Squid game, the South Korean hit, has taken the world- including Nigeria, by storm. Soon to be the number one original series of all time on Netflix, the show that aired on 17 September has reached number one in 90 countries on Netflix in days. It has ranked Number 1 on trending in Nigeria on Netflix for many weeks, and Nigerians have taken to social media to react:
jonstarr_: “nigeria na squid game itself😢😢”
davybigpoppa: “Who added that 419 on that guys shirt?😂”
louis_nonso: “They even used Nigeria’s criminal code.”
Idahosa: “Squid game is a social satire. It represents social ills in a dramatic representation pointing out the irregularities in our every daily lives.”
The South-Korean series is a survival-based drama centering around Song Gi-hun (player 456), played by Lee Jung-Jae, a gambling addict and a divorcee still living with his mother. Along with 455 other players who are highly in debt, player 456 plays a children’s game to win 45.6billion won (15.8 billion Naira) -the money is shared based on the number of players that survive. The games start easily till they take quite a deadly turn.
Many Nigerians believe the show bears similarities to our collective situation. Most notably for their reasons are the attire of the players – the Green and white, which people say is indicative of the nation’s flag; the symbol representing the game which bears the same shapes as those of some Naira notes:
The suffering the players go through to survive and receive their daily bread (sometimes egg and a drink); finally, the presence of an elderly player (001) who feigns dementia and contests but is the convener and financier of the game. His smile when ”red light, green light” is played even though players die around him as he triumphs, all seem to remind Nigerians of someone…
The reality is that the show is not limited to the Nigerian experience but unfortunately portrays the economic situation of numerous countries. The director of Squid Game, Hang Dong-hyuk, wrote that the movie is based on his financial struggles while growing up in South Korea and the broad economic gap between the rich and the poor in the country. He said,
“I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life. But I wanted it to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life.”
Squid Game, a Reflection of Nigeria?
The survival of the fittest genre that the series showcases reflects modern society and is not limited to Nigeria. But that the economic situation in the show would force the individuals to go back to a game with minimal survival rate in the hope of winning money because the dystopian world in the game seems fairer than the odds in the world shows the irony of the world we live in.
More reactions below:
@mastermynd101: “This squid game is all about Nigeria and its citizens eating themselves up. No wonder the players clothes are Green, white Green. And government using red jacket EFCC as workers😂”
@DaddyAgu: “Critical review of Squid Game movie will show you that the movie was made to show the world everything about Nigeria. Starting from no 456 (like Nigerians just likes suffering and laughing), clothes colour (🇳🇬). 001 (old president putting us in the suffer).”
@siddyvince: “A squid game coincidence has rocked Nigeria, where their currencies have a matching logo, the players apparel color matches the flag 🇳🇬 and the political party has an umbrella☂️ as a logo. Nigeria is also GDP 001 in Africa and population 001.”
Wrld_emperor: “The movie squid game seems to have a lot to do with my country, it started by showing us horse race gambling which is popular in Nigeria cutesy of Bet9ja, it said so much about debts,which is what most of us are suffering from right now, The cloth worn by the players looks like our country’s costume color green and white, they have the number 1 player who is aged and looks a lot like my president. The logos used which is ⭕️ 🔺🟥 are the three shapes in our 10,20 and 50 Naira notes respectively.”
What are your thoughts, is squid game representative of Nigeria or the world?