5 People “Your Excellency” Film Shades
In the age of ‘new Nollywood’ that is working towards churning out quality content to a salivating audience, EbonyLife and Funke Akindele’s collaborative film, Your Excellency is a welcomed entrant into the cinematic market.
Your Excellency tells the story of a bumbling, billionaire businessman and failed presidential candidate, who becomes a credible contender when his dance moves and gaffes ignite social media.
The Funke Akindele-Bello debut-directorial film is a satirical comedy about how politics and social media are shaping the Nigerian society in equal measure.
With subtle jabs and shades, this film shakes several tables and we have broken it down for you! Here are those that Your Excellency takes a swipe at.
If you are not too familiar with the political scene in Nigeria, you may not have heard of the name Ademola Adeleke. But it is more likely to have heard of the “Dancing Senator”. Senator Adeleke is nicknamed the “Dancing Senator” because of his dancing skills and this is reflected in Your Excellency. The character of Lekan Ajadi played by Akin Lewis is that of the billionaire businessman who is loved by the electorate because of his famed “Ajadi Dance”. His dance moves at political rallies and campaigns endear him to many just like Senator Adeleke, who almost become the governor of Osun State. The buzz around the Ajadi dance goes on to spark a dance challenge on social media and is an integral part of his campaign and identity.
In 2017, the former Governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha established a Ministry of Happiness and Purpose. There is a direct reference to this during the presidential debate in Your Excellency. Ajadi makes known his plan to establish a Ministry of Happiness as part of his administration’s agenda. Like Okorocha, Ajadi aims to solve some of the problems saddling the country by first alleviating unhappiness.
The Orange President or Twitter President are some of the nicknames that the President of the United States, Donald Trump has been called. Obsessed with Trump, Ajadi mimics the American president’s famous pout but at the end of the film, when Ajadi emerges the president-elect, he snubs Trump’s call saying he wanted to speak to Barack Obama first. Not only that, Ajadi’s ride-or-die, wife, Kemi Ajadi, played by Funke Akindele-Bello shades Trump when she tells her husband that unlike Trump, he has a wife that loves him. There have been rumours that Trump’s wife, Melanie Trump plans to divorce her husband after his administration because their marriage is a loveless one.
Fake news is on the rise on the daily on social media and more often than not, a blogger is behind it. Your Excellency tackles the issue of fake news and how it spreads quickly on social media. On a number of occasions, the character of Michael Idehen played by Deyemi Okanlawon is linked to women he is seen with publicly with dating stories emanating from misleading photos. The focus of the people moves from his political ambition to his love life which adequately portrays how social media users focus on skew issues and topics in ways that do not reflect realities.
Fake Slay Queens
If you have heard of the phrase “fake it till you make it”, then you need only have a look at Your Excellency. The film casts light on social media slay queens who have fabulous and enviable lifestyles on the gram but in reality, are struggling to make ends meet. Toni Tones plays the character of a famous blogger/celebrity who is living a fake life. First, we see her bribe an airport official to take photos in a stationary private to give off the misleading impression she was travelling in the jet. Another time, we see her taking soaked garri right before she turns on her camera for a vlog post only to say on camera that she just finished eating salad. What about the time her regular supplier of second-hand clothes visited her with bags of used clothes?