Ijogbon Review: Watch It Or Skip It?

If I had a diamond every time I heard “Where are my diamonds?”

  • written by Joy Onu
  • 5 min read
  • 14 Oct, 2023

Ijogbon on Netflix is exactly what you’d expect an African coming-of-age story to be like, and then some more. The Netflix movie, directed by Kunle Afolayan has all the sauce and ingredients that make for great storytelling. 

From the very first scene, you can tell that the entire movie is going to be a wild ride, everything from the music, to the cinematography comes together beautifully to tell the story of four Nigerian teenagers that happen to stumble on a “man purse” with diamonds in it. At first, you’ll fall in love with the bubbliness and naivety radiating off Jamiu, Oby, Ranti and Prince. Soon enough, after they decide to keep the diamonds and sell some of it, things start to get really ugly.

If you’re a sucker for African folklore, or as we popularly know it as, tales by moonlight. This film brilliantly executes the use of folklore, it intricately weaves together an old tale of buried treasure that tore brothers apart in the same remote village in Oyo that these four teenagers call their home. You would think a tale like that would be a lesson, but it’s quite the opposite as history begins to repeat itself.

This movie will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions, one minute you’re happy that the children happen to stumble on some fortune that they could call theirs, the next minute you’re worried for their lives. The storytelling in this movie exceeds the bar on countless occasions, you can tell that a lot of thought was put into connecting all the dots in order for the story to make sense, and then there’s a little bit of a love triangle going on between Jamiu, Oby and Ranti that will leave you wishing the explored that storyline a bit more for the sake of love-triangle lovers like us.

Ijogbon Netflix Movie
It’s also noteworthy how they found a way to include the different tribes and religions that could be a representation of the Nigeria we live in today. The story is also subtly reflective of the political and societal issues we have in our country. All the characters in the movie, makes the story go round in more ways than one, there are no pointless characters or filler roles that will have you questioning why a character even exists.

There’s something almost poetic about how the story begins, and the way it ends. It goes full circle to tell you the moral lesson you should take from it. Ijogbon translates to Chaos in English, and for every second and every scene of the movie, you get just that. Without giving any spoilers, as the four teens go on a shopping spree after selling the diamonds to an illegal car smuggler called Chief, you can already tell that there’s fire brewing on the mountains. 

Jamiu has a half-baked plan to japa to Canada, and finding the diamonds couldn’t have come at a better time, soon enough they realize that finders-keepers is not a thing, and the real owners of the diamonds do not play around. These diamonds cause a lot of trouble for the teenagers, and by the end of the movie, they’ll find out whether or not it was worth all the trouble.

Netflix's Ijogbon
There’s a lot to take away from this story, it’s a reminder that chasing unrealistic wealth can eventually lead to a lot of chaos, by the climax of the movie, things will take quite an unexpected turn that will have you laughing your teeth off, but by the very end, things will also get a bit emotional. The star-studded cast is worthy of note, from Ruby Akubueze, to Fawaz Aina, Kayode Ojuolape, Ebiesuwa Oluwaseyi, Yemi Sodimu, and so many others. They even have Dorathy Bachor playing a small comical role as the Chief’s girlfriend, Bisi.

Ijogbon is the kind of movie that will have you rooting for the underdogs, and in this case, it's the kids. It is a movie that is filled with moral and life lessons, this is what makes it such a good watch. While it takes on a serious role of interpreting a folktale about how the journey to wealth can lead to greed and turmoil among brothers, it also has a way of creating undertones of comedy along the way.

The movie ends with a couple stones left unturned, the Chinese man for instance is reflective of how foreigners can get away with literally anything in Nigeria’s political landscape. He seemed all too invested in the legend of buried treasure in the village, but by the end of the movie you start to wonder what his motive really was.

All in all, Ijogbon is a must see for everyone, and we highly recommend you watch it! 

Watch the Ijogbon Official trailer here:

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