Domitila is a 1996 Nollywood movie that tells the story of a young commercial sex worker and her friends. Written and directed by Zeb Ejiro and Ken Oghenejabor, Domitila is a Nollywood classic that has come to be remembered as one of the best Nollywood classics. The cast is star studded with talented actors such as Ann Njemanze, Sandra Achums, Kate Henshaw, Ada Ameh, Enebeli Enebuwa, Basorge Tariah, Charles Okafor, Sonny McDon, Patience Oghre and Maureen Ihua. The movie was one of the top rated movies in Nigeria when it was released and so popular that Domitila became a slang for “commercial sex worker.”
Domitila(Ann Njemaze) struggles with her job as a secretary by day and her other job as a sex worker by night. Her friends, Jenny(Sandra Achums) and Judith(Kate Henshaw) share a room with the fiery Anita(Ada Ameh). Anita could be quarrelsome sometimes, but the ladies maintain a sisterhood because of their struggle to survive. Domitila loses a budding relationship because of her sex work and at the same time she deals with constant harassment from her boss at work. She manages to stay afloat in the sea of the difficulties life throws at her until she loses Judith.
One night, Domitila and her friends are booked by some guys in a car. They are assured of good payment and they all hop into the vehicle. The girls are driven into some dark corner and they realise that they have been captured by ritualists. Domitila and her friends try to escape but Judith is killed by the men. When Domitila is invited to identify Judith’s body, the girls discover that some of her body parts are missing. Anita drops the catch phrase, “Ashawo no be work ooo…” and the girls decide to look for an alternative means of livelihood.
Anita marries one of her regular customers whom she fell in love with and Jenny decides to set up her own business with Domitila’s help. Meanwhile Domitila has lost her job and become a mistress to Chief(Enebeli Enebuwa), a prominent politician whom she met at a party a colleague from work invited her to attend. Domitila ends commercial sex work and focuses on satisfying Chief who caters for her wheelchair bound father and young siblings. Everything seems to be going well for Domitila until she finds out that she is pregnant.
Chief’s political ambition makes his wife wary of any mistress her husband might have. She discusses her plan to confront Domitila with her daughter, who dissuades her from carrying out the plan. She then confronts Chief and tells him that Domitila is a common prostitute: Domitila never disclosed her past to Chief. Domitila and Chief have a meeting at a hotel and when Chief confronts her about her past, he slumps and dies. Nobody believes that Domitila is innocent, except her friends. A human rights lawyer agrees to take up Domitila’s case, to the consternation of her colleagues.
The case attracts a lot of controversy and people assumed that Domitila was guilty because of her past. Chief’s daughter who is the same age as Domitila reveals the truth. Chief’s wife connived with the hotel manager to poison Domitila’s drink. There were two glasses there and somehow, Chief drank the poisoned drink. The movie ends in jubilation for Domitila and her friends. Domitila is an intriguing story that will leave you glued to your TV screen from beginning to the end. I will rate the movie a good eight out of ten and strongly recommend because of the good acting, strong storyline and the message it passes on justice for all. A remake of Domitila is set to be released in 2021 and I hope it is as good as the original.