The Top Five Nollywood Movies You Should Watch Right Now

It’s been four weeks since the government of Canada has declared a state of emergency. By the looks of things, we may be staying in for a few more weeks. If you are like me, you are probably tired of Hollywood movies at this point. My challenge to you is to branch out and try a different type of entertainment: Nollywood movies. 

Nollywood is the second-largest movie industry in the world. I believe one of the reasons it stands out is because it speaks to voices who aren’t usually heard. Nollywood storytelling explains problems Nigerians face that people within the community may ignore, and people outside may not even be aware of. If you are new to Nollywood, or you are just looking for something different to watch, here are five Nollywood films you should watch right now (in no particular order).

 

Olowogbogboro

This title means “the seventh hand”, and follows the story of two mothers and their children with learning disabilities. One child, Eniola Olaniyi, is continually rejected by schools because of her learning disability. Eniola is from a single-parent home, and despite how poor her mother is, she does not give up on her child’s education. No matter how many rejections Eniola got from school or teachers running away from Eniola’s inability to understand, her mother never told her she was stupid. Her mother insisted that the schools and teachers were rejecting her because she was too intelligent. Eniola and her mother’s life took a turn when a new teacher, Ms. Tokunbo came into their life. Ms. Tokunbo took her time explaining concepts to Eniola. The other child, on the other hand, was not so fortunate. Mama Ebun would always hit her daughter Ebun because she did not understand why Ebun was having a hard time in school and repeating classes. In Nigeria, students are pressured to be great at their academics, so if a student is having a hard time, teachers and parents beat the kids with the hope that the child will improve academically. Watch Olowogbogboro to find out what happens to Ebun. 

 

What stood out to me:

  • The actors were so engrossed in their roles that they made it easy for the audience to relate to them as real people. Since beatings are normalized in Nigerian culture, the story resonates with the audience and is written to show another way to help a child that may be failing in school.

  • The message will reach many adults because of the language they used. Spoken in plain Yoruba, a Nigerian language, but subtitled well in English, it is accessible to many members of the audience. 

 

Oluwo agbaye

Being an Oluwo means being in a spiritual state of being, a state of consciousness, and manner of life. When you call a person Oluwo agbaye, they are the all-powerful, the overseer of the whole world. The story follows Owodunni, a wealthy and educated man who cannot become a king because he doesn’t have royal blood. The ancestors of the land do not want Owodunni on the throne. The King was to be chosen between three youths who are neither rich nor educated. However, with the help of Baba Tapa, Owodunni became the king, which put the village through trouble. This movie shows the struggle between those with wealth and power, and those without. 

 

What stood out to me:

  • The title of this movie is significant because we know there can’t be a human who is all powerful or oversees the whole world. Baba Tapa stood out to me because he embodied power and proved the extent people will go to when they know they have power over you. 

  • It was a well written script that could give you the basics for Nigeria politics. If you have studied Nigerian politics long enough and you are looking for a way to explain to your uneducated audience, this movie can be used as an example.

 

A woman’s wrath

There is a saying that goes, “Careful what you do to a good woman because you will have to deal with the Bitch you created.” A woman’s wrath follows Sayo, an uneducated girl who meets an undergraduate guy named Segun. Segun and Sayo are blindly in love, regardless of what people say about them being incompatible. Sayo paid for the rest of Segun’s schooling but Segun still betrays her in the worst way possible. You’ll have to watch to find out how…

 

What stood out to me:

  • This story shows why some women will say they can never date a poor man. While it is true that sacrificing for your partner is beautiful - especially when you both end up making it in life - the question remains: How many partners will appreciate this sacrifice enough not to betray you? Apparently, not Segun.

  • This move also shows the importance of female friendships. The sentiment, “Women are the enemy of women” has stopped many female friendships because some women would not even try establishing relationships with other women. In this film we meet Nike, a friend of Sayo, who solidifies why it is important to find your own sisters who would do anything for you. For this reason we need to appreciate friends like Nike who go the extra mile to make sure that we are okay. 

 

Wasted

In this film, people are obsessed with the “good girls.” I put good girls in quotes because I do not know if this means girls who dress nicely, girls who behave nicely the first time they meet people, or girls who are able to follow instructions by men. The story follows the story of Olalekan, the child of a billionaire who acts recklessly and has no regard for everyone - including his parents. When parents get fed up with his behaviour, they hire a police officer to be his bodyguard. The bodyguard, Akin, is responsible for many things, including chasing “prostitutes” away from him. His parents wanted Akin to find Olalekan, a “good girl” he could marry. This is because they believe the “good girl” will change Olalekan’s bad behaviour. The movie takes a turn when they find a “good girl” and we watch Olakans’ life unfold. 

 

What stood out to me: 

  • I find this movie interesting because of the various crimes within the movie, when Nollywood has been demeaned for their inability to produce a good crime movie. This suspense will change this idea if you are one of those people who would usually believe it!

  • People (usually men) who vehemently criticize sex workers are the ones who benefitting from them the most. For example, Akin, as a police officer criminalizes prostitution, but before he granted release for a prostitute, he demanded that she has sex with him for as long as he wanted. What does that say about men who applaud “good” girls and hate “bad” girls, but engage with the “bad” ones in the end?

 

Fifehanmi

Fifehanmi means “Show me love”. This is the story of Fifehanmi, a sex worker. She is a brilliant student in University, and so good with her studies, most of the other students from her university ask her for help. Although, other students want to crucify her her sex work, most of them do not want her to stop helping them. It was while exhibiting this brilliance when she met her husband, who turned out to be bad news. She stayed in an abusive marriage with her husband because she felt she deserved it because of the sex work she had done in the past.

 

What stood out to me:

  • This movie is so important because it shows the importance of unlearning things that have been taught to us through our culture. It shows how damaging morality can be if you do not learn to choose values that are beneficial to you and throw the rest away with others perceptions. Fifiehanmi believed that she deserve all the punishment her husband was giving her because she believed the sex work she did doing in the past was bad - based on how her peers disapproved. If not for the stigma behind sex work, I believed she would have easily walked away.

  • The idea that kids do not know what is happening in the home is the most idiotic thing parents believe. If anything, kids have a broaders understanding of what is going on between their parents and family. A mother/father should never stay in an abusive relationship and should not exhibit abusive behavior, because your kids are learning from your behavior.

  • Sex workers have always been portrayed as bad people, but they are important for our society regardless if you support them or not. Sex workers can be therapists in their own rights. Their work includes, but not limited to consoling their clients, teaching (the men) about female anatomy, reminding a person what it feels like to be touched, helping a disabled person feel normal (even if it is just for one hour). Think about it - the clients pay for two to three hours and sometimes even days. Do you literally think all they want during those moments is sex? Sex workers are sexual health professionals who focus on intimacy and connection.

 

 

So these are some Nollywood movies I believe are worth watching. And on top of that, all these movies are on Youtube, which means they are free!!!!