This morning, we drove through the rolling hills of Abeokuta‘s old city, known for its distinctive Brazilian architecture brought by the Saros, freed slaves who migrated to Nigeria in the early 19th century. These Brazilians introduced to Nigeria elaborate architectural designs, two-story buildings, and bungalows with stucco facades.
The same architecture dominated the facades of Kelani’s uncle’s compound, where he grew up from the age of five. Kelani has acknowledged that the film will document certain aspects of his childhood in Abeokuta, including his primary school.
According to Balo Belo, Art Director and Production Designer, he wanted to emphasize the architectural details that have worn away in the decades that Kelani’s family has ceased to live in the compound. The bold and contrasting paint colors convey the humble aesthetics of Ma’ami and her son: “They may be poor, but these people care about their environment.”