Aina: The Nigerian Story


Aina, a new flick coming from the stable of Olamide Maarore, has been described by film critics as one of the best chart-busters to be released in Nigeria this year. Even though the film did not parade many famous actors, the storyline, plot and other factors that make a good film make it a film to beat.

The story centres on exploitation of young educated girls in Lagos, left with very little options, these girls must make ends meet, even if it means sacrificing their dignities.

The story of Aina, Sanaka and Bisi, three young dynamic, educated ladies who are determined to make a difference. They are best friends. Aina moves back to Lagos to help change the lives of disadvantaged young women, but soon finds herself as a victim of the very thing she is trying so hard to stop. After the mandatory national service, each of the girls embarks on what is to be their future.

Aina joins a small Bank in Lagos making just enough to get by. An opportunity opens up at the prestigious Marketing Department at her Bank. Realizing how much she can earn, she joins the department. Bisi did some amateur modeling in college and now wants to pursue it professionally – but she finds out that being a Model in Lagos is more devious than she expected. Sanaka is a girl determined to live a life of luxury. Growing up poor in her village, she saw first-hand the hardship her mother and many of the women go through. She chooses a different course to follow. Aina’s main antagonist is Olugele. Both ladies want to make an impression in their department, both for two different reasons – using completely opposite methods. Olugele is determined, she will do whatever it takes to win, to her, everything is a game, and in every game, there is a winner. SADE is the head of the department – a woman who knows well what these girls go through on a daily basis. She has been there, and now she wants to forget the past and move forward.

Aina loves her new job, she does everything right, and having a man who absolutely adores her at home, makes life just the way she had imagines it was going to be. But life has a funny way of altering plans. As a Banker, her primary job is to bring as much money to the Bank as possible. She is expected to attend parties, functions, and events, entertain special clients, specifically to seek out rich men. Her livelihood and job security depends on it. Adding to that, Aina’s mother suddenly falls ill and is in need of a very expensive medical operation. Aina’s boyfriend is BAKO, a well-educated Nigerian who sees himself more as an outsider because he doesn’t like anything about Nigeria. Bako writes a book on the issues facing Nigeria, and gives speeches in Lagos.

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Due to the critical nature of the book, it’s not well received by Nigerians. Through it all, Bako’s affection for Aina never misses a beat.

Sanaka has seen too many young girls like herself in Lagos struggling to survive, unable to cope with the hardship. She has decided instead of ending up like the rest of the girls, she will only date older, rich foreign men (ARISTOS) who would give her the life of luxury she had always wanted. Of course, such a life requires sacrifices. Her life is perfect on the outside, she takes care of her parents and her little sister, but when Sanaka meets and falls in love with a poor young boy working at a bar, her life begins to crumble.

Will she give up everything to love this boy, with whom a life would most certainly be full of hardship, or will she tell love to take a hike. Sanaka’s story takes us into the perverted lives of Aristo-Chicks (Under 25 Girls who only date rich, older, Foreigners).

According to the producer, Olamide, “The events are based on facts, and some dialogue comes from actual words of the women we interviewed before starting to write the script. This film is designed to show the incredible sacrifices these young women make every day, and their courage to survive. This film is not meant to show these girls as victims, but selfless people who must give themselves to help others. It is a story of courage, friendship, and love. It is also to expose the culture of exploitation in Nigeria.”

—Bayo Adetu

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