Whether you call it high school drama or secondary school wahala, shows that revolve around young teens navigating life and WAEC are always premium entertainment. While I’d love for Nollywood to dive deeper into this genre, this is a ranking of some of the teen shows I’ve seen based on how realistic their stories are.
Super Story: Omoye
Super Story has had many seasons that shook Nigerians, but if there’s one that definitely left a mark on my young mind, it’s Omoye. Allegedly based on a true life story, Omoye follows a girl forced to make tough choices to secure her future after a bank closure pushes her family into poverty. Random thought: what happened to the actress who played Omoye? It’s like she did the show and said, “Acting? Never again.”
Reality scale: Three. Great show, but using pregnancy as a punishment for sex, and then, death as a punishment for getting an abortion, doesn’t fly in my book. It’s giving 1000 BC.
Far From Home
Far From Home is the Netflix sensation that had everyone hooked at the close of 2022. This TV show follows the lives of teens at Wilmer Academy and how they change with the arrival of a new student, Ishaya Bello. From the debate over whether or not Ishaya’s parents were right to spend his savings to a global thirst for the lawyer-turned-actor (his father wants you to know he’s a lawyer too) who played Reggie, Far From Home was everywhere.
Reality scale: Four. Please, show me a school where they allow male students to dye their hair the many colours of the rainbow every week? Atlas, it’s all your fault.
EbonyLife’s Life 101 follows four friends transitioning from high school to university. The show accurately captures how friendships evolve when everyone starts balancing their GPAs with romance, ambition and, in the case of these four, an imaginary world.
Reality scale: Five. Escaping to an alternate reality has never really solved anyone’s problems. Do you know what works? Grabbing your wahala by the balls.
Mostly Straight is a hilarious TV show that follows the daily lives of some unhinged students trying to balance love, life and fFurther math with finesse. It’s very charming and wholesome.
Reality scale: Six. A TV show with the gheighs? I’m totally here for it. Even though the acting, production and dialogue might be a shaky sometimes, the fact that it has a diverse roster of characters is what does it for me.
Schooled is a severely underrated NdaniTV teen drama. It follows the life of a street kid who gains admission to an ajebo school where he investigates a series of strange events. It’s funny and scary at the same time, and will have you missing boarding school — that’s if you went sha.
Reality scale: Seven. I know what you’re thinking, “Conrad, it has bush babies.” And so what? I totally believe bush babies exist, and that’s on that.
I Need to Know
Before Funke Akindele was Jenifa or Omo Ghetto to Gen Zs, she was Bisi from I Need To Know to millennials like me. The TV show aired in the early 2000s and featured Funke as a teenage girl navigating everything from her first crush to conversations about teen pregnancy. The best part? She was so close to her mum that she could talk to her about anything.
Reality scale: Eight. The uniform and dialogue on the show were very true to secondary schools back then, but talking to your mother about fornication? Omo, that’s rare.
Shuga might not be a full-on teen high school show, but it’s the one show that captures the craziness and confusion that comes with navigating life as a young adult. From sex to pregnancy and relationships, Shuga pretty much hits most of its story on the head. Pregnancy or STDs are not shown as punishments for sex. Instead, they’re shown as shit that could happen when you bump genitals.
Reality scale: Nine. Could we do with more actors who look like students? Yes. But this show still gives what it’s supposed to give every season.