A couple of days back I was surfing the internet when I came across some featured articles on thenet.ng on Funke Akindele; one talked about how tedious the comedy series she had created was and another on how she had to start it up with the money she had gotten from her endorsement deals.
I understand very little of the Yoruba language so it is safe to say it’s natural if I might not be a big patriot of their films; yet I stand before you to say JENIFA (Aye toro kan) is my most favourable Nollywood comedy film. The character was very relatable as we all know that one person who claims to know it all and those who’ll go to any length to ‘feel among’ their pairs. So when eventually I heard that a comedy series was to emanate from the original ‘JENIFA’ film titled ‘JENIFA’S DIARY’, the first thing that came to mind was how she was going to maintain such humour, audience interest and general story quality for numerous of episodes.
Honestly, for some reason totally not making sense to me right now, I never followed up much after that, and time flew to a couple of weeks ago when I visited my sister and “JENIFA’S DIARY” was on. I didn’t even finish the full episode but watching a couple of scenes comprising Jenifa and Sege (Played by Falz the bad guy) was enough to leave a laugh to remember. I recall thinking to myself, Okay this could actually work. Jenifa could be as entertaining and influential as Funke had envisioned.
In another related article still featured on the same site, Funke made some assertions that really got me curious to whether she was being cocky as a result of the reported success the comedy series has had or she was just stating a fact that was undeniable. She had mentioned that she did not see “JENIFA’S DIARY” ever ending because the character, more to my interpretation though, had the flexibility to address many societal vices; and these vices, fair enough, are addressable for a very long period of time. She also dwelled on the premise of teaching by saying Jenifa’s character was used to pass numerous messages across to the youth. Personally I thought that was a bold statement, and like many of its kind I naturally assumed such proclamations were made solely to attract good press for the project. Thus, I left the matter at that but not without subconsciously hoping to see just how true or exaggerated those claims were.
As fate would have it, I visited a friend to continue writing a script I’m working on and I met him watching ‘JENIFA’S DIARY”, this time not on TV but the ones he had downloaded to his phone. I asked if it was a single episode he had but he told me he had up to the third season. That position made it impossible for me to prolong watching the comedy series any longer and her statement as related by both articles made me even more curious; so I collected all three seasons, went home, and began to feed my eyes.
The most important episode for any series be it comedy, action, adventure or any genre of film is its pilot episode; this episode has the power to captivate audience interest or make them loose it within the first 4-5scenes (That applies mostly to me though but am sure am not alone) and this comedy series had the perfect start-up scene I have seen in a very long time.
The beauty therein was that the start-up scene of the first episode of the first season gave you a crystal indication that indeed the comedy series sprang from the original movie; this was not a separate story, this was the same Jenifa story you had watched before retold in a different way. Starting off with the ADIO character that is basically Jenifa’s ATM machine just gave the series’ storyline more authenticity and originality.
When it came to the messages Funke had claimed to pass to the youth through the character, that was even understating it. In the words of someone who had twitted to their handle (@Jenifasdiary) she said: ‘Every episode had a message to pass across’ and I couldn’t agree any less. I like the unserious yet effective way these messages are passed; this allows people joke about them and we all know that the very facts we joke about are the ones which are always preserved in our heads.
As I watched more, I couldn’t help but admire the quality of picture and even angles from which most of the shot were taking. I loved the eagle eye view cutaways of the city; everything seemed to be working in harmony with perhaps Funke’s idea of what the project was supposed to be. Again, featuring numerous celebrities was another thing that made me respect and want to watch this comedy series the more; Waje’s short display playing the girlfriend of a Warri playboy who wooed Jenifa on facebook was just remarkable, making it safe to say this series highlighted the acting skills some of our celebrities have that we knew very little about.
One of my high points in the first season was when Jenifa paid 15k to buy form to register and be a part of the “facebook people, Instagram family and twitter society” and choosing an igbo accented duper just made everything sit well with me.
The other characters featured in the comedy series especially those at the salon and of course John the genius (Mr Grammarian) are most worthy of compliment; they spice the series and bring much to the table to make it more fun than boring for the audience. Coming up with the character ideas is definitely worth applauding and the individuals who play them are remarkable in their role execution. There is an obvious synergy between all these characters, the story, and the story situations that make almost everything seem right before your eyes.
‘JENIFA’ is indeed a goldmine which will fetch Funke lots of money, more fame and endorsements (I pray). It is not just a funny character but an industrious brand that has much to offer in terms of reaching and touching lives (in the mild and casual yet very effective manner it does)
If I could offer some advice, though this is a comedy series and its natural purpose is to ensure we have a good laugh, I would suggest more suspense be induced in and to the story especially at the end of each episode, I think that would be great. People already have much to look forward to from each episode but increasing the suspense will give them even more to look forward to for certain.
Funke Akindele, without a shred of doubt has created a trademark which employs a lot of amazing popular and upcoming actors. If you are yet to see it, please I suggest you do because this is what family fun entertainment is all about.
Kindly follow me on twitter @Abdulabublog so we can deliberate on this and more. I’d love to know what you think about my opinion of this comedy series. Also kindly REACT to this post by a single click on one of our smileys below to tell us how you feel about the post.