Citation is a bold movie that shines the spotlight on sexual assault on African campuses.
Lecturers soliciting for sex in exchange for grades is a common occurrence in many African universities. However, due to threats and victimisation from the powers that be and fearing ostracisation from the university community, students who are victims of such incidents tend to keep mute after experiencing such episodes.
Coming from the backdrop of Kiki Mordi’s Sex for Grades BBC documentary that revealed how lecturers from Nigeria and Ghana seek sex in exchange for grades and admissions, Citation explores this social malaise.
The movie revolves around Moremi played by Temi Otedola, a brilliant and smart postgraduate student of International Relations, and American Haitian actor, Jimmy Jean Louis who plays the role of Professor N’daye, a lecturer of international pedigree. The professor manipulates Moremi in order to get close to her for the sole purpose of sexually harassing her.
His attempt at having his way with her was not successful. Subsequently, news about it spreads through the campus and leads to the institution of a panel by the university’s governing council to look into the issue. Although the professor tries to use his influence and status to manipulate the proceedings of the panel, the truth finally prevails, with the professor facing dire consequences for his actions.
The movie has a typical happy ending as justice is served. However, this is not the reality in many instances in Africa. Most times, cases like this get dragged for years, frustrating the effort of the victim to seek justice. Almost always, the victim’s studentship is put on hold, which further discourages and undermines efforts at getting justice.
Victims question why they came out in the first place. These delay tactics ease the pressure on the perpetrators of this terrible vice within the walls of our tertiary institutes. It is no doubt that in reality, university establishments tend to shield lecturers from facing the consequences of their actions. This is where Citation deviates from our ugly reality.
Citation’s multicultural cast scores a great point in diversity, which must be commended. From American Haitian actor, Jimmy Jean Loius, to First Bank of Nigeria’s Chairwoman, Ibukun Awosika, together with Saqid Daba, Temi Otedola, Gabriel Afolayan, Ini Edo, Seun Kuti and Ghanian actor, Adjetey Anang, the movie gets a cosmopolitan outlook.
The characters did not only play their roles well, but they also fit perfectly in the assigned roles. The classroom scenes lace the movie with a dash of intellectualism. It provides an opportunity for attentive movie watchers to learn one or two things about international politics. Those scenes highlight the professionalism of the actors and the amount of research that went into making those class scenes real.
Citation further reveals the beauty of the African society. From the architectural elegance of Obafemi Awolowo University, Africa’s most beautiful campus and the primary setting of the movie, to the lush, beautiful landscapes and beaches of Senegal and Cape Verde. It gives the movie a Pan-West African outlook. The movie is also an avenue to appreciate the African songs used as scores in the movie.
Citation is a bold movie that successfully beams its light on social issues spoken about in hushed tones in our society. It’s a movie worth watching with family and friends. In addition, the lessons are timely and should not be ignored.