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These 6 Nigerian films are perfect for Africa Day

Nollywood films to see this weekend.

A still shot from Half of a Yellow Sun [IMDb]
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Nollywood is seen to be a powerhouse of African cinema and offers a wide range of films that resonate with our history, culture, and struggles of the continent. There have also been Nigerian historical events that have inspired come films from outside the continent.

So what better way to mark this occasion than to watch some some of these works, especially since they are available on streaming, cinemas and even YouTube.

Here are 6 must-watch Nigerian films that will take you on a journey of self-discovery, celebrate heroes and spark conversations:

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Synopsis: The film follows the story of two sisters, Olanna and Kainene, who return home to 1960s Nigeria, where they soon diverge on different paths. As civil war breaks out, political events loom larger than their differences as they join the fight to establish an independent republic.

Director: Biyi Bandele

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandiwe Newton, Onyeka Onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji, and O.C. Ukeje

Where to watch: Prime Video

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Synopsis: As Nigeria prepares for independence from the British in 1960, a seasoned police detective rushes to find the serial killer slaughtering its native young women.

Director: Kunle Afolayan

Cast: Sadiq Daba, Kayode Aderupoko, Demola Adedoyin, Kehinde Bankole, and Kunle Afolayan.

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Where to watch: Prime Video

Synopsis: This film follows the story of Ayinla, a quick-tempered and promiscuous Apala musician at the peak of his career. Ajala, a show promoter, offers to take Ayinla and his Apala group on tour in London, as their music has been in high demand in the city. While arrangements for the London trip are underway, Ayinla seduces his manager, Bayewu's girlfriend, which leads to enmity between them. Ayinla decides to confront Bayewu in a bar, leading to an unintended brawl and Ayinla's untimely death.

Director: Tunde Kelani

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Cast: Lateef Adedimeji, Omowumi Dada, Bimbo Manuel, Ade Laoye, and Kunle Afolayan

Where to watch: Netflix

Synopsis: The film follows the story of Amina, a young woman inspired by a thrilling duel, who defies tradition and challenges societal norms. Witnessing the fight, Amina declares her desire to become a warrior to her father, the Emir of Zazzau. However, her ambitions are met with resistance from Magaji Mjinyawa, who argues that women have no place in Zazzau's army. The plot follows the events that lead Amina on a path to shattering traditions and ultimately ascending the throne of Zazzau.

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Director: Izu Ojukwu

Cast: Lucy Ameh, Ali Nuhu, Clarion Chukwurah, Abu Chris Gbakann, and Magaji Mijinyawa

Where to watch: Netflix

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Synopsis: The movie tells the tale of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's mother, from her groundbreaking years as the first female pupil at Abeokuta Grammar School to her union with Israel Ransome-Kuti. She opposed injustice and founded the Abeokuta Women's Union. This led to a bloody conflict with traditional and colonial leaders who stood in the way of justice and fairness.

Director: Bolanle Austen-Peters

Cast: Joke Silva, Kehinde Bankole, Adunni Ade, Iyimide Ayo-Olumoko, Ibrahim Suleiman, and Iremide Adeoye

Where to watch: Cinema

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Synopsis: This documentary looks at the life and music of Nigerian singer Fela Kuti, interwoven with extended scenes of the development of the New York musical, Fela.

Director: Alex Gibney

Cast: Interviews with members of the Anikulapo Kuti family.

Where to watch: YouTube

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Synopsis: The story is told from two points of view: that of a young pregnant woman, and that of her husband, a soldier accused of being involved in the failed 1976 military coup and assassination of General Murtala Mohammed, the Head-of-State of Nigeria.

Director: Izu Ojukwu

Cast: Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Rita Dominic, Ibinabo Fiberesima, and Daniel K. Daniel

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Where to watch: Netflix

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