The press rollout for Kemi Adetiba’s upcoming movie King of Boys has been reliant on the element of suspense. Take, for example, the film’s official teaser, which is as opaque and inscrutable as staring at a blank canvass. Kemi Adetiba herself has been knowingly tight-lipped about her sophomore project; her Instagram is dotted with promotional materials and yet remains uncrackable for plot details.
A week ago, the director announced the launch of the film’s website, meaning our curiosity about the plot would be satisfied. Before now, I had imagined the story would run along the lines of a central male character, maybe influential and wealthy, with a dark, unspeakable secret. With the now-revealed plot, I realise that I’m not too far off the mark. But the surprising aspect is the case of gender, and how Adetiba is (maybe?) trying to create a canon from subverting the film and TV institution with a reversal on gender prescriptors.
King Women, her unapologetic female-centric web talk show, had such treatment. I’m going to take a guess here and say that the core character in King of Boys is Alhaja Eniola Salami, played by Sola Sobowale. We have already seen Sobowale in the teaser, staring creepily at us. Per the synopsis, Alhaja Eniola Salami is a businesswoman and philanthropist, with a checkered past and promising political future. She’s a pillar of society – loved by many, feared by most, and truly known by a selected few.
As her political ambitions see her outgrowing the underworld connections responsible for her considerable wealth, she’s drawn into a power struggle that threatens everything she holds dear. To come out of this on top, she will need every ounce of the cunning, ruthlessness, and strategy that took her to the top, as well as the loyalty of those closest to her. But who can she really trust?
With all these details, the movie feels like some bourgeois political thriller where Sobowale’s Salami eliminates her enemies and paints her lips with their blood. Furthermore, King of Boys is seemingly invoking the character portrayal of Sobowale’s “Toyin Tomato” from the first volume of Wale Adenuga’s popular soap Super Story. According to the film’s website, we can expect King of Boys to be released late 2018, but a trailer released before then should still keep us anticipating.