The internet these days has been populated by memes from what is now termed “Old Nollywood”
These memes take us to a time when our stories, though low budget with very little production value, brought us around the table, in conversation.
These movies held us all bound and stand as a foundation for the exploits the industry is now experiencing today.
In honor of that, we have, this week decided to take you down movie memory lane with a little dose of nostalgia, as we usher in the summer with style.
Here are the Top 15 Greatest Nollywood movies that should be on your movie playlist this weekend.
Aki na Ukwa
This Nigerian family comedy tells the tale of two brothers who cause complete chaos at their home, in their school, and basically in their whole village.
The movie received favorable reviews at its release and has since been hailed as one of the greatest works of Nigerian cinema, largely due to the introduction of Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze in the key parts, respectively portraying PawPaw and Aki.
Egg of Life
In this Andy Amenechi-directed film, a group of girls are sent into a dangerous forest to find the enchanted Egg of Life in order to save the life of the king’s only son.
The movie stars Pete Edochie, Clarion Chukwura, Georgina Onuoha, Ebele Okaro, Funke Akindele-Bello, Chinelo Ndigwe, Oma Nnadi, Padita Agu, and Nkiru Sylvanus.
Back then, this movie was the real deal. It solidified Iya Gbonkan’s place in film history.
Koto Aye was produced by the late Yekini Ajileye and featured the likes of Abija, Koledowo, Ajileye, and many more.
This movie is based on a particular town being disturbed by some old people (witches) who want to control the affairs of things.
Clarion Chukwura-Abiola, Chidi Mokeme, Ngozi Ezeonu, Eucharia Anunobi, and Enebeli Elebuwa star in Michael Ezeanyaeche’s 2003 action thriller, Abuja Connection.
The movie examines the struggle for power, money, and how living in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, can help people bridge the gap between poverty and prosperity.
Men in Love
Tonto Dike, John Dumelo, and Halima Abubakar star in Moses Ebere’s 2010 direct-to-video drama “Men in Love,” a Nigerian drama.
In the movie, a couple going through marital difficulties sees their predicament get worse when a “cursed” homosexual friend pays them a visit.
Charles, a former promiscuous husband, falls in love with his devoted homosexual friend (Alex). Despite Charles’s refusal of the advances of his gay friend, Alex persisted and eventually raped his friend. This all eventually led to a homosexual affair.
Beyonce and Rihanna
Beyonce and Rihanna, pop star diva rivals, are portrayed by Nadia Buhari and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, respectively.
Additionally, they both happen to be interested in Jay (Jim Iyke), a music producer.
You have probably heard this story before if it seems familiar to you. This is how the claimed beef between the actual Beyonce and Rihanna in the mid- to late 2000s was described.
Watch this and laugh at all the cheap wigs, Jim Iyke’s portrayal of Jay Z, and all the lip-syncing that made the movie seem like a greatest hits collection of Beyonce and Rihanna songs.
The best scene occurs at the end of Part 2, when both characters are set to compete against one another, but Beyonce collapses on stage due to an energy drink overdose.
Six-year-old Dada is a mischievously sadistic child who frequently annoys his neighbors by stealing and playing practical jokes.
Dada’s mother is at her wits’ end and agrees for her brother, who is visiting from Lagos, to take Dada to the big city to teach him some discipline. Once there, his uncle implores him to act properly. Of course, he does not.
After that, he makes the decision to go after wealth by creating the “Baby Police Force of Nigeria” (which is actually made up completely of adults except for Dada), and making money by extorting “criminals” (who are actually just everyday people).
The movie features Osita Iheme, Ijeoma Angel Boniface, Chinwe Owoh, and more.
The plot revolves around a recurring subject we have seen in countless Nollywood films: wayward young women seeking to live above their means. In this instance, BlackBerry smartphones are in the spotlight.
Damisa (Oge Okoye) and her friends (Tonto Dikeh, Mary Remmy, and Annie Macaulay) are the Blackberry Babes. The girls are constantly on the hunt for new models and are always BBM’ing each other gossip.
Directed by Christian Onu, “Karishika is the story of a girl who has been sent by Lucifer to the world to come and kill, destroy and tempt people in order to increase the population of hell.
The movie was released 20 years ago and is popularly remembered with its soundtrack “Karishika karishika! Queen of Darkness, Lucifer Lucifer King of Demons.”
