The Secret Laughter of Women

Synopsis: A beautiful young single mother feels the pressure from the ex-pat Nigerian community to get married. Her precocious son has met his hero, a cynical English comic book writer and decides he is a match for his mum. The fall for each other but their love is tested by resistance from the community.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
99 min

I will rid the Universe of the

accursed Recombinants hordes!



Saracen, Space Crusader,

Liberty, Honour, Justice,

with a body count.

Saracen, Space Crusader...

Sammy, hush...

- What's this?

- It's my Saracen communicator.

Well, wipe it off.

Church of the Anglican Ascension

The Carol Talking Drum,

is there peace with you?

We are thankful...

- Poor fatherless boy.

- Uh-um...

He can do it, mamma.

Sammy, come and

greet your Aunties.

Hi, Auntie Rosa.

Mmm, fine boy Samuel.

Scholarship boy.

Twelve times seven?

Eighty four.

- Have you seen this new Reverend?

- M-m-no...


From those of us who have been here

for thirty years to recent arrivals,

Francophones, Anglophones,

from Monte-Carlo to Marseille

we are all Africans.

Our ladies' Dance Committee...

Ah, your famous crab stew!

You know he can do it, mamma.

His wife is dead.


Last year, of a fever.

But they are a very traditional family.

He would court someone with all respect.

None of this cinema-discotheque business.

Six times a week, too.

Rosa, how do you

know such things?

Your smiles welcome me

to your church.

Oh, Sweet Potato!

Just let me at him, that's all.


Talk off... Before you bring

bad luck on your head.

Ah, but luck is as changeable

as a chameleon's skin.

Seen the Reverend

looking at you, uh?

When I stain my cloth,

I tie my head tie bigger, uh?

Takes attention away

from the stain.

Then, you see, I have

a married woman's head tie.

Very few stains a married woman's

head tie cannot disguise.


What is your business?

You should be worrying

about yourself and your son.

The lessons you don't teach him,

life will teach him.

And life's lessons are bitter.

We are alright,

Sammy and I.

But I'll beat him later

if it makes you happy.

See now!

We need a man in this

house to beat you.

If you beat children,

they'll put you in a jail.

- Is that so?

- Yes. It's called "child abuse".

Oh, white people. That's why

they don't respect their elders.

He swores me on a Bible,

no more stories!


How do I look?

"The cow that follows the herd

will not get lost. "

- Which herd, mamma?

- Why are you not married?

If it matters so much to you,

then you find me a husband.

What kind of a husband,

Foolish Antelope?

Honest enough to take on

Sammy and me,

and brave enough

to know the truth.

And if he's romantic as well,

I'll marry him tomorrow.

- Mamma?

- What?

Why am I always a cow

in your proverbs?

Don't you wonder what it would be like

to live in the twenty-fifth century?

Sweet Potato,

I wonder what it'd be like

to live in the twentieth century.

Sweet Potato, hasn't this game got

you into enough trouble already?

See you later.

Rosa, this your yam plant

grows like the bush.

Oh, that's because Mamma

Sammy looks after it.

Why it never grows

in our houses?

Life never flourishes in

a house full of women.

Oh, that's because

you need men and love!

Somebody here must be

having plenty of sex

to cause that plant

to grow like this.

Mamma Sammy was looking

very beautiful today.

Bad mouth, what does she mean

by beautiful? We thank God!

We should find her

another husband...

She says she's looking

for someone romantic.

Looking for romance, when she cannot

even cook a decent pot of stew.

- Nonsense!

- What she needs is the Reverend.

That strong headed girl?

She will never agree.

Oh, we don't have to tell her.

We can arrange it between ourselves.

After all, "one finger cannot be expected

to bring in a harvest"!

No-no, "one finger

cannot wash a face",

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Misan Sagay

Misan Sagay is a screenwriter whose credits include The Secret Laughter of Women, starring Colin Firth, and Their Eyes Were Watching God, starring Halle Berry. Misan’s most recent writing project is Belle, an historical drama starring Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Gugu Mbatha-Raw playing the title role. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Secret Laughter of Women" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 31 Jul 2021. <>.

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