Away from traditional movies set in major tribes of Nigeria, and the recent and nearly predominant inclusion of Benin, Emem Isong takes her movie, Ayamma, to a small village in Ibibio. The movie explores the life of a King who has two sons. He dies of a mysterious illness, and while his heir is grieving, he makes a decree that there must be no sound of music. Then his heir runs mad, and only the sound of music can save him, except, the music has to come from the right person.
Ihuoma attempts to save him, after a fortuitous meeting. She is beheaded by his wife who colludes with Daraima’s brother, Ekon, the only remaining heir to the throne. But nothing prepares anyone of them for what happens next.
The story isn’t out-of-the-world, especially because it is based on the same premise many other movies of its kind are based on: a palace prince who falls for a lowly village girl (preferably an orphan). Of course, there’s always the jealous betrothed/wife who tries to tear them apart. And there could also be the envious brother who manages to fool everyone but wants the throne for himself. Ayamma combines all the elements of a typical village story, but adds a lot of singing and a twist of a twin. This is what makes it any different, until you remember all the village-set movies you have seen that include singing. Then you realize it really isn’t special.
What makes Ayamma a de ...