By Mike Daemon
The trending new Nigerian drama TV series “SHE Must Be Obeyed”, produced by Nollywood actress Funke Akindele, shines a spotlight on male femininity.
It provides a poignant testament to the need to dismantle entrenched negative gender stereotypes, while fostering inclusivity.and increasing the visibility of human diversity.
For years, effeminate African Black men have grappled with societal marginalization, enduring shame and relentless judgment for being their authentic selves. However, luminaries like Funke Akindele are heralding a paradigm shift, asserting unequivocally that fem-men have an undeniable right to occupy the stage of life, unapologetically.
The newly released five-part series, now available for streaming on Amazon Prime, features a stellar ensemble cast, including Funke Akindele, Nancy Isime, Veeiye, Waje, Shaffy Bello, Chiwetalu Agu, Akah Nnani, Lateef Adedimeji, Rachael Okonkwo, IK Ogbonna, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Adunni Ade, and Patience Ozokwor.
The series’s narrative revolves around three accomplished music stars: SHE, Tito, and X-cite, portrayed by Funke Akindele, Veeiye, and Waje, respectively. SHE, played by Funke Akindele, embodies a jealous and tenacious star who employs every conceivable tactic to maintain her supremacy.
Unsurprisingly, Funke Akindele delivers an impeccable performance but, intriguingly, it is Akah Nnani who emerges as a captivating focal point, infusing the storyline with a dose of sassiness and compelling drama. Nnani breathes life into the character of Sisquo, an overtly effeminate young man hailing from the marginalized corners of society, demonstrating an unwavering determination to transcend the shackles of poverty.
Nnani’s portrayal is exceptional as he seamlessly embodies the nuances of his character. Funke Akindele, as director and executive producer, deserves accolades for ensuring Nnani’s character maintains its authenticity throughout the film. She also affords the audience a glimpse into the multifaceted nature of his struggles and humanity.
It may be argued that the inclusion of an ostensibly feminine queer character is driven by a quest for international acclaim. But regardless of any alternate perspectives, it remains an indisputable truth that one’s physical representation should never serve as the basis for exclusion or alienation.