The movie starred Bob Manuel Udokwo, Becky Okorie, Sandra Achums, Obi Mmadubugo, Amaechi Muonagor, Sunny Mc-Don, Adaora Ukoh, Ifeanyi Ikpoenyi, Andy Chukwu, and Steve Eboh, among others.
Osuofia in London
Nkem Owoh is the star of the 2003 Nigerian comedy film Osuofia in London, which was produced and directed by Kingsley Ogoro. The movie has likely had one of the greatest commercial successes in Nollywood history.
Nkem Owoh portrays Osuofia, a naive villager from Nigeria who learns of his brother Donatus’ passing in London. Francis Odega plays Donatus (England).
In his will, Donatus named Osuofia as the sole beneficiary of his enormous inheritance.
After traveling to London, Osuofia discovers that his late brother’s English fiancée, Samantha (played by Mara Derwent), is unsure of the Nigerian custom (i.e., Osuofia being a beneficiary of his brother’s goods).
A comedy of errors was produced as a result of cultural misunderstandings.
Living in Bondage
The 1992 film Living in Bondage is credited with altering the way Nigerian movies are distributed. It was written by Okechukwu Ogunjiofor and Kenneth Nnabue, and it was directed by Chris Obi Rapu.
Kenneth Okonkwo (who played Andy Okeke), Bob Manuel, and Kanayo Kanayo were also propelled to fame by the movie.
The movie centers on Andy Okeke, a man who is unhappy with his financial situation. When he runs into his former friend Paul, who is now wealthy, his dissatisfaction worsens.
After giving it some thought, Paul reveals to Andy the secret to his wealth: a money ritual that calls for the death of a loved one.
Andy reluctantly consents to give up his wife, Merit. Despite having the wealth and status he had always desired, his life became chaotic. His wife’s spirit started to bother him.
After going through a lot of pain, he runs into an old buddy who introduces him to Christ and spares his life.
Hour of Grace
Hour of Grace presented the tale of an elderly couple trying to have a child. The wife (Hilda Dokubo) convinced her husband (Justice Esiri) to wed Liz Benson, his closest friend, in order for him to have a child with her.
We all know how situations like this turn out. The seemingly kind friend steals the husband, mistreats the first wife, and makes the audience cry as though it were genuine.
The “wicked stepmother,” “wicked in-laws,” and “false accusation” tropes were all present in the film.
Blood Sisters is a story of two sisters who become entangled in a web of jealousy, hatred, and rivalry.
The two-part 2003 film stars Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde.
Jealous Esther does everything she can to make virtuous Gloria look bad. She tells lies and comes to envy Gloria for her career and her husband. In part two, Esther works on ruining Gloria’s children.
Blood Sisters exhibits the effects of jealousy and its pathway to self-destruction in a fascinating way, but it’s the power of karma that plays the award-winning role. This is a Nollywood classic.
Nneka the Pretty Serpent
The two-part 1994 Nigerian horror drama film Nneka the Pretty Serpent was written, directed, and produced by Okechukwu Ogunjiofor. It is thought to be the Nollywood film that popularized plots about people who are demon-possessed and are healed by pastors.
The narrative centers on a woman who longs to have a child of her own. She consults the river goddess (also known as Mami Wata) for assistance in getting pregnant. In return for the river goddess’ assistance, she pledges to commit the kid to her.
The mother then becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter named Nneka. Nneka is endowed with extraordinary abilities that she utilizes to further her evil agenda. Her goal is to seduce wealthy, married men in order to steal both their money and souls.
Games Women Play
The movie was directed by Lancelot Imaseun and produced by Rob Emeka Eze and Emem Isong. It featured the likes of Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade Ekehinde, Stella Damasus, Desmond Eliot, Zack Orji, and Bob Manuel Udokwo.
There were two distinct stories in the film. The first featured Genevieve, well-known Nollywood actress, who chooses to send her close friend Omotola Jalade Ekehinde to seduce her fiancé, Desmond Elliot, in order to test his love for her. The “fiancé” chose Omotola over Genevieve Nnaji after falling deeply in love with her.
In the movie, Stella Damasus played a happily married woman who was forced to confront her past when her husband, Zack Orji, brought his closest friend, Bob Manuel, to live with them.
It was a well-written narrative that left the audience wondering who was to blame in the end. There were a lot of valuable lessons in the film.
Joshua is a multidisciplinary creative and tech enthusiast who seeks to create meaningful experiences that make for a better and more equal world. He is a creative entrepreneur and human rights activist whose work navigates socio-cultural discourse and how it can be used as a vehicle for change.