Introducing temporary characters has been a hallmark of Hustle, the Africa Magic comedy which is now in its third season. Last week’s episode marked the television debut of Big Brother Naija alum Tobi Bakre whose performance, frankly, was quite underwhelming. He may not appear on the show again, considering the fact that he wasn’t on last night’s episode.
Titled Son of Grace, new cast member Kunle Wire (Folarin Adeyemi) has been granted a room in Mama Sekinat’s rented house and he’s quite flashy – car, money and a woman who occasionally visits him. Introduced into the tumultuous lives of Ochuko and Acid, the friends find Kunle’s wealth suspicious. The episode, in fact, is reminiscent of Small Girl Big God, the theme of episode four revolving around the life of Crystal. While watching the new episode, part of me was convinced that Kunle is an internet fraudster a.k.a. Yahoo Yahoo. And, in comparison to Small Girl Big God, the writers of the show wanted Kunle to be the ostensible male equivalent to Crystal.
Acid is particularly envious of Kunle’s smooth way with women, opining and lamenting that he ‘stole’ his girl. Kunle is wealthy and resides in the flat next to Ochuko and Acid, and both decide that they need to get wealthy, just to be able to attract women. And pay bills. Essentially, they want to live the good life. In a scene where Kunle is walking into the compound, he’s bullied by Acid and Ochuko but Mama Sekinat appears and defends him.
“The only thing you know is to gamble. No job. No car,” she says harshly to Acid. Acid, subsequently, is unable to pay his electricity bills when Mama Sekinat barges into the room to ask for it. The humiliation from wealth-shaming is what drives Acid and Ochuko to be humble, in the context of asking Kunle what he does for a living. “Na God o,” Kunle says to them, half-smiling as he washes his car. Acid and Ochuko aren’t entirely convinced. The next scene shows them in a dim room talking to a white garment-wearing man sitting in front of a laptop. Think of it as a modern update of the native doctor. They want to be rich, they tell the man, and Kunle sent them.
The entire scene is a commentary on young people looking for short, painless routes to success and wealth. For them to be rich, Acid and Ochuko would have to trade their destiny, which they do willingly. The terminal scenes show them stealing business contacts off Kunle’s laptop, in a purpose that is shrouded in mystery. Next week’s episode will unveil the reason for the theft, and there’s surely bound to be trouble.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies, anime and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.