MAGUN, THE MOVIE: A THOUGHT

(This is just a thought on one of the themes found in the movie and I hope with time, I will write something more concrete on it)

I’d promised myself last week that I was going to post write ups at least twice a week and so when I got up yesterday only to leave my pen and head out to buy a movie, I felt I was not doing the right thing, little did I know that I was about to pour out my thought on the actions of a married man to place on his wife the unrecognized sexually transmitted disease or “death” called magun which translates in English as “don’t climb” or “don’t mount”, and of course, the object not to climb is the carrier of this disease.

I bought the movie THUNDERBOLT MAGUN. Although an old movie, it still remains classic!

After seeing the movie like thrice (I suggest you should see the movie too or see it again if you’ve seen it before), a thought formed in my mind: Magun is not the weapon of an unsecured husband but the weapon of a greedy man!

The movie was directed by Tunde Kelani. The plot revolves around a beautiful young Igbo woman named Ngozi who got married to a Yoruba man named Yinka during their Corps Service. The marriage blossomed and they had a boy named Hero to show for it but after a while, the issue of distrust comes in as Yinka began to listen to rumours, at about the same time Ngozi inherited some properties including a sum of two hundred and fifty thousand naira which her grandmother willed to her. Yinka took the disastrous step of placing the magun charm on her. This charm was to make her pay in a sorrowful way for the suspected guilt.

Lest I bore you with the details of the movie, I will just talk about the thought that came to my mind briefly so that I don’t end up giving myself the task of appreciating a very good movie.

    Magun is not the weapon of an unsecured husband but the weapon of a greedy man!

From the movie…
I felt Yinka could have simply chosen another way of keeping tracks of his wife rather than placing the magun charm on her; he could have chosen to sneak in on her in her place of work if he felt so unsure of his wife like he once did or maybe get people to stalk her in all honesty, this doesn’t cost a thing – these are valuable weapons for unsecured husbands.

Now, in my own frame of thinking, I’ll attack Yinka’s personality as a greedy man. In an attempt to make myself clear enough, I don’t mean to say that having your wife all to yourself is a show of greed after all she’s seen to be the man’s property (I hope I’m allowed to use that word ‘property’ in the 21st century) but even as the man’s property, she has her life to live and no one can deny her that – the reason any of the parties can file for divorce.

In the course of the play, the flashback technique was used to explain why Yinka took the disastrous step of placing the magun charm on his wife, Ngozi. He was advised by his friends to take such step in finding out if Ngozi was really having an affair with the Vice Principal and if she happened not to be then he will have nothing to lose. This method sounds to me like ‘Jungle Justice’ and one Yoruba adage will say “ori bibe ko ni ogun ori fifo” which means beheading is not the cure for a headache.

Placing the magun charm on Ngozi in the end won’t make her a changed person in an assumption that she were into adultery in the first place, it is just a punishment to the society – killing guilty men who gets to sleep with her; even Jesus Christ forbade the stoning to death of the prostitute in the Bible; it is morally wrong, that’s another reason.

  • Magun is clearly the weapon of the greedy man
  • After a little bit of questioning, I came to understand that magun when placed on a lady suspected to be cheating on her husband not only kills the men she might be cheating with but might ovulate in her if she happens not to have sexual intercourse over a period of 9 weeks after which she dies. My question now is what kind of unsecured husband will want to see his wife die mysteriously? None I think, he will rather dissolve the union at worst. The reason why I think it is only a greedy husband that will place a magun charm on his wife. Yinka had a secondary motive of greed for his eyes were on the properties which his wife had just inherited.

    I’m not saying a man doesn’t have the right to chastize his wife for committing adultery but not placing magun charm on her for it is more like putting poison in her food and tell her to eat with other male friends.

    It is just my thought but I would rather let my wayward wife live in shame rather than allow her die in it!

    Happy Eid El Fitri to all my muslim brothers and sisters.

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