With a history of greed blinding the villagers after Yoruba king Oranmiyan blessed Oyo-Oke with treasure, Ijogbon is centered around four friends and a bag full of uncut diamonds that they chance upon. Ranti, Prince, Oby, and Jamiu were the best of friends, and they spent most of their time together. At a young age, Jamiu realized that there was nothing left for him in the village. The dusty, poverty-stricken place had barely any opportunity for an educated youth. He tried to instill the desire to relocate in his friends, but they all had various commitments that they had to take care of before leaving the Nigerian village. The lives of the four teenagers changed when they came across a bag hidden under the forest foliage. The bag consisted of uncut diamonds; if they sold it, their lives would drastically change, and their material desires would be fulfilled, but handing it to the authorities was the morally right decision. So, what did the teenagers decide?
Who were the foreigners?
A group of foreigners arrived at the village soon after the bag of diamonds was found by the teenage group. One of them claimed to be Mr. Banjo Akiwowo, and he approached the village king with the proposal of starting an agricultural business in the village. The proposal was met with a favorable reaction from the chiefs. A Chinese man, Ming Oh, was also a part of the strange group, and they started scouting the woods for their factory.
Meanwhile, Ranti, Prince, Oby, and Jamiu decided to sell four of the uncut diamonds to Chief Owonifaari. After negotiating with the Chief, the teenagers got the value they had decided on. With the money in hand, the gang of four bought expensive phones and clothes. They kept the rest of the diamonds hidden in a hut deep in the woods. They knew that they would be in trouble if someone noticed the phones that they were carrying, so they planned to keep everything hidden from the adults. But they did not realize that the Chief knew about their sudden find, and as greedy as he was, he wanted to make sure that he had all the diamonds that the kids were hiding.
Through the course of Ijogbon, we also find out that the foreigners had not arrived in the village to start their business; they were the ones who had lost the bag of diamonds and came to search for it. After realizing that the bag was not in the woods as it was supposed to be, they knew someone had stolen it. It was not too difficult for them to figure out the possible targets, considering that it was a poor village, and a few teenagers were flashing glossy clothes and phones.
Who stole the diamonds?
Jamiu owed money to Kasali, and once the Chief saw him chasing the boy, he offered him a job. Kasali was tasked with finding the uncut diamonds, and after secretly tailing Jamiu, he reached the hut and got hold of the bag full of diamonds. When a member of the Abuja gang noticed Prince using an expensive phone, they kidnapped him to find out how he managed to buy the device. Ming informed Oby and Jamiu about the Prince’s kidnapping, and they were asked to return the diamonds if they wanted to see their friend alive. Upon reaching the hut, they realized the bag was missing. Jamiu and Ranti got into a fight, blaming each other for the loss. Oby was heartbroken to watch her friends fight, and she somehow managed to calm them down. Ranti later found Kasali running away on a motorcycle with huge luggage in hand. While trying to stop Kasali, Ranti got hold of Jamui’s phone, which Kasali had stolen. He was right to suspect the petty criminal; the phone proved that he was hiding something. When Ranti informed Jamiu about it, he suggested that Ranti and Oby follow the Chief, and he would follow the Abuja gang.
Upon following the Chief, Ranti and Oby found out that the Chief’s girlfriend, Bisi, was involved with Kasali and had informed him about the diamonds a long time ago. The Chief was furious, and he shot Kasali on the spur of the moment. Bisi begged for her life, but she was not spared and was shot dead. The Chief was about to run away with the bag full of diamonds, but Oby and Ranti knocked him out with a blunt object and took the bag for themselves. Meanwhile, Jamiu contacted the Abuja gang, and he lied about having the diamonds with him. He managed to trick one of them, and Ranti and Oby came at the right time and shot the man in the leg. They held the gang member hostage and demanded the boss lady, Chidera, release Prince. Chidera and Banjo did not care about their man, and they refused to let go of Prince. Meanwhile, Oby ran off to get help from their village, but instead, she met the Chief and his men. She brought them to Chidera and her gang, and ultimately, the Chief managed to shoot the foreigners dead, except for Ming.
What did the teenagers ultimately do with the diamonds?
Chief Owonifaari threatened the four teenagers to hand over the bag of diamonds to him, and he started to doubt them when they were taking time to find it. He shot Prince to speed them up, only to realize that the kids were not lying and that they had hidden the bag where they said. As the Chief was about to escape with the diamonds, Ming killed him and his gang. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, and it saved his life. While the kids assumed that the Chinese man wanted diamonds for himself, they were surprised when he offered them the bag. After learning about the legend of Oranmiyan, Ming believed that land was worth billions more than a bag of diamonds. If he took the bag, the police would continue to tail him, and since he believed in superstition, he was convinced that staying in the village and finding what was hidden underground would be a lot more profitable.
At the end of Ijogbon, Ming and the kids weave a story to fool the village adults. According to the story, the gang was a part of a human trafficking ring, and that was why they kidnapped Prince. The Chief and the Abuja gang argued over money, and that led to their deaths. They also stated that Kasali and Bisi wanted to inform the police about the trafficking plan, but the chief shot them dead. They added that Ming was the one who saved them. Ming explained that he was an international investor who fell for a scam planned by Chidera and Banjo. The diamonds were kept out of the story.
Prince was admitted to the hospital, and the gang decided to keep a few diamonds aside for him. Once they had the diamonds, Ranti and Jamiu’s greed started to take over. During Ijogbon‘s ending, Oby watches her two best friends fight once again, and she realizes that the diamonds were not a blessing but a curse. They were facing one problem or another from the day they found the diamonds. They might be poor, but their lives were peaceful. They had to work hard to fulfill all their dreams, but it was better than the easy path that the diamonds offered. Oby wanted her old life back, and she dropped the diamonds into the river.
Ijogbon starts with the folklore of Oranmiyan and ends with it as well. The film talks about how excess wealth always leads to greed and how relationships, once cherished, are ultimately destroyed. Rati, Jamiu, and Oby’s lives could have been more comfortable with the money they would receive in exchange for the diamond, but they would always live in fear because the diamonds never belonged to them in the first place. Oby made the right decision by prioritizing her friendship over materialistic joy. They will always regret losing the wealth, but at the same time, they were too young to figure out a way around it. The three friends learned an important lesson: to reach their goals, they had to fight their own fights and not rely on something that did not belong to them. Maybe someone else will collect the diamonds from the river, or it will become another secret that the village hides.