them was willing to sacrifice for each other; everyone doing everything they could to salvage the situation and help their mom through the sickness, and in nursing the loss of her most promising son. In the end, the Judahs escaped from the fangs of C and K chairman who was after them for his money, into a place where they would at least have a better chance to survive. From the movie, we can tell that the family bond that runs deep among the Judahs which saw them stand in for each other in times of adversity, was the only thing that saw them through; this kind of love, I believe they all learned from Jedidah, who no matter what has always stood for his sons.

Overall, the movie is worthy of anyone's watch. However, I felt there were a few places that could have been filmed better, such as the scene during the heist where we see the money being sprayed into the air as a means of escape by both groups of robbers, and how in the end, the total sum of the money the robbers escaped with still tallied with the exact amount the C & K Furniture's Chairman had sewn into the cushions; such situation left me wondering how it was possible for the robbers to still end up with all the money, even the ones lost during the process. Beyond this, the movie is the kind I would love to watch over and over again. The mixture of comedy and crime scenes is another thing I so much love about the movie.

A Tribe Called Judah with such quality, is indeed one of the clear indications that Nollywood is again at the precipice of a major revolution, that would see the industry cover more ground in the international movie community.