By Isabella Akinseye
‘Hakkunde’ follows the story of Akande (Kunle Idowu), a jobless Animal Science graduate from a Nigerian university. He spends his time looking for work, teaching part time and carrying out domestic chores for his overbearing elder sister, Yewande (Toyin Abraham). After getting sacked from his home lesson gig and dumped by his long suffering girlfriend, he gets desperate.
He steals his sister’s money and accompanies motorcycle rider Ibrahim (Ibrahim Daddy) to Kaduna in hope of receiving N150,000 cash grant for cattle farming. While waiting for the free money, he begins to teach with the assistance of Aisha (Rahama Sadau) at the community school. The government scheme is cancelled and Akande or Hakkunde, as he is now fondly called, is forced to choose between sticking out in his new home or returning home to shame in Lagos.
Acting. Kunle Idowu reprises aspects of his comical character, Frank Donga from the hit Ndani Production, ‘The Interview.’ He delivers his lines with a vulnerability that embodies the average young Nigerian jobseeker. His chemistry with Rahama Sadua works very well on screen despite their cultural differences. The supporting cast made up of Northern acts such as Ibrahim Daddy, Maryam Booth, Aminu Isa Bello and Ali Nuhu all handle their roles competently.
Casting. Kunle Idowu’s Hakkunde is an extension of his popularity with screen persona, Frank Donga with more bite. Screen veterans Toyin Abraham and Ali Nuhu lend their star power to Asurf’s debut production without stealing the shine from the newer and less established faces. The casting of the late Bukky Ajayi as Hakkunde’s mother is sure to tug at the heart strings of Nollywood lovers.
Locations. We love how the topography of Kaduna comes alive under Asurf’s lens. Aerial shots of popular landmark, Kajuru castle and the surrounding topography showcases the beauty of Northern Nigeria which stands in stark contrast with the bleak pictures fed into the media regularly. We also get a slice of rural and urban life in Northern Nigeria. Lagos too, where the film starts and ends, is not left out. The hustle and bustle of the city is captured on its busy streets.
Comedy. Thumbs up to Toyin Abraham and Kunle Idowu. Their sibling rivalry packed with punch lines is bound to crack you up. There are also funny scenes of Hakkunde as a JJC in Kaduna. The comic relief provides a balance for the weighty themes handled in the drama.
Drama. There are serious themes running through the movie; unemployment, education, agriculture, women’s rights, culture clash, sickle cell anaemia, drug abuse and poverty. And even though the movie is predictable, the exploration of these diverse issues lends itself to dramatic tension on screen.
Dialogue. While it worked in some parts especially for the humour and satire, at other times, it got in the way of the action. Less talking and more showing would have made the movie less preachy. The use of dialogue, especially towards the end, became heavy handed as evidenced in the final scene which the movie could have easily done without.
Product placement. While efforts were made at de-branding bottles of cola and water, the can of Peak milk was very conspicuous, especially with camera returning to it again. If all the products still had their labels, perhaps it would not have been this obvious.
Subtitling. A considerable amount of the dialogue is in Hausa and not everything is translated into English making it sometimes hard to follow. Also, the lazy proofreading of the subtitles stands in contrast to the solid work put in by the team.