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Rejoice Abutsa: Banana Island Ghost is BIG on Lessons



Director, BB Sasore, does something unusual with Banana Island Ghost. Sasore makes a passionate plea with the first scene of his movie – he pleads for the sacrifice of realism and logic, and instead, for his audience to watch for enjoyment.

See how he does this – the first scene features a young boy and his mother, her time on earth is limited and she knows this. In her farewell speech, she encourages her son to accept that she will be in heaven, and in this speech, she tells him of beautiful girls and the need for a soul mate. A soul mate here serves as his compensation for the loss. There is something deeply unbelievable about this scene, but most of the events that occur in Banana Island Ghost are unbelievable, yet deeply satisfying!

The film has the capability of dividing the cinema; some will enjoy the journey, and others will find it a little silly, and that is what films with many new ideas do. It is thought provoking instincts that bring us a ghost romance story with lessons on the value of humanity, on respect, on trust and on hope. Producers put their faith on a difference, and this is a film with the right dose of sweetness.

Some of us assume the presence of a guardian angel in our lives; we believe in the presence of a beacon of light, guiding us and being our efficient lesson through life, it exists in Banana Island Ghost. Hope plays a weighty part in our lives, and Banana Island Ghost uses the device of hope efficiently. In fact, the purpose of Banana Island Ghost is hope.  Hope guides our characters; Ijeoma hopes to pay off her father’s debt and retain his house, Patrick hopes to find a soul mate. Sasore’s vision is a ride, the use of logic is back to use in strategic scenes but you have to free your mind to enjoy the emotional content of his story.  Banana Island Ghost is a film that explores life, death and healing. Death for the first time is not heartbreaking, it heals.

Suspending disbelief and enjoying what is before us does not mean we do not take the lessons that come with this enjoyment. The charm of Banana Island Ghost is in its lessons. Hope; perseverance; the value of humanity: these are strong themes you should not leave the cinema without noting.

The ability to have real and authentic connection can give our lives true meaning, and there is a push for it here. Dialogue that counters discrimination, that advocate for the genuine idea of romance, and reshapes our notion of perfection all exist in this film. Banana Island Ghost is a film of second chances, and we all require that in life, we don’t always get our second chance but it is soothing to believe that a second chance is possible.

The impressive use of cinematography to communicate messages is a major cause for excitement. The second time we experience death in Banana Island Ghost, cinematography is used to explore the quote of “Life continues after death”, cinema is really exciting and that scene is  one of my favorite scenes of the year.

You could leave the cinema thinking it was a romance film, or a comedy, however you choose to define it,  one thing is for sure, it is a film with a heart, and it will make you feel.

A bonus on all these is the cast. This is a perfect mix of talent.The presence of Baba God is a strong asset; Bimbo Manuel is a charismatic ray of wisdom. His performance promotes the tender spirit of Banana Island GhostSaidi Balogun and Akah Nnani are memorable performers. Chigul provides lots of laughter, and tears too. Patrick Diabuah is a revelation!
Music is its own character here. In the director’s previous effort, “Before 30”, music played a primary role in communicating moods. Here it does the same.

Banana Island Ghost has its flaws though; you will find an extravagant tribute to sponsors and a few continuity errors, but it will remain memorable because it is tactical. It has lots of laughter, and above laughter, important lessons.

Rejoice Abutsa is a creative communications and brand consultant, who wrote and produced her first short film in 2016, as a student of the University of Jos. Aside from working with filmmakers in Nollywood to ensure they find the best marketing solutions, she works with a number of creative start-ups to offer digital communications strategy that suit the goals of their businesses. Connect on Social Media; Email: [email protected] Instagram: @rejoiceabutsa Twitter: @RejoiceAbutsa


  1. debs

    August 10, 2017 at 9:22 am

    tah! what lessons?
    it was just a silly movie. yes ‘we’ laughed a lot at the silliness …so it could pass for a silly comedy
    if you plan to watch, dont raise your expectations and expect a good story.
    it is just as it is, a fantasy comedy. Yo will sure laugh but then take it as it is.

    • Paulo

      August 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      You definitely miss the point. There is a message Nigerians keep Missing, and everyone that has seen this film seems to miss the purpose. Watch it a second time and pay attention.

      Thank you for revisiting the essence of the film. You Gerrit

    • Jide

      August 10, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      I’m sorry but even comedies and fantasy movies have to make sense. Sci-fi as well. This movie had so many gaping plotholes that come down purely to BAD storytelling. Not comedy, not fantasy, just bad storytelling. Even the much touted ‘technical’ feats were a huge disappointment. Expensive cameras but the cinematography was so basic, minus the drone shots of Lagos which we see in every music video anyway. Zero respect for the audience is what I got from this film. I mean, how can a car run over Chigul and she just gets up and walks away like nothing? Was she a ghost too?

  2. nINO

    August 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    This is the worst movie made in Nigerian history.
    Thirty minutes in and I walked out, zero story line, bad bad acting, it was not even funny at all.
    I don’t understand all this hype, it is unfair to those who plan to watch it.
    Disappointed, I love Chigurl but gosh this was bad

  3. Gen

    August 10, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    “The film has the capability of dividing the cinema; some will enjoy the journey, and others will find it a little silly, and that is what films with many new ideas do.”

    That captures the whole essence of her review and the comments here. So I saw she is a Theatre Arts graduate, it is definitely a look from where other audiences will not grasp. Art is received differently, and I think the movie was bold even with the errors.

    • Bolaji

      August 13, 2017 at 8:41 am

      So if she is a theater arts graduate, Why did she not learn a bit about cinema before taking the job? Do not insult art by calling Banana Island Ghost art. It was a mess. Good cinematography but otherwise, a mess. a B.I.G. [the irony] mess! Nigerian filmmakers must start respecting the audience and value our money!

  4. Bolaji

    August 10, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I really wanted to like this. And I really tried. But the best bits are in the trailer and no amount of impressive drone shots made this worth two hours of my life.

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