Tomorrow is Today

It all began in August 2009 with District 9, the acclaimed blockbuster by South African director Neill Blomkamp about an alien refugee camp. This was followed closely by Pumzi, a short film by Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu about a post-apocalyptic East Africa. Now the largest movie industry in Africa has joined in on the action with the July 2010 release of the sci-fi movie Kajola by Nigerian director Niyi Akinmolayan.

Kajola is the Yoruba word for commonwealth. In the year 2059, Nigeria becomes a totalitarian state. After a second civil war, the rich relocate to the Island areas of Lagos state and turn it into an ultra modern city. The war torn mainland of lagos state is disconnected and abandoned.

A rebel leader, Allen learns of a plot codenamed Kajola to build cities on the mainland and eliminate the remaining survivors. He leads a rebellion against the govt. and must be stopped by Yetunde, the police chief. Though mortal enemies, both discover that everything they thought they knew were nothing but lies. Its a story of love and lust and it heightens the fact that if we don’t deal with the segregation and negligence issues facing the country today, then our future is quite predictable because TOMORROW IS TODAY.

While certainly not a masterpiece in terms of CGI effects, this movie represents one of the few definitive attempts of an African director to break into the science fiction genre. The movie breaks away from traditional Nigerian movie plots, delivering an imaginative vision of a future Nigeria that is as relevant as it is rife with cyberpunk themes. These three movies may well mark the beginning of an exciting new trend in African cinema which only confirms my belief that Africa is cyberpunk.

Watch the Kajola Trailer:


afrofuturist, sci-fi writer, freelance philosopher

7 thoughts on “Tomorrow is Today

  1. Jonathan, the new website looks great and the news about “Kajola” is exciting. 🙂 I look forward to more news from you on the growth of Afrocyberpunk and SF in cinema from more countries on the African continent. We get so little of this information here in the U.S. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Thanks, Jan. I can only hope that the field does continue to grow so I actually have something to report, but I expect that it will.

  3. Youtube commentary on Kajola trailer was unfairly harsh in my opinion (I wish they would encourage people to make more cyberpunk flicks, not less). Has the movie done well in Nigeria?

    1. I noticed the harsh reactions as well. People tend to be skeptical about anything that deviates wildly from the norm, but hopefully they’ll get used to them as they keep on coming. It’s not all bad though, because I’ve also seen a lot of positive responses to the movie.
      I wish I knew how well the movie did, but the industry has an endemic problem of piracy that makes it difficult to get out any reliable figures. If I do come across anything I’ll keep you posted.

  4. I heard about your blog at this year’s Finncon and decided to take a look. I have to say I’m both pleased and enthusiastic and I’m looking forward to your literary efforts. Keep up the good work!

  5. I love the website layout.OK,incorporating CGI effects in African movies can prove monumental since we lack basic institutions to teach the mastery and skills of such.We have great stories to share with the rest of the world but the unexploited film making potential in Africa must be addressed first.Pumzi was a great cyberpunk shot.

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