Over the past few years, Africa Magic has kept the 8 to 9 pm weekday window on their Showcase platform busy with telenovela series that span 260 episodes. Each series to date has been brilliant, intriguing, and relevant.
So, when the Head of Content and West Africa Channels, MultiChoice Nigeria, Dr Busola Tejumola, announced that a new series produced by the highly respected Femi Odugemi would premiere in October, I knew viewers were in for yet another year of brilliant content. Femi Odugbemi has proven himself for many years with shows like The Eve and Movement Japa, so I expected Covenant to be different even before I saw it, and it hasn’t disappointed.
From the first episode, you could tell that the series would deliver on high society intrigues and drama as promised. You could also see how relevant the subject matter and central tropes that form the storyline are to young Nigerians. After the first episode, one viewer, Fisayo, took to Twitter to share what she found most interesting about Covenant. According to her, “Lagos State governor’s wife wants to run for Senate (and he wants the presidency). I’ve seen this film before and didn’t like the ending.” Anyone who is remotely familiar with Nigerian politics knows what she means and will agree with her.
Covenant is a political drama that follows the stories of three significant families – The Ijimakindes, the Erhus and the Gbadamosis, and the residents of Oritameta as they play the dirty and compelling game of politics. From insidious affairs to unrepentant bloodshed, the show has everything capable of keeping you on the edge of your seat.
Now in its 6th week, Covenant has unveiled a cast of drama artistes – new and old – who have delivered on the promise that this is not your typical Nigerian telenovela. The depiction of the Ijimakindes tells a tale of a family bound by ambition and the love of positioning. They are all the same – cold and calculating. The matriarch wants to be a senator, and the son has the propensity to take life like one reading the papers. The patriarch is a governor who has a room built specifically to silence those who dare to speak up against him.
On the other hand, the Erhus are a family led by hard, calculating socialite parents whose children have missed the gene making them more trusting and unaware of the dangers and pit holes that surround them by the mere factor of their being an Erhu. Then there are the Gbadamosis, so close to power yet seemingly only called to serve. The head of their family is Deputy Governor, but he appears either too weak or too scared to make any real change unless it is handed to him. Both his daughters have the seediest relationships – the oldest is married to her sugar daddy’s son but still embroiled in amorous relations with him, while her sister (the youngest) is deep in entanglement with her older sister’s husband.
The people of Oritameta are a different ball game altogether. The key feature that has viewers enthralled is the library of unique names the characters bear – from Atadindin to Were Wanle to Okro to Sisi Pangolo – their names are one and all as unique and match the nature of their characters. As to life and living conditions in Orita Meta, there is a thin veil of normalcy that cover the dearth of government intervention in the basic issues they face. They are, on the majority, abandoned by the authorities in the slums, where they barely ever make it out alive.
They are the political class’s ticket to power – only helpful as political thugs, twisted in any direction the wind of Naira takes them. The people of Oritameta know they deserve better but are too poor and weighed down by their problems to demand it. Their young men are used as goons for political giants who keep their kids safe at home, and their elders are used as mouthpieces for ‘chicken change’.
Speaking about the reason viewers should look forward to watching Covenant, Odugbemi says, “Covenant is a series that you cannot box into one genre. It has components of a political drama, foraying into the depts of politics and the price power-lovers must pay to hold it. But, it also has elements of a romantic drama and a crime flick, making it incredibly unique and exciting because viewers will find it hard to decipher each character’s next step”.
With the 2023 elections slowly coming upon us, the show is more relevant than ever. While it doesn’t commend any candidate above the other, it sends a clear message – refuse to be tools, demand more. Covenant is holding the satirical mirror to the faces of the elite and citizens and forcing them to look inward. More for the led, the question is – will you demand more? Will you refuse to stay in poverty while helping others live their best life?
Everyone should be watching this show, talking about it, and encouraging others to watch too. Covenant could very well be a powerful political enlightenment tool, only if we wield it right. The series is easily one of the easiest ways to show voters a fragment of the reality that is Nigerian politics. So check out DStv Catch Up to watch the past episodes. We bet you’ll see everything we’ve said and more, and maybe it will just make your patriotic fire burn a little more brightly as we head to the polls.
Covenant has everything a political drama could ever need and more. Catch the show on weekdays at 8 pm on AM Showcase (Ch. 151). Viewers should subscribe to DStv Compact Plus or Premium to enjoy Covenant and watch episodes on the go via the DStv App at no extra cost.
Visit www.dstvafrica.com to upgrade or renew your subscription and join the conversation on the official Africa Magic page on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #AMCovenant.