‘Iwaju’ Ending Explained & Series Recap: Does Tola Get Saved In The End?

Gorgeous, eye-popping animation and a compelling story make Iwaju soar high. The title is a rough translation of the future, and this is a co-production between Walt Disney and Kugali Media, a UK-based pan-African company. In the span of six episodes, Iwaju tells a tale that is rather simple story-wise, but the presentation is absolutely top-notch. The science-fiction setting only adds value to it, and the subtle message it gives never feels too preachy.


Spoilers Ahead

Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Series?

In an unspecified future, the city of Lagos will be broken into two parts: the main city, where the working class struggles to make ends meet, and the island, where the rich flourish. However, there’s a spot of bother as many islander children are getting kidnapped, and their rich parents have no other option but to pay a lot of money as ransom. There’s one solution, though: an AI robot called Otin, which looks like a harmless little lizard, developed by Greenwood tech scientist Tunde Martins. However, Tunde can’t get the most essential thing about Otin right. That happens to be activating the “Ija,”  where the lizard turns into a vicious mini-kaiju-like neon pink monster, in order to protect. 


Who Is Tola, And What Does She Want?

Tunde’s daughter, ten-year-old Tola, is our very likeable main character. She is a very inquisitive kid who longs for attention from her busy father but doesn’t really get much of it. Tola has never been to the main city, about which she is expected to be very curious. She particularly wants to explore the Ajegunle neighborhood,  where her father originally came from. Tola does have a friend from that place, a young boy named Kole who works in their house, which is a rather sad thing given Tola and Kole are of the same age, yet their lives are so different in every possible way.

Who Is Behind The Abduction Of The Children?

What is really admirable about Iwaju is its attempt to give a valid reason (and a backstory) to its main villain instead of making the person unnecessarily evil. As a child, Ogabode, who also came from the Ajegunle neighborhood, didn’t have it easy. His mother got fired from the household where she used to work as a maid because Oga stole a little money. But Oga was not ashamed of the choice he made. He thought he deserved that money and made it his motto in life to take things from the rich. 


That little boy has now become the infamous Oga, who’s the mastermind behind the kidnapping, along with Happiness, a no-nonsense woman who does not necessarily agree with Oga’s way of working, and a former boxer, Sunday. Oga’s main target is Tunde, though, as he’ll be able to provide a list of all the rich people. But Tunde is not an easy target, so Oga decides to do the only thing he can, which is kidnapping Tola. 

What Is Kole’s Dilemma?

You could see Kole was hiding something from Tola from the very beginning, and once Oga’s character was introduced, it was not particularly hard to figure out. Kole is most certainly Oga’s pawn to reach Tunde, just because he happens to be friends with Tola and also works in the Martins household. However, Kole is a loyal friend who will never do anything to hurt Tola. Sadly, he also has a sick mother. So Oga makes use of his weakness and promises free treatment for his mother in exchange for Kole’s help. 


How Does Tola Get Kidnapped?

Tola always wanted to visit the mainland, but Tunde was always afraid something might happen to her there, and frankly, he was not particularly wrong. On her tenth birthday, she receives a gift from Tunde, that happens to be this weird-looking lizard. But Tunde promises that if she takes care of the lizard, he will take her to the mainland. Tola obviously has no idea what the “lizard” really is, but she does her best to make sure the poor little animal is okay. But seeing Tola dining with someone like Kole one day, Tunde gets mad, and he declares that Tola is not going to the mainland. So, now Tola has no choice but to ask for Kole’s help. Convincing the family driver, Godspower, doesn’t seem to be the challenge, and we soon see Tola and Kole roaming around in the streets of Lagos. Tola is bewildered by the charm of the new world she has found. But Kole, despite having a good time, is looking quite anxious, for obvious reasons.

But when Sunday and Happiness come to take away Tola, Kole changes his mind and tries to fight them off. Unfortunately, he is after all a little boy who can’t really beat up a pair of criminals and save Tola from getting abducted by these people. He is smart enough to tell Tola to agree to whatever “these people” say in order to be okay beforehand. What Kole and Tola both don’t notice is that Otin has been following them all along but the problem is she has almost zero charge left in her battery.

Does Tola Get Saved In The End?

I really like how in Iwaju, every single character gets a bite-sized backstory at the beginning of every single episode, which proves they’re not evil or bad. Tola’s father, Tunde, does come off as this typical rich person, and how he treats Kole initially is quite frustrating, especially considering Tunde himself comes from a very humble background. In his backstory, you actually see how a younger Tunde joins Greenwood Tech with the dream of inventing things to help people. But his boss, Mrs. Usman, makes it clear to him that all that matters is pleasing the clients and shareholders. Tunde, in the present, is a person who is not inherently bad but has been molded by his circumstances.

When Tunde learns that Tola was kidnapped, he has no problem spending the money to get his daughter back. But that only implies his invention has failed, as he in fact presented it to his daughter to do a trial run. What Tunde didn’t consider doing was activating the all-important “Ija,”  which would have been useful in the situation. But Otin turns out to be a self-aware AI who quickly figures out the urgency of the situation and starts fixing things. Because of her, Tunde manages to locate Kole, and once the confusing state of “how did all this happen” gets clear, the two of them become quite friendly. There’s still the most important job in hand, though: saving Tola.


Meanwhile, remembering what Kole said to her, Tola appears to be extremely polite to Oga and the whole gang, and they can’t help but like the little kid. Oga is the villain of this story, but he’s clearly someone who would melt when a cute kid talks about random things with him and lovingly refers to him as “uncle.” That doesn’t mean he has abandoned his quest, though. No matter how much he likes the kid, the father is all an islander who needs to be taught a lesson.

During Iwaju‘s ending, Oga takes Tunde, Tola, Kole, and everyone else to Tunde’s house on the island, where Tunde is supposed to use his computer in order to erase Oga’s name from all the police databases. The plan is clearly a stupid one, and you know it’s going to fail, but it’s still so much fun to watch after all. And while Tunde keeps trying to fulfill Oga’s wish at his office, Kole and Ola manage to deceive Happiness, Sunday, and Oga’s other minions and achieve what even Tunde hasn’t been able to do yet: activating the “Ija.” After that, it was a matter of time before Otin took care of business and put Oga in the hands of the law. Not to mention, Tola also livestreams Oga’s confession of all the wrongdoings, which is seen by everyone in Lagos. To think about it, it is actually Tola who saves the day, and also saves her father; not the other way around! If this is not the epitome of wholesomeness, then what is?


Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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