Nigerian drama The Governor hinges on the life of Angela Ochello (Caroline Chikezie), Deputy Governor of Savannah State. After the death of the governor, Angela must constitutionally take his place. This is the story of a woman who struggles to make a place in the male-dominated world of politics while keeping her family together.
It’s a man’s world
“Politics is a lifetime study,” Angela Ochello’s father, Gbenga, tells her at the beginning of the show and it sure rings true. In Savannah State (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter), men that make up the government cannot stand the idea of a woman having power over them.
In this case, the woman in question is Angela Ochello, Deputy Governor to Peter Akale. She’s a simple, elegant woman married to David (Bimbo Manuel), a political science professor. She’s also a loving mother to her children, Toju and Iffy. Not the ambitious sort, Angela is happy to just do her job; she doesn’t even harbour the thought of becoming the governor. Until the man himself has an accident, slips into a coma and dies.
Angela must reluctantly step up to become Governor of Savannah State. Not surprisingly, her male colleagues are loath to let this happen. From holding emergency meetings without Angela to conspiring against her over and over again, they stoop to all kinds of lows to ensure that Friday Bello (Edmond Enaibe), a commissioner of the cabinet, comes to power instead of a woman. In fact, at the beginning, Angela’s husband too, angrily reminds her that he once asked her to choose between family and politics and that she chose politics.
The age-old conflict of home vs career
When Angela becomes governor, she and her family move into Government House and try to adapt to its many rules. Chikezie is composed and dignified as she deals with crisis after crisis.
However, it soon becomes apparent that all the power-hungry men around her are plotting to manipulate her and gradually have her impeached. She puts up a strong fight and even begins to plot against these ruthless men. So much so that you will find yourself cheering for this arresting character and hoping that she pulls through it all. But in the end, Angela takes a decision that, while unfortunate, is a fitting example of the world that we live in.
The Governor drives home the point that the struggle for women in politics is still an uphill one. Regardless of a woman’s position in government, she’s either not taken seriously or constantly undermined. For instance, on the show, the leader of the Ministry of Women Affairs becomes the butt of jokes, while Angela’s daughter isn’t taken seriously by her peers when she tries to run for the post of secretary at her university elections, because she’s a woman.
Angela gets so caught up with the demands of her new role that she barely finds enough time to spend with her family. Her conflict mirrors a universal struggle, that of women trying to balance home and a career.
WATCH OR NOT
While The Governor has its heart in the right place, it’s often painfully slow and stilted. The show throws no new light on an old subject and feels like something you’ve watched many times over.
Creator: Mo Abudu
Cast: Caroline Chikezie, Bimbo Manuel, Lord Frank, Edmond Enaibe, Taiwo Obileye
Streaming on: Netflix