Drama Consult is a documentary film from the Nigerian businessman’s perspective. Three travel to Germany to find investors with help from two mentors. The film starts off a little didactic, but the information is quite useful to anyone pitching to investors. One, however, quickly sees protagonists emerge.
Femi is a young, ambitious but somewhat shy Shoe Manufacturer. Dolapo is a confident, almost brash Real Estate Developer with clear goals and time consciousness. Sam is a gentle Car Importer. All three have business acumen, ambition and experience, with varying levels of confidence in the meetings.
The film describes itself as ethnographic and tracking the process of economic intervention. This seems to sell the idea that the businessmen are going to seek help. In investment, no one forks up the cash unless they are making it back, and then some. This is business; so don’t let the description mislead you.
My impression in watching the film was that although there was some trepidation in creating business relationships in Nigeria, that most of it is based in fearful ignorance rather than a full working knowledge. One sees optimism once some of them finally travel to Nigeria on reconnaissance.
I am quite curious about the progress of their projects after the film, especially since one of the Nigerian businessmen’s mentors expresses concern that the results of the meetings would have been opposite off-camera. Femi shared that his was just as positive. The responses from the German businessmen were just as varied. Initial meetings with suppliers were positive, while the executives went on about fears of investing in ‘Africa’ before allowing meetings to proceed to business.
The story for me was in the German business people discovering opportunities in Nigeria, because there wasn’t much of a learning curve for the Nigerians. They already knew how to pitch, already had successful businesses and were simply looking to expand. It was fun to see Africans who know their worth in an environment that more often than not, tried to enforce an underdog narrative.
It is quite refreshing to see a documentary that is focused on globalization in business, without the usual juxtaposition especially when an African and European country are involved.