This reminds us of when we reviewed a film from Turkey in November, now February is Black History month in the States and we just happen to be covering our first film on the African continent.  Today we travel to Lagos, Nigeria for an entertaining Christmas rom com that features all of the classic Hallmark movie tropes – boys meeting and losing girls, misunderstandings, maternal meddling, corporate greed, and a best friend crush.  Plus, there is the annual holiday festival that teaches everyone about love, kindness and the meaning of Christmas.

While a seeming cliche, “A Naija Christmas” has a bit more heft.  It is festive and heart-warming to watch three brothers compete to fulfill their Mother’s wish to see her sons married.  However, the real Christmas present is being introduced to a different, more genuine side of Nigeria.  There are no money-seeking Nigerian princes or corrupt warlords here, but three familiar young men who tease, argue, and fight like brothers do, but also look out for and take care of each other.  They have their normal struggles at work, with their girlfriends, and taking care of their aging Mama.  These are real-life scenarios that all can viewers relate to, butnwe are also treated to the honest cultural issues of class, gender and faith found in Nigeria.

We also explore local customs like Detty December, Christmas rice, and knockouts and fireworks on Christmas Eve.  We meet the Nigerian Father Christmas, who gives out his gifts by hand or by throwing them into the air instead of delivering them at night.  Last, we enjoy the song “Y’ello Christmas” by Nigerian-born Moelogo because the color yellow in Africa represents happiness, harmony and culture.

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Listen to this episode of Festive Foreign Film Fans podcast
Author: Bob & Mark
Title: Episode 18: A Naija Christmas (Nigeria)

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