Written and Directed by Adim .C. Williams
Story by Mike Enendu
WOMEN IN POWER
Patience Ozokwor – Lois
Liz Benson – Maureen
Olu Jacobs – Collins
Fred Aseroma – Elvis
Mercy Johnson – Julia
Moses Effret – Kelvin
Thelma Nwosu – Sandra
Evelyn Osugo – Agatha
Joe Adeghikwa – Mavis
Ejiro Okurame – Joanne
Gloria Norbert Young – Stella
Themes Explored in the Film
Status and Class
Career Vs Family Life
Nature Vs Nurture
My Rating 90%
Lois is a member of a powerful women’s group called CWF which is led by Maureen. Lois has an aggressive approach with regards to injustices against women and wants to overtake Maureen’s leadership. Maureen, however is tired of the divisions within the group and stands down leaving the job open for Lois.
Soon after Lois’ appointment as head of the CWF, Maureen is appointed Minister of Youth and Women’s Development. On hearing the news Lois is outraged and jealous, desiring a position of such esteem for herself. She finds out that the position for Minister of Internal Affairs is open and begs for it. The chairman considers it and it is soon confirmed that Lois too will be a government minister like Maureen.
Lois starts the first day of work leading with an iron fist. She is way over the top in her actions, threatening staff randomly and insulting them for asking simple questions. We hear the music in the background with the lyrics containing “Iron Lady.” The backing track is very appropriate.
It is not only the workplace that Lois rules with an iron fist, her fearless attitude extends to the way that she behaves in her home.
If you have not watched you may want to stop reading here.
In one scene Julia asks Kelvin (her brother) to cook and he refuses. She claims that the refusal is because he is a man and doesn’t feel it is his duty to cook. Papa intervenes and deems Julia’s request of Calvin, “ridiculous.” Lois the “iron lady” overhears this conversation and is outraged,
“Why shouldn’t he cook? But when Julia cooks, he will be eating.”
The family is being split along gender lines and opinions regarding the role of each gender. In this scene Lois makes a reasonable point but perhaps the message that she is trying to put across is masked by her more extreme actions.
As the Minister of Internal Affairs Lois is entitled to government accommodation. Collins, however is reluctant to move. He feels that it is his role ad the man of the house to provide for his family, and does not like the idea of his wife usurping him. Lois compromises and agrees to stay in the house, but moves the staff from the government home into her present home. Collins is bitter about it, meanwhile Lois exclaims,
“Let me enjoy the benefits of my status!”
At one point some elders from Collin’s village come to offer him a chieftaincy title. He refuses it on the grounds that the institution has become bastardised. On the contrary Lois wants him to accept the title, so that his status befits her own. Her obsession with status is very obvious, and she undermines her husband in front of the elders to accept the title. Collins is not at all happy with her behaviour but in the end is persuaded by Lois to accept it.
In the film the allusion is present that to be a good wife is to cook and to clean even if one works all hours..
At a meeting Lois defies patriarchal tradition by demanding to see the Kola Nut Kalabash broken. It is tradition that the dish is passed around for all MEN to see. She ends up leaving he gathering urging other women to follow her in breaking this part of the tradition that does not favour women. All of the other women stay put, none of them willing to break tradition all complacent in the patriarchy that governs them. Her husband is at the meeting and looks highly embarrassed as the people around him whisper about his wife.
Even Lois’ former supporters turn against her. One exclaims,
“She has too much ambition o!”
Even women will take feminism only to a certain point for fear of ruffling the feathers of men.
The pressure is immense for women to get married and have children. A woman working long hours is considered,
“A self imposed unnecessary burden.”
Mavis finds a wife that quickly becomes pregnant. He refers to her as,
“nice, domestic fertile, and understand my needs.”
Is this the epitome of womanhood?
Lois’ daughter on the other hand remains unmarried despite wanting for marriage. She has been taught by her mother to stand up to men. Her father on the other hand preaches that women should be subservient to men. He warns her not to be like her mother. She listens to her mother’s advice and is continuously being dumped. Collin’s reasoning is that men and women have defined and clear biological roles and for one to usurp the other is to cause friction.
Lois is eventually sacked from her post as minister for Internal Affairs as her attitude is deemed embarrassing to the ministry. In the end her ways cause her family to split as the film ends with Collins getting a government post based in Switzerland. He takes the children with him to remove them from what he deems to be her evil influences. As she begs for forgiveness from him the police come to arrest her.
What is the film trying to say?
Feminism is good if you can bear the consequences ie no husband or children and to be scorned by society?
Feminism is acceptable within reason?
Feminism is not acceptable at all and women have a defined biological role that they should stick to and to try and defy that role can only lead to problems?
What do you think?