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JUSTICE IS SERVED By Providence Wright

A BRIEF ANALYTIC REVIEW OF KUNLE AFOLAYAN’S CITATION

Sexual harassment has been a subject of discussion for many. Although in many scenarios has it been overlooked. In recent times, individuals, groups, the media, and the government, etc., have sought to tackle this negative phenomenal. It is in a bid to tackle this problem, essay will seek to expatiate on this subject, using the just-released movie by Kunle Afolayan entitled CITATION as its case study. The subject matter, theme, setting, quotations, and personal opinions will be used to give highlights and produce clarity.

Citation was released initially on the 31st October, 2020. The major character, Moremi, is a post-graduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun state. She is in a very sensitive state as she faces the senate in a battle against her course supervisor, Professor Lucien N’dyare whom she accuses of attempted rape.

In the happenstance of a threat of sexual harassment, Kunle Afolayan, at the beginning of the play preaches that students shouldn’t take matters into their own hands as it may cause irreplaceable damage. Rather, such cases should be reported to the authorities of the school. It can, however, be argued that students usually do not take this path due to the high level of corruption knowing that the lecturer has more influence than the student. One of the big questions viewers must have asked in the course of the movie is ‘Will justice be eventually served?’

The movie is set in Africa: Nigeria, Senegal, and Cape Verde to be precise. Verisimilitude is a prominent device used as we see the use of many languages to communicate; Yoruba, Ibibio, and French. This succors viewers to relate to the typical African society that speaks diverse languages.

Furthermore, the use of flashback is an excellent tool that is used in the action. This device aids comprehension, helping viewers to fit in loopholes. As both sides recount their sides of the story, the actual place, manner, and speech of events are revealed to viewers. Viewers can also easily depict how much of a liar the Professor is.

The theme of love has an adverse effect on the story. We see her boyfriend, Koyejo, advising her to stay away from the Professor as this closeness may give ‘green light’ to him.  While she considered this jealousy and thoughtlessness on his own path, it might have saved her the stress she went through. But then, the story will probably have lost its taste and meaning. Furthermore, it is the little knowledge of taekwondo taught by Koyejo that saved her from getting raped.

More so, another worthy theme of note is friendship. Moremi had a snake in her grass all the while without knowing it. Gloria, due to her selfish interest of wanting to be with the Professor, testified against her. However, Kwesi was one who didn’t compromise his standards but stood till the end as a true friend should.

It can also be argued that Moremi wasn’t careful enough to see into the intentions of the Professor. From the questions regarding her sex life in his office, making an effort to kiss her in Cape Verde and seeking every slight opportunity to be with her was more than sufficient for her to know.

At the end of the hearing, we see the senate serving justice, like a hot plate of Senegal Jollof to the Senegalese Professor, Lucien N’dyare who was guilty as charged. The last straw was the testimonial against him by Vicente Cardosa, an office assistant who had been a victim of this same tragedy. He lost his daughter but wasn’t able to speak up as a result of poverty; a disease gradually and consistently feeding on the actions of Africans.

In retrospect, Moremi is used as a synecdoche to represent all women who have been victims of sex for grades. Her name reveals the innate power and desire to set the captives free just like her historical counterpart; The Great Moremi who helped her tribe win a battle against the Igbos. The name Moremi means Brave Goddess and it was duly depicted in the actions of the protagonist of this play. In her words “I hope my victory serves as a clarion call for change and I hope my victory gives a voice to silent girls or women in all walks of life facing sexual harassment just due to their gender”

To this end, Citation is a lesson to all; a lesson to the one with power and the one without. With this perfectly acted satire, lecturers who still indulge in this act should repent or will soon face the wrath of the law. Female students of this age are now more knowledgeable than ever before and are expected to act wisely. We say no to sex for grades, we say no to sexual harassment.

Providence Wright