Two words to describe the Shanty Town Netflix series: obscene and insane. Before we dig into this review, you should consider grabbing some Clorox. To bleach your eyes off all the unholy things you’ll see while streaming it.
On January 20, 2023, the Shanty Town Netflix series hit the screens. And lots of randy Nigerians sprinted to Netflix to stream it. While those without Netflix subscriptions or the wherewithal to stream the series anxiously bide the time when torrent sites would upload them.
Social media was abuzz with talks of the Shanty Town Netflix series for days. It was immoral, scandalous, and strangely riveting. This was largely because no Nollywood movie has attempted to regularize nudity like Shanty Town. We’ve seen the Nollywood industry’s feeble efforts at depicting violence, but the never-ending state of undress of the characters in Shanty Town, that we haven’t.
What The Nigerian Crime Thriller Series Is About
The Shanty Town Netflix series stars popular Nigerian actors like Chidi Mokeme, Nancy Isime, Shola Shobowale, and Nse Ikpe-Etim. As well as Shaffy Bello, Ini Edo, Zubby Michael, Ali Nuhu, Richard Mofe-Damijo, etc.
The series follows Amanda (Ini Edo) on her quest to get retribution. For the sexual exploitation and ultimate death of her twin sister Inem(also Ini Edo). Inem was serving jail time for pushing drugs at the time of her passing when she reunited with her twin Amanda. Who got shot during an invasion by mobsters at their riverine home in Shangisha Community, leading to their separation.
Amanda decides impersonation is the best route to exert this revenge. She calls Ene(Nse Ikpe-Etim), her sister’s friend, and chaperone at the Zanga(Shanty Town) to pick her up. Without any clue that Ene was just two-faced, deceptive, and envious of Inem’s supposed relationship with Scar. Upon arrival at Shanty Town, she gets an exclusive insight into the horrific things her sister experienced.
As well as what other ladies are subjected to. It is revealed later in the movie that Amanda is an agent. Who was working to uncover the people behind the series of trafficking and murders happening in Lagos. With the help of Shalewa (Nancy Isime), one of the prostitutes at Shanty Town, Amanda and the rest of the girls can regain their freedom.
The Other Characters In Shanty Town Netflix Series
Although Shanty Town was fast-paced and the unnecessarily long drawn-out scenes could have been avoided, some of the other characters made it interesting. Scar(Chidi Mokeme) for instance enacted the role so well we’re certain he has lived it. His ruthlessness was gripping, as he senselessly butchered on a whim. He runs Shanty Town as a mob boss—the women, drugs, guns, executions, you name it.
While Scar’s presence instills fear in everyone with his sly nature and countless jagged scars, the very mention of Chief Fernandez’s name has everyone, including scar himself quaking with fear. Chief is a very powerful and dirty politician who rules Lagos with an iron fist; we also cannot help but notice this uncanny resemblance to a certain politician. Scar reports to Chief Fernandez as his godfather in the series.
No one dares cross Chief Fernandez’s path, not even his son Femi Fernandez(Peter Okoye). Who unknown to his father has developed an attachment for Shalewa after meeting at a bar. Chief Fernandez objectifies and rapes women, peddles drugs, trafficks humans, etc. Yet the sassy and dangerous ‘Her Excellency’ Shaffy Bello was the only person with enough balls to stand up to him.
What Was That Ending?
After kidnapping Scar who was returning from mindlessly slaughtering Jackie(Mercy Eke) despite giving her freedom to quit, Her Excellency forces Scar to join her in overthrowing Chief Fernandez. They kidnap Chief which was a total failure with yet another long drawn-out fighting scene. Chief Fernandez came fortified and all the bullets rained on him failed to penetrate. Though he is later arrested by Amanda and her cohorts and goes to prison for all his crimes.
During the battle(yes we reserve the right) that ensued between Scar and Chief Fernandez’s goons, Scar is badly injured and hobbles back to the Zanga. There, the rest of the girls together with Ene, repeatedly take turns stabbing Scar in exchange for their freedom. Until he dies. The end. We’re left wondering what would happen in the second installment.
What We Think Of Shanty Town Netflix Series
Overall, the series was great, but it lacked depth and originality. If we’re able to look past the G-rated scenes—which we can’t, the movie was a harsh portrayal of blighted neighborhoods in Lagos. In addition to gun violence, there’s also sex trafficking, illicit drug trade, and of course power hungry politicians engaging in tussles by way of organized acts of violence, intimidation, and assassinations.
For all we know, this may or may not be the bitter reality of several Nigerians slumming it up in the underbelly of Lagos ghettos. Although considering this is Nigeria, we’re willing to bet our money on it. We have to commend the talented Chidi Mokeme for his award-worthy role in the movie. Even as it wasn’t properly fleshed out. His ability to switch between Yoruba and Igbo was equally mindblowing.