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A Story of why Africa is so Rich yet so Poor! Onyeka Nwelue’s First Feature Film “Agwaetiti Obiuto” to premiere Saturday, May 5th



Agwaetiti ObiutoOnyeka Nwelue‘s Agwaetiti Obiuto is a spectacular and vivid investigation into why Africa- the black man, really appears to be reeling from a cursed narrative. The story of Africa, of course, is not what Nwelue intended to tell. The film is about a small town in Southern Nigeria, Oguta. But like all great art, the story extrapolates; like a chameleon, it fits into the very dynamic and varied narratives that is the history of black societies across the known universe.

Although the African continent is blessed with gold, diamonds, oil, coltan, bauxite, uranium, iron ore and other valuable resources, most of its inhabitants have long numbered among the world’s poorest. Some economists have described this as the Resource Curse. But, depending on who you ask, the reasons for the odd phenomenon are many.

In Agwaetiti Obiuto, Nwelue does not offer an objective reason based on scientific rigor. He is only a telling a story, but even the telling, the plot, is haphazard in many ways, with spliced scenes and a narrator that interrupts and offers unsolicited monologues. The genius here, however, is that this sort of randomness, sometimes awkward, gives substance to the confusion that runs through the minds of anyone who has ever sat down, pen and paper in hand, to tell the story of Africa. This is the kind of film that lingers in the mind because there are gaps that it leaves, gaps that must be filled.

Chinua Achebe, that iconic writer who, once, revolutionized the spirit of African literature, is famous for underlining that the problem of Africa, the real, contemporary problem, is the lack of honest leadership. Agwaetiti Obiuto reminds us of Achebe’s diagnosis. Oguta, a land blessed with natural resources, is held hostage by a wily, corrupt few who pillage its wealth, transforming its people into a league of whiners: chronic complainers who successfully analyze their problems but are unable to do anything about it. In Agwaetiti Obiuto, they finally do something about it. The same cannot be said, substantively, of Africa’s current reality. In this sense, Nwelue, in Agwaetiti Obiuto, offers hope, redemption.

If you have ever wondered why Africa is so rich, yet so poor, you have to see Agwaetiti Obiuto. The story is a kind of truth, simple and honest, that takes you on a trip to the Zoo of African Monsters. Corruption, the double-headed beast, will roar at you. Insecurity, with its venomous fangs, will snarl and scare. There are more. But the tragedy is that if you live in Africa, you don’t have to visit the Zoo. You already live there.

Agwaetiti Obiuto is Nwelue’s first feature film. On Saturday, May 5th, it will premiere at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

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  1. Letty

    April 21, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    So apt and so timely. I have to make a prescient prediction that this movie will resonate loudly and leave a lot of food for thought for the populace and the “leadership” leadership is in quotes because the nigerian leadership leaves a lot to be desired and is abhorring

  2. Tony

    April 22, 2018 at 6:28 am

    Africa’s problem is Africans. We choose to settle for less and live in mediocrity. Everyone focuses on themselves with no practical sense of community. It’s baffling that years of slavery, colonization and current neo colonialism had thought us nothing. We lack internal and external defense so our leaders treat us like garbage and imperialists also do same. Greed, tribalism, corruption, religion prevents any sense of unity and the benefactors of corruption leverage on this to loot n ruin lives giving bread crumbs to the masses and quarter loaves to selfish intermediaries.
    Let’s make it a duty to drop decades of whining and start uniting against the common enemy.

  3. Dust

    April 22, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Africa is not poor…. the definition of Africa’s “poor’ was created by e:uropeans whose main goal is to subjugate other people physically, mentally, financially(they created money and exchange rates), emotionally e.t.c,…

    Africans have access to food, water, shelter, clothing e.t.c these are basics needed for life.

    If you look at Africa from a materialistic point of view then you will conclude that Africa is ‘materialistically’ poor, Africa is not financially poor but Africans with the finance are not spreading the finance well due to greed(corruption in the political sense), normal Africans with money have to deal with inflation and their own needs.

    Onyeka Nwelue is only continuing to enforce the stereotype that black Africa is poor and she is trying to make money from it by creating a movie about the problem instead of solving it… the same thing African American musicians from the ghetto did to their fellow ghetto dwellers by making music about the ghetto, profiting from it and then moving out of the ghetto instead of re-investing in the ghetto and uplifting each other..

  4. Temi

    April 22, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Is this a movie or an academic paper? 5 million words, yet not a single one tells us what the film is actually about

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