By Chinelo Ude
Mostly set in Dallas, Texas, USA, it begins as a mildly self-consciously story about a father trying to teach his kids about the importance of their heritage, the main character is played by Kelechi Eke. The father that is trying to balance life in the western world while trying to bring his kids up as fully Nigerian in a world where all they know is the western culture. Obi (Kelechi Eke) and Adamma (Lee Oglesby) share the same general concern most Africans living abroad share when it comes to raising their children. They want to ensure that their children are brought up with the same core African value as they themselves have been brought up with. The problem with that is that most African parents, which they will come to learn, do not listen to their children but just instruct them and expect them to follow the instructions- no questions asked. This might have worked in Africa but in the western world it does not work.
The producer does a good job of portraying the life of Africans abroad and what they go through that those back home do not see or want to know. The producer also shows immense dexterity by deftly stating the fact without dwelling on it.
Written and directed by Kelechi Eke, it starts off by laying the ground for what to expect from the whole movie. The introduction of the kinsmen and their conversation of how, although some of them are lost in abroad, they should still send aid for the people back home- give you a background of the mindset of most Africans in abroad. Edward (Yaz Ibekwe) is the perfect example of how some Africans lost in abroad think; he is busy claiming all the traditional titles in the world trying to “represent” the motherland while his family is still back home and he is also not willing to help anyone in need back home; he does not have plans of ever bringing his family to the United States nor going back to Nigeria to stay with them. He believes they should all help themselves.
Moving into a different direction, Nnenna (Sarah Asonye), Ulumma (Adanze Eke), Obinna (Daniel Asonye) and Ochieng (Edem Jimbo) illustrate vividly the lives of typical African kids living abroad. The difficulty in trying to balance what parents of such kids expects of them, what they want for themselves, and what the society expects of them. Kelechi proficiently utilizes these characters (children) to open the eyes of African parents in abroad.
Kelechi Eke might just be starting but he has not only set the bar very high for himself but also for any African movie maker in abroad. As he delivers his first written, directed, and produced movie you wonder why he didn’t start this a long time ago and there can be no doubts whatsoever about the award-worthiness of this prodigious production.
His premiere movie Lost In Abroad does not only apply to Nigerians but to all cultural groups Lost In Abroad. He examines the same issues we all go through in our day to day life to try to retain our culture as well as trying to embrace the best the western world has to offer us.
I can’t wait to see more of Kelechi Eke’s work as a director, the best first movie to lay out the background for all works to come.
This is a must see movie for all.
Cruise Movie Ratings: 8/10