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The Origin: Madam Koi Koi, Nollywood’s first Netflix horror series raises nostalgia

The Origin: Madam Koi Koi, Nollywood’s first Netflix horror series raises nostalgia

Madam Koi Koi was a legend that many girls who attended mostly boarding schools in the 90s will never forget. The story has it that in the middle of the night, girls in boarding schools will hear the sound of a woman in high-heeled shoes walking down the hall. No one ever saw what she looked like but for some reason, she was believed to be on a revenge mission. And no one has ever been able to say where the story originated from, perhaps until now.

The Origin: Madam Koi Koi the latest Netflix TV Series and first horror series from Nollywood is attempting to fill the many gaps in the legend. The first episode of the TV series which was directed and co-written by Jay Franklyn Jituboh was released Tuesday 31 October 2023 on the global streaming platform.

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The first episode revolves around Amanda, a young girl who finds it difficult to fit into her new boarding school, St Augustine Catholic College. The school was chosen by her mother who was facing financial difficulties and would not consider the thought of help from Amanda’s father who she said abandoned them as soon as the girl was born. Amanda has unsuccessfully tried to learn more about her father, as her mother keeps shutting down the discussion.

Amanda’s first night in the school only heightened her anxiety. She had a nightmare about an evil entity lurking in the woods on the outskirts of the town. On her first day in class, she encountered the oversized egos of four boys who supposedly are the most brilliant in the school and criminally minded. She gets the upper hand over the boys during a class session where she counters their arrogance with a sharp display of knowledge. Her boldness got her on the blacklist of the boys.

The boys would later lure another girl, Ibukun, to their hideout outside the school premises where they took turns raping her and sending her out in the middle of the night. In a sudden whos of remorse one of the boys named Idowu, who was responsible for luring Ibukun to the rapers, ran out to beg her and safely see her back to the hostel. Unfortunately for him, he is attacked and killed by Madam Koi Koi, the vengeful spirit.

Meanwhile, the Principal of St Augustine Catholic College, known as Madam Superior seem to be in a battle of cat-and-mouse with the state educational board over the viability of the school. In her bid to keep the school running, she takes drastic measures including pampering the four boys because they had won the school laurels at the state’s Scholars Competition. Her overprotectiveness turned the boys into bullies and since they knew they could get away with anything, they played all manner of truancy.

What makes Madam Koi Koi a good movie is the simplicity of the storytelling. The story is that of a community going about their normal lives not knowing they also lived with an evil spirit that was out for blood. There are no hyperbolic action scenes. The encounters between the evil spirit and her victims are not overly exaggerated. The calmness and the use of silence in delivering emotions are also refreshing for a Nollywood movie, shouting has often been the way many Nollywood directors know to communicate strong emotions.

The ‘Madam Superior’ character is probably the best portrayal that the 56-year-old Nollywood legend Ireti Doyle has given in recent times. While it was motherly which is what she is already used to, it is out-of-character playing a ’90s Reverend Sister and principal of a college.

One of the things Madam Koi Koi also made big efforts on was in the attention to detail. Since the scenes were set in the 90s environment, the use of the Volkswagen Beetle driven by the police officer, the old Mercedes model packed in the school compound, the costumes

The movie director was also careful to create a balance in the cast that played the college girls. While Amanda played by Martha Ehinome, wasn’t exactly a teenager, she could still pass for an SS3 student in the 90s at least.

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But the ending of the first episode leaves you deflated and asking “Why did it end like that?” The second episode will be released on 7 November 2023. There were characters like Sister Ruth played by Chioma Chukwuka, that were not fully explored. The second episode is likely to be where she is unleashed and we get to learn more about who Madam Koi Koi is.

We hope it will top the performance of the first episode.