Are you prepared to die for democracy? For Nigerian human rights activist Hafsat Abiola that’s not a theoretical question, but a bitter reality. This 75-minute doc sheds light on the sorry saga of post-independence Nigeria: decades of military rule followed by a tainted democracy yet to address the widespread poverty in an oil-rich country.
All of which explains the context for Hafsat’s consciousness-raising quest to get women more involved in shaping a better future. Abiola has immense courage. Her father, MKO Abiola, was allegedly poisoned by the Nigerian military, which responded to his 1993 general election victory by voiding the poll and jailing him – while her mother Kudirat was also assassinated for campaigning to have the result recognised.
The doc cleverly weaves interview and archive, making this a valuable beginner’s guide to Nigeria’s problems, though its 2013 production date means we don’t get much focus on the current threat from Boko Haram Islamists. Still, this is a worthwhile portrait of continuing bravery in the face of iniquity and corruption.