In a corner of Lagos, Ese does not understand her mother’s world. Her mother has many friends (clients), but she is disallowed from having any. This world is ruled by Madam Suga, the supreme godmother for all the prostitutes in her harem. In a mixture of debauched world of Tina and innocence of Jamil and Ese, Okah presents commodification of sex through the short film titled Bariga Suga. Yet, Okah’s scenes are not lurid scenes of sex that such a film should present.
We are introduced into the world of prostitution in Bariga through the lament of Ese who does not know what her mother does for a living. Her mother, just like other ladies living in Madam Suga’s house, trades her body for sex. Not long after arriving in Madam Suga’s house, Ese’s loneliness is taken away by the arrival of Jamil. Their naivety later develops into friendship and infantile wishes through the play-within-a-play in the film. However, Jamil’s death later restored Ese’s loneliness though by now, Ese understands what her mother does and she does not wish this as a future ambition.
With this, Okah presents the social predicament and economic frustration which could have made a person like Hannatu to take prostitution as a trade to eke out living. This is a dark story, sustained by the friction between childhood innocence and the burden of survival within an impoverish environment.