Awon Boyz

“Awon Boyz” succeeds at humanizing Area Boys

“Awon Boyz” is a 38-minute documentary about life on the streets of Lagos told through the eyes of hustlers popularly referred to as “Area Boys.”

The documentary was created by Lagos-based production company, Zero Degrees and directed by Tolulope Itegboje and has advertising executive and music producer, Steve Babaeko as its executive producer.

Away from bright city lights and beautiful skyline of highbrow Lagos, “Awon Boyz” takes its viewer into the slums. Eight men are interviewed and they share their journey into living on the streets as well as their hopes and aspirations. Amongst their top reasons for living on the street are poverty, unemployment, polygamy, loss of parents and not having the brains to stay in school. When “Awon Boyz” was originally released in 2019, it was described as insightful, but these are not necessarily new to the Nigerian viewer. However, what the documentary successfully does is humanize the dreaded Area Boys.

For the average Nigerian who commutes to work via public transportation and has seen the extortion of drivers by Area Boys, has been robbed in traffic or witnessed someone’s pocket being picked, Area Boys are inhumane. But when one of the area boys Uchman talks about the birth of his daughter and his expectations for her future, you feel for him and conclude that “Area boys,” are human too. After watching this documentary you might begin to look at Area Boys differently.

“Awon Boyz” is now streaming on Netflix.

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About the author

A lover of the arts who sees film and television through the eyes of the Nigerian viewer.