It’s no secret that Nollywood is male-dominated. Even though we churn out over 1500 movies every year. Only a handful of those movies are directed by women or centred around women. And even fewer pass the Bechdel test.
If Kanayo O Kanayo isn’t using his son for blood money, a village girl is falling in love with a prince. But Nollywood managed to get it (mostly) right with these eight movies.
King of Boys
With a female writer, director and lead, King of Boys has to top this list. There’s also the fact that the movie is centred around a woman who isn’t a wicked mother-in-law, a long-suffering wife or a ‘runz’ girl who gets AIDS and dies. It’s just about a powerful businesswoman (who didn’t get her money buy poisoning her wealthy husband and inheriting it), with political ambitions and a shady past. Refreshingly shady past doesn’t equal ex-sex worker as it usually does in most Nollywood movies.
Fifty is focused on 4 Nigerian women who just hit 50 and are at the peak of their careers. It’s about friendship, sisterhood and all the things that can happen when you allow men to take you fi idiat. The story is also focused on the four women themselves, with the men in their lives playing very secondary characters which is refreshing.
Whether it’s the one with our favourite Nollywood mummies, Eucharia Anunobi and Ngozi Ezeonu. Or the one with the greatest Nollywood villain of all time – Patience Ozokwor, August Meeting(s) is a great watch.
One features a wife who cheats on her husband, gets caught and kills the person who catches her (guess who). The other puts any rivalry you’ve witnessed in Womens’ Associations, even CWOs to shame.
What’s a Nollywood movie without parts 1,2, 3 and 4? Featuring the most iconic Nollywood bad bitch – Eucharia Anunobi and the legendary Liz Benson, Glamour Girls is an all-time classic Nollywood girl power movie. Even though the movie peddled the tired trope of how all ‘runz’ girls are doomed to horrible fates, it’s a fun watch. If only to see Eucharia serving looks to kill.
Beyonce and Rihanna
Say what you want about this movie, but a Nollywood movie centred around two women not fighting over man is a win in my books. Even though you couldn’t pay me to watch Omotola Jalade sing(?) again, and the movie could have really done without Jim Iyke, Beyonce & Rihanna will always be a fave.
Games Women Play
Games Women Play was so good it hard to come in four parts. I’ve never watched all four parts or know anyone who has. But I’ve watched the first part more than four times and I’d watch it again.
It’s about three best friends – Genevieve, Omotola and Stella Damascus, who wake up one morning and decide to use a man’s destiny to play.
Sisterhood movies always make for a great watch which is why I love Blood Sister. Genevieve is here again (because what movie wasn’t she in between the 90s and early 2000s) alongside Omotola Jalade playing two sisters.
Of course, it couldn’t be a Nollywood movie without a gory twist. And so in usual Nollywood fashion, Genevieve poisons her sister Omotola out of jealousy and of course lives to regret it.
Including Karishika on a list of girl power movies might seem somewhat controversial. But let’s face it had all the trappings of one.
She was the one Lucifer picked to torment men, which means she was great at her job.
Her job was to torment men. What better way to end the patriarchy? Let’s face it, Karishika was obviously an OG feminist.
Some other movies worthy of honorary mentions are – ‘Girls Cot’, ‘Moms at war’, ‘Domitila’ and ‘Mortal Inheritance’