#Watchlist: The Alien On Directing BOJ, Ajebutter22 & Falz’s “Ronaldo”

December 6, 2019

For creators, inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. That’s why we created #Watchlist — a series that asks Nigerian video directors to list the most interesting things that influenced their creative choices while shooting.

A week ago, BOJ, Ajebutter22 and Falz dropped their collaborative EP, Make E No Cause Fight 2 — a worthy follow-up to BOJ and Ajebutter’s 2018 release of the same name. On the same day, they shared the captivating video for the project’s standout track, “Ronaldo”.

So, we decided to sit down with the man behind the clip, Adebayo Fakiyesi aka The Alien, to find out what inspired the delightfully original video. From Django Unchained to Falz’s white beard, here’s everything that influenced the fast-rising director.

On main inspiration:

Earlier in the year, I created a video mock-up for another song, which wasn’t approved, but I’d discussed that concept with my producer, Ebuka Nwobu. On hearing ‘Ronaldo’, he reached out to me with an idea built around that pitch, and I saw that it was perfect for the song.

On intended narrative:

The narrative was built off the simple idea that anyone can be a baller. Regardless of what you do for a living, everyone unwinds somehow. Based on this simple idea, we thought about a random Friday evening in the life of three low-income artisans and let our imaginations run wild.

This idea of depicting regular neighbourhood artisans living it up in their own way was based on the song’s lyrics about balling like Ronaldo. We sought to present a different kind of baller than the ones we’re used to seeing in the media.

On visual references:

For the earlier sequence, I referenced a Guinness documentary about the  ‘society of elegant persons of the Congo’, otherwise known as the ‘Sapeurs’. They’re a group of everyday people in Brazzaville whose way of life is not defined by occupation or wealth.

For the barbershop scene, I reimagined a popular New York barbershop with an oversabi Lagos barber at the helm; and the Dambe fight scene was inspired by the Mandingo wrestling sequence in Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning Django Unchained.

Sapeurs: A Short Documentary by Guinness

New York Barbershop Rotterdam

Django Unchained (2013)

On styling:

The Congo Dandies were the main inspiration for the looks. However, in order to make ours more relevant to our Nigerianness, we aimed for looks that felt like they could’ve been thrifted. We wanted to give our characters the sartorial edge without tending towards unrealistic.

You had to believe these were 3 low-income artisans from Okokomaiko with an impeccable taste in fashion, balling out in the best threads they could afford. My producer forwarded the treatment and styling brief to Morinsola Hassan-Odukale of MOMO, and she did her magic.

On casting:

For the talent show, we went for the kind of people we would expect to see at our imaginary party, on both sides of the stage. The party cast included friends of the artists, as well as filler extras vetted by us and hired by our casting guy.

The Dambe fighters were scouted with the help of the guys behind Dambe Warriors; the burlesque dancers consisted of some Lagos-based dancers, led by Tiwa Pearl; and we found the fire-eater and contortionist by scouring the internet. 

Dambe Warriors

On the oddest influence:

Falz’s beard. Falz wasn’t originally supposed to be in the barbershop scene, but seeing his look on set and considering his comedic antics, I immediately felt like he would bring more to the scene, and he didn’t disappoint. It was hot as an oven in that scene, but Falz had us in bits.


Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 27, 2015

After 6 years, the Black Diamond is back with his sophomore album! Six years ago, Wande Coal dropped his debut album ‘Mushin 2 Mohits’ which included the hits ‘Ololufe’, ‘Bumper2Bumper’, ‘You Bad’ (featuring D’banj) and more. And while he’s stayed in the spotlight, releasing new music via his Black Diamond Entertainment label and featuring on other […]


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

September 1, 2021

August is over, and here are some of our best quizzes from August. Enjoy: 1. QUIZ: Only Ajebutters Can Get 10/21 On This Quiz Some people like to form ajepako when they’re really ajebutter. Are you one of them? Let’s find out. 2. QUIZ: Sorry, If You’re Under 25 There’s No Way You Can Pass […]

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

More from #Watchlist

February 5, 2021

Last year, Netflix finally and officially came to Nigeria. This means they opened a social media account dedicated to Nigerian content on their streaming service and increased their Nigerian content on the service as well as commissioned more Netflix Originals to be made. However, the sheer number of movies and shows on Netflix are overwhelming […]

November 29, 2019

The most essential Nigerian star of the past two years, Burna Boy kicked off 2019 with the clip for his Zlatan-assisted gem, “Killin Dem”. While the song actually dropped in 2018, the dynamic video helped turn the banger into one of the year’s biggest hits. So, as the video just crossed 20 million views on […]

November 22, 2019

Sarz and WurlD recently dropped a fantastic joint EP, I LOVE GIRLS WITH TROBUL — a project about love and messy relationships. Prior to its release, the duo unveiled a fitting video for standout track, “EGO”. The Chukwuka Nwobi-directed clip, which follows a couple post-breakup, perfectly captures one of the project’s core themes. So, we […]

November 15, 2019

After a few 2019 songs that didn’t really take off, Teni finally landed another major hit with her aspirational banger, “Billionaire”. Now, she’s dropped a video for the single, and thanks to the vision of one of the year’s busiest directors, TG Omori, it’s easily her best one to date. The video has already amassed […]

November 8, 2019

Tems is easily one of 2019’s most original breakout stars. Her anthemic third single, “Try Me” has been readily embraced by a wide audience, and its Ademola Falomo-directed clip, which also happens to Tems’ first-ever music video, has been a big part of that success. So, as the video nears a million views on YouTube, […]

October 25, 2019

Following her game-changing record deal with Universal Music Group, Tiwa Savage came out with her first single of 2019, the Fela-inspired “49-99”. As great as the song was, the Meji Alabi-directed video that accompanied it was even better. So, as Tiwa recently visited Genius to explain the track’s meaningful lyrics, we at Zikoko decided to […]

October 18, 2019

Nonso Amadi — “What Makes You Sure?” While they never really break the mould, Nonso Amadi’s music videos are always, at the very least, gorgeously shot and narratively cohesive. For his latest effort, “What Makes You Sure?”, he ups the game with even more vibrant cinematography and a compelling side story. The Seyi Akinlade-directed video […]

October 18, 2019

Sometime in the near future, people will look back at 2019 and wonder how we paid so little attention to Ladipoe’s “Jaiye”. One of the best written and produced songs of the year, accompanied by a near-perfect music video, it’s downright criminal that this boisterous anthem isn’t a bigger hit. That being said, it’s a little […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.