We rarely watch Nigerian movies that focus on the country, its successes and its challenges, but we still have a few Nollywood projects that capture the Nigerian culture, spirit and unsung heroes, so that citizens can at least feel proud of their fatherland amid the current negativities.
Believe me when I say nothing could be more beautiful than chilling and watching a movie that celebrates your nation and the spirit of its citizens. From biographical dramas to fun box-office projects, here is our list of Best Nollywood Movies That Celebrate Nigeria (2022).
1. The Wedding Party:
If you have been living under a rock, this is actually one of the highest-grossing Nigerian films ever, and it simply highlights the lavish Nigerian wedding culture most citizens are used to. Apart from the shocking absence of the ever-important Nigerian Jollof rice – I mean what exactly is a Nigerian wedding without Jollof rice? – the film does a brilliant job in capturing a regular Nigerian wedding.
“The Wedding Party” is a clear representation of the expected back and forth that takes place before and after any wedding in Nigeria. And as you already know, a typical Naija wedding is nothing short of entertaining, dramatic, hectic and beautiful.
At every wedding gathering in Nigeria, you are expected to come across that relative who showed up only for the food, friends who pulled up for the “gram” and an envious ex who is present to moan about how things could have been very different. All this and more was captured in this Kemi Adetiba project, and this made it one of the best Nollywood movies yet.
The successful film captured the right energy, sound, colourfulness, culture and fashion that will push you to attend the next Nigerian wedding you are invited to. It featured brilliant actors like RMD, Ireti Doyle, Sola Shobowale, Adesuwa Etomi, Banky W, Zainab Balogun, Ikechukwu e.t.c, and this 1hr 40 mins movie did not even feel long at all because of how hilarious it was.
The scenes of the flamboyant Nigerian wedding made the gathering feel like a carnival at some point as almost all of its guests did their very best to outshine everyone else at the venue. It was a memorable project that Nollywood fans will not forget in a hurry and this is because the cast involved were simply perfect for their different roles.
Speaking on her project a while back, Kemi Atetiba said it happened after she got a call from Mo ABudu who told her she had an idea only her could bring to life perfectly. According to her, immediately after Mo told her the concept would revolve around a typical Nigerian wedding, her brain started imagining, cutting, editing, and shooting the project.
Kemi revealed that she wanted “The Wedding Party” to be a rom-com, but the main priority was for the movie to be remembered as a hilarious project. She said that with several Nigerians gathered in one place for any occasion whatsoever, there is bound to always be all kinds of crazy stuff happening, so the onus was on her and her team to ensure all of that is reflected in her movie.
According to Adetiba, casting took an open-call process and everybody just had to audition for the different roles up for grabs. She revealed that roles were given according to whoever did justice to it and it was really amazing to see several talented Nollywood stars deliver to make it a successful project.
The famous director added that she never doubted Banky W embracing acting the way he did despite being a popular musician because she had worked with him before. According to her, a lot of her music videos are stories, so she was never worried that Banky W would deliver when called upon on a movie set.
2. A Soldier’s Story:
If there is any Nigerian movie that has done its very best to celebrate and hail Nigerian soldiers for their contributions to the country, it has to be this one.
This memorable movie’s storyline is centred around a soldier on a peacekeeping mission who was left for dead by some rebel soldiers. It shed major light on several emotions like heartbreak and sadness that come with the terrible news of the death of a loved one during the war.
The movie helps us remember the labours of our heroes past, especially humans Lt. Colonel Muhammad Abu Ali and other gallant officers who lost their lives during the ongoing battle against B oko Ha ram.
3. A Place in the Stars:
This Nollywood masterpiece was inspired by the tenure of the late Director General of National Agency for Food and Dr ug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Dora Akunyili, and its story revolved around Dakim, a young lawyer who knows a top secret about the trafficking of fake drugs that can prevent the loss of several lives if he shares it, or earn him millions of dollars if he keeps it to himself.
If you can recall, late Professor Dora Akunyili, during her tenure as the Head of NAFDAC, fiercely fought against the sale and use of fake dr ugs, even when her life was at stake. She eventually became the Federal Minister of Information & Communication in 2008, becoming the head of a rebranding campaign for Nigeria with the slogan: “Good People, Great Nation.”
The movie sheds light on the vibrant and honest spirit of various Nigerians out there who remain steadfast in being good against all odds to make Nigeria a great nation. Its rich cast includes Segun Arinze, Gideon Okeke, Yemi Blaq, Matilda Obaseki and Dejumo Lewis, and it was produced by Steve Gukas.
This project “A Place in the Stars” is an almost perfect movie every Nigerian has to spare time to watch. From how clear the picture is, to the choice of soundtracks that were used, and the storyline plus message that got passed, it is surely one of the most underrated Nollywood films yet.
Speaking on the project, Gukas said the motive of the project was to make a Nigerian movie that will resonate with Nigerians and audiences worldwide. According to him, he had to employ the very best tech and production values to make the project a successful one and he is glad that everything came out well eventually.
Steve said that his son’s happiest day in life was when “A Place In The Stars” was finished because his friends had mocked him for calling his dad a filmmaker for a very long time without actually proving it. He added that it feels completely unreal to be able to direct his own friends to Netflix to watch his movie.
Nigeria is a nation with lots of cultural practices that define us as a people. For instance, we have the Sharo ceremony in Fulani Land, the traditional baby naming ceremony in Yoruba land, the fattening room in Efik land and the ever-popular Omugwo in Igbo land.
If you are looking for a Nigerian movie that breaks down a fun culture of a tribe in Nigeria, it has to be “Saworoide,” which stands for talking drum or brass bell in plain English. This Tunde Kelani project sheds light on an old Yoruba norm in the town of Jogbo where no one can ever be crowned king if the Saworoide is not played by the right person.
As you already know, drumming is a vital part of the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people, and there are several drum options like Gangan (Talking Drum), Bata, Saworide, Omela Ako which can all be used for different occasions. The movie celebrates African art and the beauty of tradition and folklore, plus it focuses on how Nigeria battled with civil rule and military dictatorship.
5. 93 Days:
This Nollywood movie focuses on celebrating the sacrifices of the late Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh and everyone else who risked their lives to ensure the Ebola virus got contained in Nigeria. Recall that on the 20th of July, 2014, Patrick Sawyer arrived in Lagos from Liberia, became very sick on arrival, and died 5 days later of the E bola disease.
And almost 93 days later, on the 20th of October, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Nigeria E bola-free, and the method used to battle the virus actually attracted positive recognition across the globe for the nation. In fact, in WHO’s Ebol a Situation Assessment report, Nigeria was cited as an exemplary nation for how to effectively battle a deadly and infectious disease.
For those who did not know, Ebol a was controlled in Nigeria because of the smart thinking, resilience and selflessness of the late Dr Ameyo Adadevoh and other medical personnel. Dr. Adadevoh remained adamant to curb the spread of the Ebol a virus in Nigeria by placing Patrick Sawyer in quarantine despite lots of external pressure to release him.
Sadly, our hero eventually died on the 19th of August, 2014, a few weeks after testing positive for the E bola virus disease. The “93 Days,” project did think it wise to record this memorable period in Nigeria, and it displayed the strength, selflessness and sacrificial nature of Nigerians when a situation calls for it.