Awon Boyz, a documentary that takes a close look at the lives and passions of the men and boys who hustle or run with gangs on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria is now streaming globally on Netflix.
The documentary film is a collection of emotive visual stories that aim to humanize street boys in Lagos, contrary to the stereotypical narratives that depict them as miscreants, nuisances, and touts. Awon Boyz sheds much-needed light on their struggles, ambitions, dreams, fears, peculiarities, and the commonness that makes them human like everyone else, but will it be enough to change society’s perception of them as “public enemy number one”?
The documentary was shot in Oshodi, the Monkey Village area of Opebi, and the New Afrika Shrine. Since its release, it has been screened at festivals in Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and the United States. It was officially selected for screening at the 2019 iRepresent International Documentary Festival, the 2019 Slum Film Festival, and the 2019 Lights Camera Africa Film Festival.
Awon Boyz has been screening on Netflix across Africa since April, but it is now available for viewing to subscribers on a global scale.
Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, is one of Africa’s most industrious cities, where extreme wealth and extreme poverty exist side by side with an almost invisible boundary. Here, you are bound to come across different kinds of people, but if there is a set of people that you’ll definitely meet in almost every street corner in Lagos, it’s the area boys.
“Typically, the media portrays these guys as scoundrels and people who are generally up to no good, which is a one-dimensional portrayal that contributes toward further widening the divide between them and the rest of society, and results in their continuous disenfranchisement and exploitation as tools of violence,” said the film’s director, Tolulope Itegboje.
“Awon Boyz was created to help people better understand and interact with people who are otherwise considered to be degenerate and lack shared values. Our work explores how cultural narratives affect our reality and shape it, and how film can contribute to a fairer, more just society. By lifting voices that are unheard and underrepresented, we can push back narratives that undermine fairness and decimate inequality,” Itegboje added.
Steve Babaeko, CEO/Chief Creative Officer of X3M Group served as the film’s Executive Producer. Kagho “Bichop” Idhebor worked as Director of Photography. Zero Degrees Media Limited is the film’s production company.
To learn more about the Awon Boyz documentary, visit awonboyz.com. To view a trailer of the film, click the link below: