‘Gangs Of Lagos’ Ending, Explained: Why Did Obalola Seek Revenge? Is Kazeem Dead?


Directed by Jadesola Osiberu, “Gangs of Lagos” is about the street politics that control the lives of the people in Isale Eko, Lagos. The gangs rule the streets, and it is expected of the common people to obey their presence. Obalola, the son of the late King of the Streets, Ogunmola, learned to navigate the Isale Eko life at a young age. He, along with his friends Gift and Ify, stole the bag of a wealthy woman and was proud of the money they managed to collect out of it.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Gangs Of Lagos’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About? 

The rule of robbery required the robber to pay a portion of their collection to the Eleniyan of the area, Alaye Baba Adekunle. He was the “owner of the people” and was in control of the local politics, but he had recently decided to retire. He wanted one of his goons, Akinwale, to take his place. Even though Akinwale wanted to retire, Baba was confident that it was a terrible idea. A political career is the next obvious step for a man of the streets, and Baba encouraged Akinwale to do the same. Akinwale could not say no to this decision of the Eleniyan. Meanwhile, the woman who lost her bag came to Baba for help. When Obalola entered to pay his portion to the Eleniyan, she jumped from her seat, asking for the immediate return of her bag. But Obalola was no ordinary boy; he informed Baba that the woman had gone to the police.

According to the street rules, people should directly come to the Eleniyan for help and not run to the police. Akinwale was extremely impressed by Obalola’s presence of mind, and he knew in that instant that the little boy was meant for something great. Obalola’s mother was furious when she noticed her son hanging out with the gangsters. Her husband was shot dead by his enemies, and she was not ready to lose her son in a gang war. But Obalola decided that he wanted to be with Akinwale and his men. He enjoyed the thrill and respect of being a gangster. He came knocking at Akinwale’s house, and he immediately adopted Obalola as his son.

What Happened To Akinwale?

After adopting Obalola, Akinwale aka Ninalowo, took him along with him wherever he went. Obalola met Olorogun, the political godfather of Lagos, for the first time. Nino and Kazeem worked for him and took care of those who did not support him. Even though Nino was a gangster, he had a heart of gold. He cared about the common people and helped them in any way he could. Obalola admired his father, and it was Nino who taught him the importance of education. Nino wanted Obalola to pursue a career and not turn into a gangster like him. But Obalola’s dream was soon shattered when Nino was murdered in the street. Nino had a disagreement with a gangster named London. He was known for smuggling people, and Nino had ordered him to return one of the girls he had wrongfully kept in captivity. The next day, he was murdered in broad daylight. Nino’s death led to a gang war in which over 100 people died on the street. According to the sayings of Yoruba land, a king is never buried alone, and the fact that Nino’s death led to a massive bloodbath indicated that he was a great king,

Obalola started to work for Kazeem after the death of his father. Even though he often felt guilty for demanding illegal taxes from poor shopkeepers, he had no other options. Kazeem did not care for Obalola’s education; he simply wanted to use him and his friends to bring in more money. While Obalola worked for Kazeem and his master Olorogun, there was a new contestant for the position of the Governor of Lagos State, Bamidele Olanrewaju. She was challenging the PND party that had been governing Lagos since 1999. She was vocal about the corruption that the party was involved in, and it scared Kazeem. With the elections knocking at the door, Kazeem promised that it would get more and more bloody over time. Meanwhile, Obalola was asked to protect Kazeem’s daughter, Tani, who had recently returned from the United States. Obalola saved money to leave Lagos after the election. He was done living a violent life and wanted some peace now.

‘Gangs Of Lagos’ Explained Ending: Who Killed Panama, Nino, And Ogunmola?

Obalola had been in love with Tani since childhood, and he was completely smitten by her when he met her after 15 years. He took Tani to the apartment Kazeem had bought for her, and he was stunned by its beauty. It also made him realize how people such as Kazeem extorted the common people for wealth. He bought an apartment that could shelter 30 needy people. He was tired of the injustice and the arrogance that Kazeem and Tani had over their wealth. Tani later apologized after realizing how insensitive she had been all along. While Kazeem made love to Tani, his best friend, Panama (Ify), was in danger.

Panama had accompanied Kazeem when he went into a barber shop and shot dead Tajudeen, aka London, for supporting Bamidele Olanrewaju. Later, Kazeem asked Panama to kill the barber since he could connect them to the murder. Obalola had promised to go along with Panama to meet the barber and convince him to leave Lagos, but he got caught up with Tani. Panama entered the barber’s apartment alone and asked him to leave immediately. But soon after he left, another man entered the apartment and shot him dead. While Panama was walking in the street alone, a group of men attacked him and butchered him to death. When Obalola found out about it, he was determined to seek revenge.

Obalola believed that Ekhun, Kashope Obasegun (Ekhun’s son), and their men had murdered Panama. While Obalola’s gang fought the war on the street, he challenged Kash to fight him. Kash and his men overpowered Obalola, and he was held captive. Kash and Ekhun denied killing Panama. They betrayed Nino by joining London’s gang after his death, and Obalola had no respect for them. But Ekhun reminded Oba that London was killed by the Eleniyan (Kazeem), and it was Kazeem who had sent Panama to kill the barber. After finding out about the barber, Ekhun discussed the issue with Olorogun and asked him to sanction the death of Kazeem. Olorogun organized a meeting with Ekhun and Kazeem, and Kazeem stated that he was not responsible for London’s death since London had drawn the gun first, and Panama panicked and shot him dead. Kazeem blamed it all on Panama, but Ekhun doubted him. It was Kazeem who ordered Terrible to murder Panama, and if he had failed, his daughter would have been kidnapped. When Oba realized that it was Kazeem who ordered Panama’s death, he was determined to do whatever was necessary to kill him. Ekhun offered Oba the support of his gang since they, too, wanted Kazeem out of the picture.

Oba and his men kidnapped Terrible and pressed him to give away Kazeem’s location. Terrible was ready to give all the information he had as he begged for his life, but Oba was not interested in showing any mercy to the traitors. Before killing Terrible, he learned that Olorogun had instructed Kazeem to kill his father. His father did not support Olorogun and instead backed Bamidele’s father. He knew that Olorogun would completely destroy the present and the future of Lagos. The day the Eyo masqueraders came out to send London’s spirit home, Oba and his men entered the gathering and started shooting. While Kazeem tried to escape through the terrace, Oba caught up with him. During their scuffle, Oba learned that it was not London, but Kazeem who had murdered Nino. He wanted the support and power that Nino had, and by killing him, he took it all. Kazeem insulted Oba for being like his father, a foolish man driven by his moral consciousness. Just when Oba was about to give up, Gift shot Kazeem dead.

After the gang war, Oba and his men stayed low. The police made a few arrests with minor charges. Oba realized that Kazeem and Olorogun had too many enemies, and they were all relieved by his death. At the end of “Gangs of Lagos”, Oba realized that he was meant to stay back in Isale Eko to protect the people he loved. And he was destined to follow the path of his fathers and become Eleniyan, the “owner of men”. He intended to put an end to the wars that his fathers had started. He offered his support to Bamidele Olanrewaju to build a prosperous future for the people of Lagos.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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