I posted this review on Facebook last week but somehow forgot to paste it here. But here goes nothing.
I had avoided giving a review of this Netflix show earlier to give people more time to watch around its time of premiere, but yoh, I got lots to say! There are spoilers coming so if you still haven’t watched the show, run! This is gonna be looong so buckle up mates!
Where do I start???
Annie Macaulay Idibia – aka 2baba’s WIFE!
My namesake, dearest Annie. At first, when I saw her, I wondered why they cast her in the first place. I’ve seen her in a number of Nigerian movies but none of her characters ever stood out to me or left a lasting impression. Or perhaps, to my discredit, I have after all missed watching some of her notable shows? Maybe. Nevertheless, apart from her face being ‘familiar’, I had nothing else to fan about. I learned that she is 2Baba’s wife on this show! Imagine that. she said she doesn’t want to be known just as 2Baba’s wife and yet throughout the show, it was the fact that she is his wife that prevailed over everything she did or said. In fact, I suspect she was cast just for that!
Of course, I discovered later on in the show other reasons why she could have been cast: Contrast. Drama. She is so different from the other women on the show and she is super judgmental to be hanging with such a ‘liberal’ crowd. LOL. The other women adorn themselves in the most expensive weaves on the market yet she prefers her ‘natural’, albeit dyed semi-bald hairdo. She exudes typical African housewife vibes except for the fact she wears minis like her spinal cord depended on it! In fact, her outfits are so skimpy that you could catch a glimpse of her cervix if she bent down in front of you.
On to why I actually found her casting valid. She is the balance, the other side of fame and fortune, and also the drama trigger. Imagine the show without her, we would just be watching and listening to pumped-up egotistical arseholes fighting over who’s king or queen of the jungle. So predictable. With all her insecurities and foolishness, she is a necessary evil, just like the rest of the cast. Well, except for Khanyi’s sugar baby. Heaven knows why he features on the show, at all. Maybe we will find out later?
Khanyi Mbau – The Actual Queen of the show
Zari will probably argue against this to hell and back but whether we like it or not, Khanyi is the centerpiece. Khanyi reminds me of me in certain aspects; confident, bold, assertive, audacious, extremely opinionated, and…. She is also socially aware (has high levels of social intelligence), she is manipulative, maybe somewhat insecure about certain issues I don’t wish to get into for this review but she hides her insecurities well. Khanyi likes her men loaded, loves the good life, has a ‘unique’ and controversial parenting style that almost gave Annie a mini-stroke. So on and so forth. In short, she’s a WHOLE vibe! I love her audacity only because I can relate to it but I know how that can get to people, hence the draaama! For her sake, I hope there’s more to her current squeeze than what the show has shown us because – ayayai!
I was most impressed by Khanyi’s level of emotional or social intelligence which allows her to study people and use information about them to either her advantage or their doom. And I think this is what differentiates her from her social ‘rival’ Zari. Whereas Zari’s presence on the show brings the much-needed drama, there’s very little to learn from her yet so much to admire. Khanyi on the other hand, I feel, brings a certain level of value that’s beyond the glamour and aesthetics. The waves she makes aren’t fleeting. They create long-lasting valuable impact and force you to have the much-needed conversations that many would shy away from. I will admit that it takes a certain level of intelligence to recognize this. But it’s there. Pay attention and you’ll learn something. Wink.
Zari Hassan – aka The Boss Lady – aka Diamond’s Baby Mama
The villain. LOL. I have a lot to say about Zari because she is the one character that had many ‘brushes’ with many of the cast. I loved her the first few moments around the time she was introduced. I thought, “wow, she’s gorgeous!” She exuded confidence, commanded the room when she stepped in. She’s the type that shows you she knows her worth so she doesn’t need to do much. Her appearance and attitude do all the talking for her. I loved how she silenced all the women on set. You could tell they were all intimidated. Zari is the sort of friend you don’t want to leave alone in a room with your man because you know the fool is gonna turn hard no matter how many Bible verses he’s memorized!
