And believe me when I say that is not a bad thing.
Ivie Okujaye is Enakhe, the young woman who “rises to fill the shoes of her late powerful father, but her world is completely turned upside down by the terrible secrets of his life.”
While the aforementioned is the synopsis of the show according to DSTV which houses Enakhe’s home, Africa Magic, when we venture into Enakhe’s world, what we first see is a hot chase in the market, a streetwise tough-looking guy smacking the face of a thief with an aluminum tray, and Epa, a godfather in the streets who is still revered in his old age commanding attention. Of course, we take a detour to the gym, where Enakhe herself is helped through her workout by a good looking young man who she seems to like but who disappears in a flash before she can ask his name.
The plot is straightforward and easy in Enakhe – the character is a young woman whose life has clearly been mapped out for her (think Michael Corleone-lite because it has less violence and it’s not the drug life so far) but who seemingly seems disinterested in the template her family or who-knows-who has charted for her. While Enakhe carries on with her life, everyone around her seems to get caught up in one drama or the other.
For instance, her friend Ivie is sleeping with her boyfriend (who ambushes her with a proposal and quickly becomes her Fiance in the first episode) and is pregnant by him. Her mother goes on a chase around Benin and parks outside Uniben where she hurls a student she suspects is sleeping with her husband into the booth of her car and her father, Epa is dealing with betrayal in his inner circle.
That’s not all, her brother runs things in the street (to an extent we don’t know yet), and the guy she felt some sort of connection with at the gym is the son of the man who just betrayed her father.
Enakhe’s world is a place filled with drama made for TV.
Enakhe isn’t hard to follow. Unlike shows where the pacing is slower and it takes a while to build characters and story worlds that will suck people in, Enakhe instantly is pacy and it races to its destination in each scene. It’s uncertain where the story leads or at what point it’ll slow down but guess that’s expected because even in Hollywood where TV is on steroids, there are seasons where things take a slower pace.
However, one can almost be certain with Enakhe that even when it stumbles, it’s not likely going to fall face flat. It has designed characters and formidable story worlds that will grip it less it plummets.
The story isn’t the only thing that makes the show worth watching though. The location is refreshing to see. Perhaps the first-ever telenovela from Africa Magic to be shot on location outside of Lagos, Enakhe takes us all on a trip to Benin. It proudly shows off monuments, statues, and even the popular University of Benin’s exterior. And so with Enakhe, it feels as though one is getting two things for a price of one – a good story and a refreshing scenery down south. The language is interesting and the dialogue is reflective of its locale. Enakhe blossoms in the world it creates for itself.
And while it’s good storytelling so far, Enkahe isn’t all roses. But that’s fair because TV can’t be a hundred percent perfect.
Performances from screen veterans Kate Adepegba, Alex Usifo (who made a comeback here), and Lancelot Odua Imasuen ( a major filmmaker in the old Nollywood era) have been very enjoyable.
Ivie Okujaye who plays Enakhe makes a comeback after a few years away from Nollywood and Africa Magic telenovela alums, Charles Etubiebi (Forbidden), Lota Chukwu (Ajoche), and Odera Olivia Orji (Jemeji) give good performances as usual.
Enakhe airs weekdays on Africa Magic Showcase between 8:30 – 9:00 pm.