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Mofijesusewa Samuel: The Slum King Explores Trauma, Young Love, Heartbreak, and Triumphs in The First Episodes

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What do you expect when a teenage boy loses his entire family in one night to a massacre disguised as a robbery? You get Slum King, a show that tells the story of Edafe (Maje), who witnesses his parents’ murder at a young age because he forgets to lock the door at night. Trapped in the cycle of guilt and trauma, Edafe journeys from a disturbed boy in the slums to become Maje, the charismatic king of the slums.

The show, which premiered on October 8, 2023, features a dichotomy of stars, including Tobi Bakre (Maje/Edafe), Olarotimi Fakunle (Imole), Teniola Aladese (Yagazie), Gideon Okeke (Tequila) and other acts like Idia Aisien (Emiene/Elakeche), Bolaji Ogunmola (Selense), Akeem Ogara (Banjo), Sonia Irabor (Kate), Jidekene Achufusi (Friday), and Onyinye Odokoro (Kaima).

At the end of the first episode, the lead character, Edafe (Maje), has lost his entire family to a massacre masqueraded as a robbery. After surviving the shooting, he starts living with his grandmother where his notorious slum journey begins. His move to his grandmother’s house in Oro Lede leaves him mute and severely anti-social until he meets Yagazie and Friday Obi, as well as their friends, Kaima and the Ogunmefun brothers (Dare and Banjo). Their entrance into his life brings some semblance of normalcy, but it is shortlived.

As viewers continue to follow the story, they’ll see Edafe suffer more losses and deal with the literal ghost of his family. When the second episode ends, the teenager will welcome one more member into his ghostly family. As Edafe slowly becomes himself again and takes up his nickname, Maje, calamity will strike again. This could be described as his “village people following him.” It becomes apparent that every time the young man is about to hit a breakthrough and leave for the greener pastures in the UK, death trails him and snatches his opportunity away. 

In episode two, we note a relatively lively Edafe, interested in football, young love and his longtime crush, Kate. As he enjoys the exuberance of youth, his friend, Dare, faces a triggering psychological trauma and reacts in the most aggressive way possible. After a gang member defiles Dare, he kills the man and becomes reclusive and petulant. Meanwhile, Dare’s brother’s (Banjo) lust for Kaima will lead them to become teenage parents. As his friends deal with their various issues, Edafe remains committed to being the best football player in his school. He receives a reward for his hard work and dedication when he wins a scholarship to attend a university in the UK after performing exceptionally in a defining football match. However, that’s as far as his good luck goes.

What started as a celebratory day, heralded by Kaima and Banjo’s wedding, as well as news of Maje’s scholarship, would end in sadness, bloodshed, and tears as Edafe, his grandma and Dare reach their breaking point. Maje’s one-way ticket to the UK is redirected to maximum-security prison after he kills Dare for killing his grandmother. An unnamed person also murders Friday and Yagazie’s mum on the same day. And a new villain arrived, Tequila, who masterminded all the murders.

Episode three sees the young cast grow up to their 15-year older selves. The younger cast was played by Adeoluwa Akintoba (young Maje/Edafe), Ehis Perfect (young Yagazie), Benedict Emmanuel (young Friday), Jonathan Matthew (young Banjo), Sarah Obiekwe (young Kaima), Paul Nnaediekwe (young Imole), Lizzie Orji (young Selense), Inaju Mercy Rhoda (young Kate), Mide Glover (young Tequila), and Oyejide Glory (young Zanga).

As the episode continues, Maje faces judgment for Dare’s murder after waiting 15 years in jail. However, he finds that the judge tried for three murders rather than the one he’s guilty of. Afterwards, he, his now godfather, Imole, and their brother-in-arms, 2 By 4, escape from prison through a thoroughly plotted plan. That could be considered as little victory after over a decade of captivity.

The fourth episode brings more drama as the trio comes out to Imole’s wife marrying his former second-in-command, Tequila. In a way, their exit is as poetic as Maje’s initial arrest. As Adeoluwa Akintoba puts it, “For me, Slum King was poetry because when Edafe went to prison, a wedding was happening. When he came out, a wedding was also happening. Do you see the writers?”  

As expected, Imole and Tequila get into a life-or-death fight which takes Tequila’s life. Imole claims back his throne as ‘Baale of Oro Lede’, names Yagazie the head of their drug business, refuses to divorce his wife and instead tries to tame her, and names Maje as his new second-in-command (2IC). Meanwhile, Maje must face Banjo, who is still angry that he killed his brother and is determined to settle the scores – a life for a life. After surviving Banjo’s beating, Edafe must face a daunting love triangle – his childhood crush or the woman who’s loved him since he was a teenager.

Who will Edafe choose? Will he face any more tragedies or victories? How will Imole’s second reign as Baale of Oro Lede go? Will Yagazie make a good business head? You’d have to tune in to Africa Magic Showcase (DStv ch. 153 or GOtv ch. 12) every Sunday at 8 p.m. to find out what happens next.


Mofijesusewa is a content creator and PR adviser in Lagos. She’s big on films and Nigerian pop-culture.

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