Zari is the ‘IT’ woman and almost makes you forgive her for calling herself ‘Bosslady’. I feel that Zari’s greatest strengths are also her greatest weakness! Zari’s problem is that she knows she is gorgeous, sexy, rich, famous, intimidating, confident, and she’s bagged for herself some pretty big names and loaded men. She knows exactly what her worth is and she wants it known and felt willy-nilly! She gets a high off of it. She loves it when other women ‘hate’ her because it shows just how powerful she is. She loves it so much that she doesn’t try much to be present in the moment and participate in an activity to get the actual value from it. The issue is always: do I have everyone’s attention? Yes? Good. Period. This is why I understood Khanyi’s argument when she said Zari treats her friends like they are her fans. Of course, I also thought Khanyi finds Zari’s presence overpowering, somewhat intimidating, and she admitted this to both Zari herself and to the audience, albeit implicitly rather than explicitly. And that to me is a boss move.
Zari on the other hand would rather die than be outshined by anyone in a room. Case in point: she snatched Annie’s shining moment with her husband from right under her feet when she led 2Baba away in the presence of a very insecure Annie for a private confabulation. The topic: Annie is insecure about us knowing each other. LOL. To the unintelligent folk, that conversation was innocent and Zari shouldn’t be blamed for Annie’s insecurities. However, I felt that Zari was deliberately planting a seed of discord in a marriage that’s barely holding itself together by the supernatural strings of the god that Annie worships. She knew how deep the cracks in that marriage are and she knew her effect on men and she needed to catch 2Baba in a moment of weakness and get him to outrightly admit he too, like every other man on planet earth, finds her absolutely irresistible.
The bottom line is, Zari needed to have EVERY man present there pining for her and only her, to hell with their marital status. She did not need to have a tete-a-tete with Annie’s husband, especially to tell him that ‘your wife is insecure about me’. That was a desperate move for attention from such a seemingly powerful woman. Her reaction when confronted by Annie only solidified my thoughts about her character:
I am a billionaire! I don’t need to secure a man!Zari.
This part made me Laugh Out Loud! It was the second time in the show I felt Zari let her brand down. The first time of course was her having that chat with 2baba. Or anybody’s issue. So what if she’s a billionaire? LOL. Her statement makes it seem as if money (wealth) exempts one from needing companionship. Unless of course, you think men are only good for their money, then, yeah, as you were. But, if she meant, “I’m not the kind who needs to put up with a man’s foolishness for security,” then yaay madam boss-lady! Contrarily, I don’t think Annie has stayed with her husband for his ‘money’, pe say. I think she actually genuinely loves him, albeit foolishly. Being a billionaire does not exempt one from loving someone foolishly. I mean, if she really was that different from Annie, she would have seen Diamond coming from a mile away to disappoint her. He has ‘heartbreaker’ written all over him and yet she thought her ‘Ugandan Sauce’ was enough to tame him. Just because she is his ‘bubblegum’ and not ‘grape’ does not make her any different from other women: her value should not be attached to how well-behaved…or not…her man is. However, she will be judged by how she responds to his behavior, hence the bone of contention between the 2 women.
The 2 women (Annie and Zari) are a reflection of each other, just as Khanyi implied at one point in the show. They’ve both suffered at the hands of men they’ve loved and devoted themselves to. What separates them is how they responded to their situations. In Zari’s eyes, Annie is weak. In Annie’s eyes, Zari is everything she could never be (or maybe secretly wishes she could be), whether that’s a good or bad thing, only she knows. It is easy to judge a situation from the outside, and I am tempted to also see Annie as weak for entertaining a man such as her husband for far too long because I think she deserves far much better. But, what if her idea of what’s most valuable means holding on to her family at whatever cost (even if that cost is herself, her value as a human/woman, her pride)? Should we fault her for it just because she stands for something different from us? You decide.
