5 Nollywood Gems To Watch on Netflix
Nigeria is home to one of the biggest film industries; Nollywood! It is believed to produce over 200 movies a month! In 2007, Nollywood produced 1,687 movies, which is more than Bollywood (India) and Hollywood (U.S.) combined. Africa has always had films since the 1960's thanks to the former Francophone colonies becoming independent, leaving a home for movie theaters, festivals, film clubs and the means for filmmakers to get support from France to make films. Nollywood films are typically a blend of melodrama with middle class and upper class people. The films draw on traditional characters and situations, as well as television serials imported from places like Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Korea — countries that produce large numbers of TV soap operas.
Netflix has about 40 Nollywood movies on their site. In 2020, Netflix officially launched its presence in Nigeria, the first from other streaming channels like Hulu and HBO. Nollywood movies engage with the moral codes of evangelical Christianity, as well as horror and action thrillers. The Nollywood style is low camp: sentimental, exaggerated, frivolous. I have to say I have become a fan of a lot of Nollywood films, but I do have to admit some of them are poorly written, bad acting, and some of it is just plain cheesy! So, to save many of you from starting a movie you probably won't get 10 minutes through, I found some gems that you will surely watch the whole way!
Moremi is a bright college student, pretty much at the top of her class. Student's look at her as the teachers pet, but really the teacher is more intrigued with her. Being a victim of sexual assault and fighting to clear your name at a huge college campus has to be one of the most insulting and stomach wrenching situations. What I love about this movie is how it's told. Moremi and the Professor are at their own personal hearing in front of the University's Senate. They both tell very different stories of what went down. This movie was said to be based on a true story and is now the number six movie in the world on Netflix!
Okay, so I know I'm not the only one that had an imaginary friend, when I was 6! The main character is Richard Okezi and he decides to leave Sylvia, his lifelong imaginary friend and lover for a real woman, Gbemi. This movie is super freaky! Sylvia gets jealous and starts to try and dismantle his life. But how can an imaginary girl ruin your life?! You've got to watch and see!
3. 93 DAYS
We are in a pandemic right now, so this movie is pretty fitting if you want to watch a drama thriller film based on a deadly disease. The film recounts the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria and the success behind containing it by the health workers. It's a great reminder of the hard work that our doctors and nurses are doing and putting their lives on the line for all citizens!
4. ELEVATOR BABY
Imagine being stuck in an elevator with a pregnant lady in labor! Yeah. It's a story about a wealthy privileged man named Dare who has a horrible temper and is way too self entitled. Well, here comes a very pregnant woman that ends up going into labor as soon as the elevator breaks! This movie has it's funny moments and teaches us how life can put us in very humbling situations. I was mostly impressed by how much they made me dislike Dare! I probably wouldn't watch it a second time, but you won't be disappointed if you are bored at home on a Friday night.
5. THE GOVERNOR
There's been a lot of political TV series and movies gracing the U.S. film industry and I'm not mad at it. The Governor is the one item on this list that isn't a movie and I thought I would at least give you something you can binge on! The Governor follows the journey of Savannah State’s Deputy Governor, Angela Ochello, who is sworn into office to replace the demised incumbent. This story reminds me of an earlier version of Olivia Pope in the U.S. TV series Scandal, but without the savvy and long telling experience. Ochello also has a family to take care of where as Pope is single and only has herself and clients to care about. Either way, I am a fan of any story where there is a lack woman lead that uncovers the corruption and greed in politics and men constantly trying to take her out! Not to mention, Ochello is gorgeous!