The Zikoko Guide to Making a Nollywood Romantic Comedy

February 21, 2022

Finding success in Nollywood is not beans. With the industry growing into one of the biggest in the world, almost everyone wants a taste of the lights, camera, action. But do you know what it takes to make a Nollywood romcom? Well, luckily for you, we do. To help our aspiring filmmakers, we compiled a list of things you need to make a successful Nigerian romcom. Are you taking notes? 

1. Your female lead must be an IJGB with a quirky job

This is the foundation of your film. You mess this up, and your film won’t last two weekends in the cinema. What you need is a female lead who just moved back to Nigeria and has a successful career as a Sh-E-O working as an art dealer, florist or ballerina — the more unrelatable she is, the better. These jobs will also explain why she’s always at a cute café, restaurant, premiere or fashion show, as opposed to dancing to the drums of capitalism like the rest of us. 

2. You’re nothing without your accents 

It has to be a war of the accents. Everyone needs to be doing gbas gbos when they open their mouths. You give me American-Russian and I’ll give you Lekki-British. The only people allowed to speak like normal Nigerians are the security guards and maids — make sure their “local” accents are exaggerated and silly just so the audience can laugh at them. 

3. Everybody has to be rich AF 

Poverty is cute, but not for romcoms. What’s not clicking here? Even world-renowned poet, David Adeleke, once said, “Love is sweet o, but when money enter, love is sweeter.” In Nigeria, we don’t believe in poor or middle-class romance dear. How do you hope to capture all the pretty nightclubs and restaurants if your main characters don’t have excess funds to go there? 

4. If your male lead doesn’t have a six-pack, cancel the film 

You need a shirtless scene that’ll cause commotion in the cinema, and for this to work, your male lead must have ridges on his stomach. Please count them o! He must have a minimum of six packs because anything less than that doesn’t work. God forbid you have a regular-looking man who eats carbs after 7 p.m as your lead actor. What will people say? 

5. Make sure it’s an ensemble 

Romcom that’s not an ensemble in big 2022? You must be a joker. Pack as many stars as your budget can allow. Mix it up: Asaba Nollywood, New Nollywood, BBNaija alumni and Instagram skit makers. Mix all of them and put them into one pot — it doesn’t matter whether they can act or not, just put them in it. Get that bag. 

6. Your love interests have to hate each other at first

He must think she’s too opinionated and full of herself, and she must think he’s a player and pretty boy with nothing in his brain. This hatred is fake though, because deep down he admires her independence, while she admires the fact that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. Last last, all this initial gragra will end in hot fo—romance. 

7. A female best friend co-worker or mother dedicated to finding the female lead some good penising 

Your female lead needs ginger to go out there and find a man. Who better to provide this push than her mum or best friend. These characters must be nosy and tread the thin line between cute and annoying. They must also remind your female lead that, “A woman is like a flower,” and that she may soon have cobwebs between her legs.

8. The one dimensional male best friend 

This guy’s role goes in one of two ways: it’s either he has small sense or he’s just a clown. This is where your influencer or BBNaija alumnus comes in. He exists solely to give the male lead really good or really fucking awful advice. There’s no in-between here. 

9. Something must try to put sand in their love garri 

Love in Nigeria is a battlefield, and to properly depict this, you have to test the love of your lead characters. Show us why they’re meant to be together, even though their chemistry is as bad as yesterday’s fried rice. Throw in family disapproval, busy careers or a wicked ex that is against their progress,  and you have a great story on your hands. 

10. You have to give us fashunzzz and aesthetics 

Can your lead actors act? Not really, but who cares when they’re serving us back to back lewkks. Make sure your female lead never wears flats, and make sure your male lead is always in a suit even though his only destination for that day is shoprite. Distract us from the chaotic and unrealistic plot with high fashion and we’ll be okay. T for Tenks. 

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

July 29, 2019

Nollywood doesn’t get enough credit. While it is recognised for its productivity – it is the 3rd largest movie industry in the world – and for exporting Nigerian culture, what most people won’t tell you is that Nollywood is also a place where dreams come true, whether they’re good dreams or nightmares. It’s a place […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

February 2, 2023

From Lagos to Atlanta, fans never stop comparing and pitting their faves against each other. Just like Rihanna can’t beat the Beyoncé comparisons 17 years into her awe-inspiring career, Davido still gets Wizkid comparisons daily despite just a year between their debut. Similarly, Seyi Shay was compared to Tiwa Savage when she came out with […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

April 3, 2020

While the rest of the world loves to treat our continent like a country, there are actually 54 African countries. So, in a bid to test your knowledge (and educate you), we’ve created a quiz to see how many of their capitals you can correctly name. Go ahead:

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 […]

More from Pop

February 2, 2023

From Lagos to Atlanta, fans never stop comparing and pitting their faves against each other. Just like Rihanna can’t beat the Beyoncé comparisons 17 years into her awe-inspiring career, Davido still gets Wizkid comparisons daily despite just a year between their debut. Similarly, Seyi Shay was compared to Tiwa Savage when she came out with […]

January 31, 2023

Have you ever watched a Nollywood film or show and thought: “Why is this character so familiar?” You’re not alone.  From men who can’t handle the consequences of their blood money rituals to marine spirits who trap and steal men’s destinies after sex, these Nollywood characters are practically the same, but in different fonts. Fun […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
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.

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.
X