For me, Zari’s ego kept me from liking her character despite recognizing her many strengths. Her ego or hubris is her character flaw, her Achilles heel. Appeal to her ego and you can have your way with her (at least for a while), cue – Andile/Diamond. LOL. She is sooo stuck-up that she comes off as if she does not care for manners, human decency, friendship, etc. as long as she gets what she wants at the end of the day. I do however admire the energy she exudes that makes people slaves to her glory, especially her exes who appear not to be quite over her. That chic must be doing something right! But, men being men…like , yoh, no matter how spicy the sauce drip is, it won’t keep them loyal if they were born to be whores.
Nadia Nakai – aka a Celebrity I know nothing about!
I heard she’s a rapper and is creating waves on the socials with her body and style. There was nothing about her I found impressive. To me, she came off more like one of the foil characters of the show. I’m sure her fans and the people who know her think she’s a remarkable person. Same with the other guy, Jeremiah Ogbodo (Swanky Jerry) – he’s clearly super talented and rich, but just not my cup of tea, at least for now. I do admire his friendship with Annie, but only to some extent. I hated him when he candidly announced to everyone that Annie googles her husband to check what he’s up to. I thought that was an ass move, a betrayal to the trust that should exist only between them. But then again, it’s a ‘reality show’. I’m looking forward to discovering more about these guys in the upcoming seasons.
Andile Ncube – aka The Smooth Operator
I had no idea who Andile was before this show. I probably still don’t even after watching the show. LOL. However, unlike Nadia, Andile left an impression on me. For starters, I think he is good-looking. Wink. He sounds smart and I have a weakness for smart men. Another wink. I also love Andile’s tone of voice. It’s the kind that makes the g-spot automatically vibrate at the rhythm of his voice. I think if he were to put his mind to it, he could make a commercial for dog food sound sensual. Even when he is saying stupid things, he sounds intelligent!
Andile’s character on the show proved to be very dynamic, but not so much in a nice way?? At least not all the time. There was no guessing what he would say, do, or react in certain situations. One moment he is the smart logical guy in the room and the next he is romancing up his pal’s ex and baby mama! One moment he is chastising his pal for inviting his baby mama to the same event where his current point of interest is, and the next moment, he has gathered ALL of his baby mamas at the same event where the woman he is ‘pursuing’ is. Andile comes off like he would make the best lover anyone could ever ask for. But he also appears to have a wandering eye, like he collects women or hearts. Of course, I still don’t know him outside the show and I’m not (yet) curious enough to want to specifically Google him. But I’m certainly intrigued by his antics on the show. He deserves his spot on the cast!
Diamond Platinumz – aka Zari’s baby daddy – aka Self-Proclaimed Playa
I’m a huge fan of the artist that he is. Until the show, I had no idea about what sort of human he was outside his music but I got the vibes he was on the loose. Untamed. I was right. I also think he isn’t much of a looker but his talent and fame sort of make up for it. A good woman can land on this fool’s balls and he won’t feel a sting! He just isn’t ready for that kind of commitment. What I respected about him though is this: he knows himself very well, especially his weaknesses. He doesn’t pretend to be anything else and any woman who gets with him is fully aware of this. It is merely their infatuation…or their ego – as in Zari’s case that makes them believe they’re capable of taming him. Cue heartbreak.
Naked and His Girlfriend
I honestly do not have much to say about these 2, at least not just yet. I do however sympathize with one particular dating ‘flaw’ of Naked. I cannot stand the idea of seeing someone I love 24/7! I like to miss people, to love them from afar on certain days, and love them closely on certain days. I. just. love. my. space. Peridot. Poor Naked. LOL
Even as I anxiously wait for Season 2, I cannot help but wonder what their casting criteria are. I was expecting to see some other notable African names from around Africa, including my home country, Zambia. Let’s hope the upcoming seasons deliver some surprises because so far, I’m sold!
Coming Next: Bridgerton Season 2 Review!!! Oy. Steamy. Ladies, don’t forget your panty-liners because Anthony isn’t here to play this season! LOL.