In the new video for Niniola’s Boda Sodiq, Niniola in a nightclub watches herself and a man luxuriate in loose, sketchy romance. They are dancing – she’s had liquor but she’s still grounded in reality to tell this random male stranger not to touch her. The video, directed by Clarence Peters, is a stroll in colour and vibrancy and hews towards Niniola’s artistic personality.
That said, the video packs the resonance of our current cultural conversation on rape and sexual harassment. Niniola is being driven by the titular Boda Sodiq in his car away from the club, still drunk. They are now in his apartment, or Boys’ Quarters as the song insists. Boda Sodiq fetches her from the car and leads her inside, knowing he’s expecting to have sex. Seconds later, she falls asleep on the bed. At this point, forcing himself on her in that condition is objectively rape. But he did try to wake her before leaving her to sleep.
The song loops on ”What happened in your Boys’ Quarters?,” an indication that Niniola is assessing the situation afterwards and wondering if she was taken advantage of. Importantly, she also questions why he had to take her to his place. Because consent was never granted right from the club, in the context of ”promise not to touch,” her choice was respected. And this is the thrust of the message. Consent is not everlasting, meaning consent given today can’t be applied tomorrow. Also, consent never given remains that way until it is unequivocally expressed, without the haze of alcohol impairing judgment.
Niniola artistic ethos drips with sex, and she’s never been afraid of centering her sexuality in her videos. With her current climate fraught with the rape discourse, Boda Sodiq couldn’t have come at a better time.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies, anime and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.