by David Osairemen
The title This Lady Called Life bares a metaphor that drives the idea of the film. The idea of a lady who shares meaning with life. The film opens with a lady, Aiyetide, pricked by life’s painful woes, the worst you can think of; an abusive mother, shattered dreams, bitter memories, dark eerie nightmares plagued with depressive moments when grief cannot be uttered, only felt. All her life, she has survived through painstaking diligence and happy accidents. Slipping in and out of bittersweet moments overlapping themselves into a sour mix of emotions. In all of this, there’s a side to her she adores – her love for making food. Despite the tasteless broth that sums up her life, she experiences her deepest delight when she plays with recipes in her signature dishes. A happy occupation which fans the flames of aspiration to be a top chef. Then comes Love. The great equalizer. The balance of life. Blessed by its bliss, Aiyetide starts to hope again. With eyes and heart open to possibilities.
The film expatiates the work of authors and historians who, for many years, have negotiated attempts at unraveling the mystery of this lady who shares meaning with life. A woman blessed with spiritual susceptibilities and strong intuitions akin to nurture and care. Biblical ruler and writer King Solomon, through his songs, poems and allegories, revers her strength, grace and charm. He ascribes her with the beautiful, spiritual functions of wisdom, love and life itself. His texts, in summary, considers the condition of the woman as the touchstone of a civilized society. A gift she is. Deserving of honour for her many ministrations.
I, too, have attempted a description of this woman; her eyes gleams with the vision of endless possibilities. Her lips, blessed with affirmative words of hope and encouragement. Her bosom bares the sincere milk of love, care and affection. And her hands are skilled in matters of diligence and industry. Aiyetide embodies all this and more. Pushing through pain, tears and disappointments to reach that happy ending. Noteworthy is the repeated blare of her ringtone, Kenny Kore’s “I believe”, that morphed into a full-blown score as the film ends. A testament that faith is the currency of life, that steady hand that buoys her over murky waters.
The final sequence of the film presents a rather interesting resolution. Aiyetide’s abusive mother, now repentant, reckons her ungratefulness at that very special gift. She stares deep into Aiyetide’s tear-cloaked eyes and renders an apology for the many years of unfairness. Many times we blame life for unfairness when it is us who have made a habit of dishonoring her gifts and the blessings she gives.