Released in March 2019, Nimbe is a Nollywood drama that stars Chimezie Imo as the titular character. Tope Alake directed this box office success. Production was by Folarin Laosun, with screenplay by Ronke Gbede and Yakubu Moshood Olawale.
An emotionally abusive father bullies Nimbe, a gentle teenage boy. Nimbe finds solace in his education and art until he meets an older teenage boy who introduces him to the world of drugs and crime. Unfortunately, he finds kindness and acceptance here, making it all the harder to leave.
Nimbe: A touching story
There aren’t a lot of things wrong with Nimbe. The movie boasts cool shots over great locations, with good lighting and music that fit the scenes. It is a touching story that is so close to perfect. Nimbe is less about drug abuse and more about the vulnerability of children and their need for a healthy home.
Nimbe’s life collides with AK’s (Kelechi Udegbe), a drug lord. The movie gave AK considerable screen time. The great thing about AK’s storyline is how it shows that criminals are human beings who can love so that we know how easy it is to fall under their spell, especially if you are a vulnerable child.
All the parts of the story come together to push Nimbe over the edge, from his father’s abuse to his gain and subsequent loss of a friend, and the demise of the girl he loves.
This poses a problem because the ending is an abrupt spectacle. One gets the feeling that the movie got tired and decided to just teach a lesson, instead of telling a story. The climax is weak. Everything seems rushed. There was no chance to save Nimbe from corruption, mostly because stories like this prefer to give fallen characters the worst consequences to pass on their message. The Nollywood cliché of unsatisfactory endings seemed unavoidable.
You can’t bring a story to life without good actors. The cast of Nimbe did a fantastic job. The main actor was the star in every way. Chimezie Imo gave us the gift of Nimbe, a vulnerable, three-dimensional character who is broken down by the world. He held our hearts throughout, bad ending or not.
And of course, we cannot ignore the dynamic performances of Toyin Abraham and Odunlade Adekola as Nimbe’s parents. Nimbe’s mother is loving but can’t do enough, and Nimbe’s father is the abuser that we love to hate. Molawa Davis was likeable and sympathetic as Ralph, and Dotun Abiola as Peju pulled at our heartstrings until the end. Kelechi Udegbe was great as the creepy drug-dealing wolf in sheep’s clothing, AK. Broda Shaggi, even with the minor role as Ginja, was the comedic relief we needed.
Nimbe did a commendable job bringing the connection between child neglect and crime to light. We hope that people focus more on the lesson of better parenting, instead of demonizing drug users and young criminals.
Images © Nimbe – The Movie. Watch on Netflix