Meet My Favorite Nigerian TV Families

August 5, 2019

Nowadays, if you’re in the mood for some local entertainment, all you have to do is hop to a cross-dressing Nigerian comedian’s Instagram page, turn on Africa Magic, or (if your soul is dark) scroll through Instablog9ja.

As a 90s baby who grew up in the 2000s, I hdid different things. As a child, local TV shows were my primary form of entertainment for years.

Cartoons were great (and judging by all the new anime on Netflix, they still are) but local television was more relatable. For long, my entire week revolved around Super Story. When I developed a taste for anarchic humour, Fuji House of Commotion took its place. Shows like those showed me multiple views of Nigerian life that I couldn’t get anywhere else.

Of course, that’s a massive world of realities. But over time, I found that my favourite shows were those with a family as the central cast. They still are. Family life in Nigeria is special, for lack of a better word and there’s no better way to see the many varieties in full splendour than on Nigerian TV.

That said, here are my 5 favourite families from Nigerian Television shows through the years.

  • The Johnsons (from “The Johnsons”)

I got into this show just as I was leaving the safety of my parents’ house for the jungle that is the Lagos job market. If there’s any show that captures the mischief typical of eccentric Nigerian kids (and a cheapskate father), it’s this one. The Johnsons are a lowermiddle-class family – but that’s where all the normalcy ends. The father, an amateur scientist played by funnyman Charles Inojie, is one of those middle-aged men who won’t stop reminding people he got an A in Physics. His family is just as dramatic. His wife, the family’s semi-educated matriarch tends to mispronounce words loudly.

Their kids are a mess too. Chinedu Ikedieze plays the first son, who’s as problematic as he’s smart. His brother, played by Olumide Oworu is a lily-livereed mummy’s boy who will do anything for a girlfriend. Blessing, the last of three, loves attention so much she ran away from home because she wasn’t getting enough. The Johnsons are a family of misfits, but they are lovable in all their flaws. One minute, you’re wondering how a family like this can work, then you realise just how well they complement each other.

  • Chief Fuji’s Family (From “Fuji House of Commotion”)

The family that struck the fear of marriage into the young hearts of Nigerians in the 2000s. If there’s one TV family I never wanted to join, it was this one. Fuji House of Commotion was a spin-off of “Checkmate”, the iconic Nigerian series by Amaka Igwe. While Checkmate is remembered for nuanced stories, The Fuji House was, at first look, pure chaos.

Chief Fuji, as the main character was called, was the centre of it all. Of his three wives and one mistress, only one – the first wife played by Toun Oni – did not have an insane capacity for troublemaking. Add half-a-dozen men in their 30s who are fine with being overgrown babies + a dozen children and you see why the title makes perfect sense. Chief Fuji’s house was a barracks, refugee camp, rehabilitation centre and cultural hub, rolled into one.

What appealed to me about the Fuji family was how it managed to reflect all the troubles you’d typically expect from such a large, multi-tribal household. But it also showed how it could work; for every new dispute, the family would manage to reach a compromise and keep moving. Such examples of resilience and multi-tribal unity are rare on Nigerian TV, even if I would rather live on crackers than join that family.

  • The General’s Family (Extended Family)

You probably remember “Extended Family” as the show that brought comedian Bovi to the limelight. This 2000s show revolved around a family with a very stern father, referred to as “The General” (because what else would you call a dictator ruling over his own tiny (family) nation). The general’s main goal at the start of the series was to raise successful and well-behaved kids.

Enter his two nephews. Bovi, in particular, seemed bent on undoing all the general’s hard work with his get-rich-quick schemes and loyalty to his old lifestyle. I’ve come to realise that I may like this family in part because of my childhood. I’m partial to TV families that feature rascals and how they navigate their relationships with stern authority figures. Great comedy also helps.

I’m ashamed that I can’t remember their names, but my conscience will block my throat if I don’t include this.

  • Family Circle

How do you make a list of Nigerian TV families without Family Circle? Apart from being one of the more popular series of the 1990s, the show did a great job of getting into the nitty-gritty of Nigerian family life. From disputes with extended family members to dealing with impressionabl kids, Family Circle touched everything with nuance. Sadly, there’s very little record of this show on the internet of things (or in my brain, for that matter, which explains why I can’t remember the characters’ names)

Unlike many other shows on this list, comedy wasn’t the main vehicle. Instead, we were introduced to a regular family, with regular ideals and problems, trying to live a regular life. And sometimes, being regular is special enough. There’s also the part where the family head, played by Norbert Young, was the definitive stoic father of the 1990s. Let’s just say he reminded me of someone I knew.


  • The Soundtrack (Everyday People)

This is hands down my favourite Nigerian TV show ever. I loved everyone and all the families on this show. Everyday People was perhaps one of the most-watched TV drama series of the 1990s, largely because many viewers could see themselves in the ensemble cast. The show was as close to reality as you could get with a scripted series in the 1990s; that’s how real the stories were. But what kept me coming back was the soundtrack. I still remember the words. The families weren’t that bad. But man, that soundtrack was special.

Did you enjoy this? You should sign up for our weekly pop culture newsletter, Poppin’. You’ll get to know what we’re up to before anyone else + insider gist, reviews, freebies and more. If it sounds like your deal, sign up here.

Segun Akande

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

December 11, 2020

It is a common saying that art imitates life, but sometimes it goes beyond that. Through different civil right movements in history, music has played a vital role in serving as an ever potent channel of activism, and an alternative means of documentation.  Over the past few months, the entire globe witnessed the #EndSARS protests […]

August 1, 2021

Netflix animes are very underrated. Everyone goes on Netflix to watch all their favourite shows but forgets that there are some really good animes to binge-watch and get lost in. The next time you call your boo over to Netflix and chill, these are the Netflix animes you should watch: 1. Aggretsuko Retsuko is a […]


Now on Zikoko

September 25, 2021

oraimo FreePods 3 Feature LeakFor a while now, oraimo has been cooking something awesome for her consumers, and it’s finally here. I guess it’s safe to say oraimo is like a fine wine that keeps getting better with time. When it comes to delivering a product that is not only affordable but also comes with […]

September 25, 2021

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 29-year-old bisexual woman who talks about deciding to have sex after a car accident, getting over sex guilt and how she started grading her male sexual partners.

Recommended Quizzes

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

November 11, 2019

Today, we are going to be using your taste in music to determine how good you actually are in bed. All you need to do is create the ultimate Nigerian hit — from the lead artist to the producer — and we’ll tell you if all your partners leave satisfied, or if you are just […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

More from Pop

September 14, 2021

It was yet another Thursday games night on the BBNaija Season 6 show with TECNO and it was a very creative one. As you know, TECNO has been on the Season 6 journey with the housemates since it began and they have not disappointed. With the TECNO Phantom X dolling out incredible pictures of the […]

September 14, 2021

Watching the BBNaija show comes with different stages. You may not notice it, but somehow you go through a complete metamorphosis from the first week you watch the show to the last week when the winner is finally announced. The viewer you were at the beginning of the show is dramatically different from the viewer […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

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