Nigerian cinema is one of the largest film industries in the world, and it’s never been easier to watch some of the country’s biggest and best movies at home.
Netflix has been steadily building its collection of Nollywood hits in recent years; notably Kunle Afolayan’s October 1 and Biyi Bandele’s Fifty in 2015. Then in September 2018, Netflix acquired Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut Lionheart – starring Pete Edochie, Nkem Owoh and Genevieve Nnaji herself – making it the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.
More recently, the streaming giant has begun stepping up its game even more in Nigeria and signing deals with some of the country’s biggest movie-makers, such as EbonyLife Films. Back in February, Netflix announced the arrival of Netflix Naija with a new Twitter account.
The announcement – which was shared by some of the industry’s most notable names, including Richard Mofe-Damijo, Banky W, Adesua Etomi, Kunle Folayan and Kemi Adetiba – read: “N is for Naija. N is for Nollywood. N is the 14th alphabet. 14 is also how many great talents you’re looking at. N is for Netflix. But most importantly…hello, Nigeria!”
In March, Netflix’s first Nigerian original series was announced. While there’s no news yet on a title or release date, the six-part drama will be directed by Akin Omotoso (Tell Me Sweet Something, Vaya) and will follow ‘a goddess reincarnated as a human to avenge her sister’s death.’ Exciting!
Also worth a mention is 2018’s Nigerian Prince, which dropped on Netflix UK on 14th August. Directed by Faraday Okoro and exec-produced by Spike Lee and Sam Pollard, it tells the story of Eze, a stubborn first-gen Nigerian-American teenager who is sent to Nigeria by his mother, and his cousin Pius, who runs a scamming business (which could be Eze’s ticket to a return flight back to the US). The film has been a hit on Netflix, and is a great way to introduce yourself to the genre.
So, whether you’re a Nollywood newcomer or one of the genre’s long-standing film buffs, here are some of the best Nollywood films on Netflix right now…