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‘Japa!’: An Interesting Genre Exploration For Nollywood

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Directed by: Isioma Osaje
Written by: Naz Onuzo
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi, Drama
Released on: March 8, 2024 (Prime Video)
Language: English and Igbo

We’ve recently crossed ‘Japa!’ off our watchlist, the latest offering from Inkblot and Isioma Osaje‘s first venture into directing, and boy, do we have some insights for you! This 2024 flick landed on Prime Video on March 8th, and we couldn’t wait to jump in.


The story follows Mezu, who discovers he’s caught in a bewildering time loop in Nigeria on the day he’s supposed to leave. His colleague, Kamsi, finds herself trapped in the same loop. This premise intrigued us—how would they navigate such a complex narrative? To our surprise, the filmmakers structured the plot impressively; they skillfully transformed what could have been convoluted chaos into something clear and coherent through thoughtful storytelling.

Our main issue with the plot lies in the unclear reasoning behind choosing Kamsi to “restore the order of things,”, especially since Zino, who seemingly stood at the heart of the overarching problem, barely contributed to the narrative.


Jidekene Achufusi and Adesua Etomi-Wellington were great as Mezu and Kamsi. Blossom Chukwujekwu gave us a good Tobe, Seun Ajayi’s Sola might not stick in your memory, and it felt like Layi Wasabi’s Wasiu was just there for laughs. Mofe Duncan as Zino, however, seemed a tad underexplored, a missed opportunity given his significant role. Nonetheless, we loved the chemistry between Mezu and Kamsi.


At its core, the time loop disrupts Mezu’s emigration plans, weaving a narrative that challenges the allure of greener pastures abroad with a call to cherish home. The film cleverly intertwines a modern story with the richness of Igbo culture. However, Mezu’s overly hectic pre-departure schedule did raise eyebrows, straying from typical Nigerian last-day rituals. We’re also still wondering why he would collect 1.2 million naira in cash on his car sale.

Technical Aspects

The film’s vibrant colour palette breathes life into the plot. No technical errors particularly stood out for us.

Final Thoughts

Originality shines through in ‘Japa!’, marrying humour with a breezy narrative. While there’s room for tightening up the acting and story, the film is an enjoyable ride. It steers clear of heavy drama but promises a genuinely good time.


Despite the film receiving a lukewarm reception from many, we found ourselves thoroughly entertained and resonating with its portrayal of the Nigerian pursuit of a better life abroad. Therefore, we’re assigning it a 3 out of 5 rating. We’re eager to hear your views if you have any to share.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

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