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10 Must Watch Nollywood Movies

The Nigerian film industry has come a long way, here are some of the best movies they produced.

Nigeria is Africa’s movie powerhouse!

Nollywood, Nigeria’s equivalent of Hollywood continue to churn out films of international repute.1

Long gone are the times when Africa was dependent on films from the West to fill its whetting appetite for theater and entertainment. Africa got talents!

Nollywood is the place where this is aptly demonstrated.

We put together this list of our favorite Nollywood movies of all time to get your adventure into African cinema started properly.

10. Domitilla

Theme

It’s about a young girls spiral into moral decadence and the subsequent quest for survival. Some of the root causes include need, greed, and peer pressure.

Scriptwriters

  • Zeb Ejiro
  • Ken Oghenejabor

Directors

  • Zeb Ejiro

Lead actor(s)

  • Anne Njemanze

Release date

  • 1996

9. Half of Yellow Sun

This is a movie inspired by Nigeria’s Biafra civil war.

Theme

Two sisters grow apart due to their personal differences, but when civil war breaks out, their shared political cause overrides their initial differences. They unite to form a newly independent republic.

Scriptwriter

Directors

Lead actors

Release date

  • 2013

Awards

  • Outstanding Foreign Film – Black Reel Awards 2015
  • Black Reel Awards 2015 – Image Awards 2015
  • Best Feature – Oslo Films from the South Festival 2014

8. Aki na Ukwa

This is one of the most popular comedies of the 1990s featuring two naughty boys – Aki, and Ukwa.

Theme

The drama revolves around two naughty boys, Aki (Chinedu Ikedieze) and Ukwa (Osita Iheme). It follows their mischievous actions and reigning chaos at home, village, and school.

Scriptwriter

  • Kasvid

Directors

Lead actors

Release date

  • 2003

Awards

  • Lifetime Achievement Award (Osita Iheme) – Africa Movie Awards
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (Chinedu Ikedie) – Africa Movie Awards

7. Osuofia in London

Osuofia in London is a comedy film.

Theme

The comedy revolves around a Nigerian villager (Osuofia) who gets the news of his brother’s demise in London. The brother left him a huge estate that he had invested in London.

The villager gets bamboozled by the modern London life and the vast wealth his brother bequeathed him as the sole heir.

Among the traditional inheritance is his brother’s English fiancé (Mara Derwent) who by the village tradition he is required to marry.

However, the brother’s fiancé, ignorant of the Nigerian village tradition develops doubts and thus the drama begins.

Scriptwriters

  • Kola Munis,
  • Emeka Obiakonwa
  • Kingsley Ogoro

Directors

  • Kingsley Ogoro

Lead actors

  • Francis Odega
  • Nkem Owoh (Osuofia)
  • Cynthia Okere
  • Mara Derwent

Release date

  • 2003

Awards

  • Best Sound Track – Africa Movie Awards

6. Sitanda

Sitanda is a story of love, lust, betrayal, abuse of power, fear, taboos, among others.

Theme

Amanze Bimbo leaves his wife Ann, soaked in the rain while he solely and selfishly utilizes the only umbrella; instead of covering his wife.

This symbolizes the gravity of their strained marriage in which Amanze blames his wife for all his misfortunes. He links these misfortunes to her status as a cursed outcast.

Scriptwriter

Directors

Lead actors

Release date

  • 2007

Nominations

  • 9 nominations

5 African Movie Awards (2007):

  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Nigerian Film
  • Best Director
  • Best Picture

5. Living in Bondage

This is a pioneer film that opened Nollywood curtains to the world. It is a thriller movie based on traditional Nigerian culture.

Theme

A man (Kenneth Okwonko) killed his wife as a ritual sacrifices in hopes of obtaining riches. However, he becomes haunted by the wife’s spirit till he turns mad.

Scriptwriter

  • Kenneth Nnebue
  • Okechukwu Ogunjiofor

Directors

  • Chris Obi Rapu

Lead actors

  • Kenneth Okwonko
  • Nnnenna Nwabueze
  • Okechukwu Ogunjiofor
  • Francis Agu

Release date

  • 1992 (Part I)
  • 1993 (Part II)

4. Ije

Blood is thicker than water. Even when you siblings commit a heinous crime, you still wish the best of them – freedom.

Theme

Chioma (Genevieve Nnaji) travels to the United States determined to do everything to stop her sister (Omotola Jalade Ekiende) from being arrested for murdering her own husband and two other men.

All that she demands is the truth in order to carry out her mission.

Scriptwriters

  • Chineze Anyaene
  • Samuel Tilsen

Directors

  • Chris Attoh

Lead actors

Release date

  • 2010

Awards

  • The Golden Ace Award at the Las Vegas International Film Festival,
  • The Award of Excellence at the Canada International Film Festival,
  • The Melvin van Peebles Award at the San Francisco Black Festival
  • The Silver Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival
  • The Festival Prize for Best International Student at Swansea Bay Film Festival

3. The Most Wanted

It is a movie in one of those rare occasions when the hunter and the hunted fall in love with each other.

Theme

A group of gangster girls masquerades as men in order to carry out a robbery.

Police are on a mission to hunt down this notorious gang that they believe to be men. However, over time, one of the female gangsters befriends a policeman.

Unknowingly, the policeman falls in love with the female outlaw, only to discover much later that she is a member of the notorious criminal gang.

Scriptwriter

  • Dozie Eriobu

Directors

Lead actors

Release date

  • 1996

2. A Trip to Jamaica

A culture shock comedy movie.

Theme

The theme revolves around newly married couple on a trip to visit their relatives abroad. The secrets they uncover from their hosts lead to their eventual breakup.

Scriptwriter / Producer

  • AY Makun

Directors

Lead actors

  • Funke Akindele
  • Nse Ikpe Etim
  • Chris Attoh

Release date

  • 2016

Awards

  • Nigeria Entertainment Award for Best Supporting Actor
  • Nigeria Entertainment Award for Best Actress

1. The Wedding Party

The Wedding Party is a Nigerian comedy-drama.  The Wedding Party has two parts – Part I and Part II. Currently, it is the highest grossing Nigerian film of all time.

Theme

The comedy revolves around a drama characteristic of high-class weddings in Nigeria. This includes, among others: unwilling parents, unruly guests, and fidelity suspicions.

Script writer

  • Don Omope
  • Zulu Oyibo
  • Ijeoma Agukoronye

Directors

Lead actors

Release date

  • 2016 (Part I)
  • 2017 (Part II)

Awards

  • Best International Film – National Film Awards UK

Get your snacks ready!

Nollywood has come of age.

From a backstreet start to the mainstream film industry, Nollywood continues to make great strides.

It has become one of the top earners of Nigeria’s economy, which has provided employment to thousands of young talents. Nollywood continues to scoop most of the Africa Movie Academy Awards since its inception – a great testament to its potential.2

Didn’t see your favorite above? Comment below on which film you think belongs here.

Resources:

  1. Nollywood
  2. Africa Movie Academy Awards
Hudson

Written by Hudson

Hudson is a freelancer writer, author, accountant, and techpreneur. He writes on topical issues relating to technology, business, entrepreneurship, self-help, society, and geopolitics. Following up on African affairs and writing on topical issues about Africa is one of those things that greatly inflames Hudson’s passion.

You can email him at: [email protected]