If there’s one thing 2022 has taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected. Over the course of 12 months, we’ve seen ASUU go on strike (again!), the dollar rise to 800, presidential candidates old enough to be our grandfathers, the Federal Government ban ponmo and the yassification of our not-so-valuable naira note

Despite all the shege 2022 showed us, pop culture kept us entertained as we tried to survive in Nigeria. Here are some of the best moments that defined this chaotic year. 

Try Tems at your own risk

Source: Premium Times Nigeria

Singing with Beyoncé and Grace Jones, writing music for Rihanna, covering Bob Marley for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer and BET and Soul Train wins (Grammy nominations too)? It’s officially Tems’ world. The rest of us are just paying rent and agent fees at this point. 

Tems didn’t come to play in 2022, and we couldn’t help but stan.  

The shade, clapbacks and flying wigs on Real Housewives of Lagos

Considering how dramatic and shady we are as Nigerians, I can’t believe it took us this long to get our version of the Real Housewives. Serving premium chaos,  Toyin Lawani, Chioma Ikokwu, Mariam Timmer, Laura Ikeji, Carolyna (sometimes, Carol and other times Caroline) Hutchings and Iyabo Ojo kept us gagged and entertained week after week. 

Someone was accused of sleeping with politicians to sell her “Mills and Boons” books, while another person was accused of dressing like a clown. God, I miss that show so much. 

The rise and continuous rise of Asake 

No one captured the hearts (and controlled the legwork) of Nigerians like Ololade mi Asake. Starting with Omo Ope in February, Asake ruled the music scene in 2022 with back-to-back hits (we had to beg him to stop at some point) and an album that’s been compared to Beyoncé’s Renaissance. Capturing the current voice of the streets and blending it with the fuji sounds we grew up listening to, Asake has created a new musical lane all by himself. 

From the music to the crazy fashion to the overpriced ticket, Asake was the undisputed breakout star of 2022.

Tobi Amusan is a runner; she’s a track star 

Source: Kemi Filani

Tobi Amusan, if you’re reading this, I just have one question:

In July, Tobi won the 2022 World Athletics Championships 100-metre hurdles, breaking a record that makes her the current world, Commonwealth and African champion in the 100-metre hurdles category. Talk about badass. 

Eloghosa Osunde turned us all into Vagabonds!

After years of making us wait, Eloghosa Osunde finally dropped her debut novel, Vagabonds! and drove the internet into a frenzy. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was talking about this book. First of all, the book is excellent, and Eloghosa deserves all her flowers, but it also felt really good to see a book get the same energy a new Wizkid or Davido album would get. 

Nollywood gave us Brotherhood — a Fast and Furious film with an actual plot

Sorry to Vin Diesel and his crew, but has he met Wale and the Ojuju Boys from Brotherhood? It’s one thing to pull a heist in the abroad, but try pulling one off while driving through Yaba, Lagos. The team behind Brotherhood succeeded in the impossible by making an action film that kept us entertained from start to finish instead of the usual Nollywood romcom. With over ₦300m at the box office, it’s clear the risk paid off, and now, we want more. 

The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
premiere in Lagos

So Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke showed up in Nigeria and didn’t suffocate me with their thighs? It is well. 

The cast and crew of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever stormed Lagos for an epic premiere that gave us the now infamous “RIP Chad Boswick” moment. Hermes, please, who is Chad Boswick? 

RECOMMENDED: 2022 Was the Year of Streaming and These 10 Actors Drained Our Data

Meghan Markle identified as a Nigerian babe 

Meghan Markle has always given me Igbo babe vibes, like a Chiamaka or Obumneke, and I was on to something. 2022 was the year the Duchess of Sussex revealed she’s 43% Nigerian. Please, someone needs to check on Abike Dabiri because I haven’t seen an official tweet claiming Meghan. Abike, rise. Don’t waste Buhari’s money. 

Last Last and Burna Boy at Madison Square Garden  

Source: Billboard Magazine 

2022 was clearly Burna Boy’s year. Our problematic African Giant turned his heartbreak into a hit song with Last Last, made history as the first Nigerian artiste to headline a show at Madison Square Garden and dropped the now Grammy-nominated Love, Damini. Not too shabby for the boy from Port Harcourt. 

Ayra Starr’s mini skirts had haters mad and the rest of us gagged 

Source: Ayra Starr, Instagram

Ayra Starr wasn’t playing when she said she was a Fashion Killa

That video of Portable singing “God, abeg oh!” 

Everyone, please, say thank you to Portable for asking the right questions. Because after all the shege 2022 showed us, we need to ask, “God, abeg o. Who go epp o?”

BNXN and Ruger’s epic promotional fights 

2023 may be the year BNXN and Ruger finally admit their constant fighting is a PR stunt for their careers. But until then, I can’t deny they both entertained us this year, and omo, that gist about streaming farms? I’m still shook. 

EbonyLife’s Blood Sisters nearly gave us high BP 

If someone told me EbonyLife would drop one of the best Nollywood projects of the year after the mess that was Chief Daddy 2, I would’ve hissed and called them a detty liar. But somehow, Mo Abudu and her team pulled it off with Blood Sisters

The thriller — which had Nancy Isime and Ini Dima-Okojie as two friends on the run from the police and a very silent Ramsey Nouah — was a major hit for Nollywood. But outside of the acting, writing and directing, one thing that really struck me was the fashion. All the looks were giving what they needed to give. 

Oxlade’s Ku Lo Sa takeover 

Can anyone remember what life was like before Oxlade stepped in front of that green backdrop and started slapping imaginary bum bum because he was singing Ku Lo Sa? Because I can’t. The song, originally made for ColorsxStudios, quickly became 2022’s version of CKay’s Love Nwantiti, inspiring hilarious TikTok challenges worldwide and featuring on Rihanna’s 2022 Savage X Fenty Show

ALSO READ: The Biggest 2022 International Collabs Ranked from “Flop” to “Bop”



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.