We are now in another week of Coronavirus lockdown, and stay-at-home entertainment is proving to be a surviving tool. People have taken to video games, jumped on internet challenges and made video apps like TikTok and House Party even more popular. You are stuck at home, but you don’t have to sulk around while the world is consumed by a deadly virus.
On Netflix, there’s a plethora of Nollywood movies to enjoy – the streamer has been serious about expanding its slate of African programming and working with indigenous producers and filmmakers. Also, Nollywood movies have been making their way to the streaming platform like a blizzard, but here’s a list I have composed that sifts through Netflix’s Nollywood catalogue, from movies long past their time in theaters, long-forgotten thrillers and others that must have skipped your notice. I hope it brings a little of something good.
1. 93 Days
The world is steeped in the COVID-19 crisis and no other Nollywood movie encapsulates the current atmosphere as well as Steve Gukas’ 93 Days. It tells the story of the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria and its successful containment by a Lagos hospital. This pandemic medical thriller movie is phenomenally good on account of Bimbo Akintola’s acting chops, evoking the memory of Doctor Stella Adadevoh who payed the supreme price.
2. The Figurine
As a horror fan, this is one of my favourite movies from Kunle Afolayan but, more importantly, The Figurine is an interesting precursor of Ramsey Nouah’s capacity for playing unhinged, sinister roles. During NYSC, two friends played by Nouah and Afolayan stumble on a mysterious sculpture that bestows good luck for seven years but has dark consequences in the years that follow. The Figurine can be painfully slow sometimes, but it renders decent scares and atmosphere.
3. Castle & Castle
Some of EbonyLife’s tentpole movies have since been offloaded on Netflix, and Castle & Castle makes a streaming comeback on the platform after premiering on EbonyON. If you like legal dramas, then this is for you.
Here’s one of the finest Nollywood romantic comedies I have seen. Director Jade Osiberu rips into the cultural psyche around womanhood and marriageability, slathered with with its own brand of quirky humour. Dakore Egbuson-Akande is nothing but enchanting in her role as the woman pressured by society to get married, and Marc Rhys might as well be the archetypal prince charming from a
I didn’t realise Joy was directed by an Austrian-Iranian filmmaker until after watching the movie. It is Sudabeh Mortezai’s sophomore feature that captures a Nigerian woman caught in the vicious cycle of sex trafficking in far away Austria. A slow burner but worth the pay-off.
6. King of Boys
With a sequel on its way, King of Boys demands second viewing. Gangsters, shock horror, revenge, and a power tussle create a perfect storm in Kemi Adetiba’s political thriller. A caustic study of Nigeria’s political firmament, Sola Sobowale steals the entire show from beginning to the end.
7. October 1
Another Kunle Afolayan movie, but this one a whodunnit weaved into Nigeria’s celebration of Independence. I have personally made it a tradition to watch this movie every October 1, but Coronavirus times calls for desperate measures.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies, anime and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.