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Jide Bisayo in ‘Valid Resident Wife’

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Arranged marriage in exchange for resident or work permit is becoming a booming business around the globe. But it is not always a sweet tale for those involved in it. There are a lot of Nigerian men who have been swindled by fake lovers.

The movie, The Marriage, is a reflection of what Nigerians in the diaspora do to vulnerable white women, the most sought-after ‘visa’ for African men.

The film looks at a desperate young Nigerian student, who, in his efforts to stay in the proverbial land of ‘milk and honey’, contracts a bogus marriage with a lady he believes is a citizen, thinking that the marriage with her will secure him resident permit. Unfortunately, his so-called ‘Valid Resident Wife (VRW)’, an East European national, is a victim of forced immigration having been trafficked to London for prostitution.

In their bid to convince the authorities about the genuineness of their marriage, they live together. But in the course of events, their fake love turns to real love. At this point, their pasts race forward to catch up with them.

According to the director of the movies, Jide Bisayo, “it is basically about Nigerians in diaspora and survival, some of the challenges they face in their marriages abroad just to get green card. It’s very obvious that most Nigerians in abroad don’t have papers. You discover they are abroad and their wife is in Nigeria.

“The film also deals with the face that our Nigerian men tend to get papers by getting married to foreigners. It’s very pitiable and obnoxious to our country. It also comes with a lot of challenges as well. It also looks at the point of submissive nature of the man, which means you must be obedient and loyal to her or else you find yourself back home. Because they don’t want to be deported, they tolerate so many things from their white wives.

“Or some, vulnerability is the name of the game and often the bait needed to hook their prey, and vulnerable white women have become the most sought-after visa for African men,” he said.

For Bisayo, “nothing will stop some of us from getting that Green Card or visa. What’s love when you have the chance to leave Nigeria and reside in Europe or America? In America, some male African-Americans get married to white women because it is a status symbol. For Nigerian men, it is just another way to make it to the Promised Land.”

Bisayo said the movie, which has gone to some film festivals and won accolades, was shot in 2018 and released in 2019.


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