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Yesterday, I was making a list of my top 10 memorable Nigerian movies and I stopped at number 6. Here are the remaining 5. issakaba2 5. ISSAKABA The movie, “Issakaba” came out at the time “vigilantism” was springing up and becoming popular in Nigeria especially in the South-Eastern states. The movie released in early 2001. Directed by Lancelot Imasuen, it starred acts like Sam Dede, Chiwetalu Agu, Amaechi Muonagor, Susan Obi, Mike Ogundu, Pete Eneh among others. It revolved around a story of corruption in the land reaching its apex, and some group of vigorous men with supernatural powers coming in to sanitize and purge the town of evil men and their deeds. Some people went on to say that the title of the movie “Issakaba” is a flip of “Bakassi” which was a name for a vigilante group known back then as “Bakassi Boys” in Abia State and some parts of the Eastern Nigeria. The movie depicted the “Issakaba” boys as the embodiment of a return to justice to unravel the complex web of deception that had characterised the recognised judicial system. This movie is on my list because despite having 5 different parts, the reception was huge and the influence was so great that it became the trending plot for so many Nollywood movies after it.   glamour girls 4. GLAMOUR GIRLS In this 1994 movie, Kenneth Nnebue deviated from the stereotypical themes of rituals and family squabbles that characterized the early Nollywood production; rather, the focus was sex, power and fame. Although certain scenes and characters were criticized for raunchiness and nudity, a lot of people praised the bravery of the key actors which had quite a number of memorable moments like Zach Orji’s famous bathroom scene with Eucharia Anunobi, where both actors posed topless in the bathtub frolicking with each other. The likes of Liz Benson, Tina Amuziam, Dolly Unachukwu, Barbara Odoh, Gloria Anozie, Ngozi Ezeonu, the late Jennifer Okere, and others delivered impressive performances devoid of any inhibition or self-restraint. This movie made my list because it scored a Nollywood first in its genre and it got many people talking even years after.   jenifa 3. JENIFA “Jenifa” is a 2008 Nigerian comedy-drama film starring Funke Akindele and telling the all too familiar story of a young ‘village girl’ (Suliat) who moved to the city to enroll in university with great expectations. She was ridiculed for her style (or lack-there-of), her accent and manner of speaking at the University until she met a group of girls, and the transformation from Suliat to JENIFA began. Though the story line is predictable, the humour and costumes in the movie made it one of the most unforgettable movies ever to come out of Nollywood. Quips like “Suliat kan; Aiyetoro kan” and “Gbogbo Bigz gehs” became part of everyday casual conversation in Nigeria after JENIFA. Little wonder it makes number 3 on my list.   osuofia 2. OSUOFIA IN LONDON ‘Osuofia in London’ is a 2003 Nigerian comedy film written and directed by Kingsley Ogoro and starring Nkem Owoh who played the character of Osuofia. Osuofia is a poor villager who traveled to London to claim his inheritance left for him by his deceased brother, only to find that his brother’s fiancée who initially pretended to be interested in him romantically, alongside the lawyers, were actually trying to take advantage of him by making him sign away his inheritance. But Osuofia never had to curtail his imposition of his culture and judgements; he eventually outsmarted the city slickers when his brother’s fiancée and the lawyer fell out and Osuofia returned to Nigeria with his fortune intact. He also brought along his brother’s fiancée who obviously had eyes firmly on his cheque book. The movie was very popular so I am sure no one will find any fault with this movie making my list.   living in bondage 1. LIVING IN BONDAGE Living in Bondage is a 1992 Nigerian drama thriller film directed by Chris Obi Rapu, written by Kenneth Nnebue and Okechukwu Ogunjiofor and produced by Okechukwu Ogunjiofor. The film starred actors like Kanayo O. Kanayo, Francis Agu, Kenneth Okonkwo, Ngozi Nwosu, Bob-Manuel Udokwu amongst others. The film made in Igbo language tells the story of a man who joins a secret cult, kills his wife in a ritual sacrifice, gains enormous wealth as a reward, and is afterwards haunted by the dead wife’s ghost. Many credit this film as the one that kick-started Nollywood. While this is not the whole truth, the nationwide success achieved by this movie when it came out launched what would later become known as the Nollywood industry. This film that made Kenneth Okonkwo a household name in Nollywood is undoubtedly my number one as I have not met any Nigerian film follower who did not watch or has not heard about “Living In Bondage”. So, there you have my top 10 memorable Nigerian movies. If you think I have left any one out or you know of any that deserves a mention, drop a line in the comment section.        

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This article was first published on 20th August 2015


Chris Bamidele is a passionate and unapologetic Nigerian, who believes in God and humanity. He is a writer, blogger, and an aspiring Television Director; and an optimist to the core. He blogs at and tweets @Chrisbamidele.

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