If there’s one question we want to ask 2022, it’s this: 

While it’s hard to keep track of time these days, we can at least keep track of some of the films that have defined cinema (and streaming) in 2022. With themes covering a wide range of fictional journeys, these films have explored everything from postpartum depression to marrying a literal Yoruba demon. 

For Maria: Ebun Pataki 

“It’s a heavy subject, but it’s something people, deep down, want to learn and talk about,” says For Maria: Ebun Pataki director Damilola Orimogunje says when asked about why he made his first feature film about postpartum depression. And he was right. 

For Maria: Ebun Pataki shows the struggles of a new mother suffering from postpartum depression and became a major conversation starter when it dropped in January 2022. We can all thank this film for showing the industry that the Nigerian audience is open to a more diverse range of stories and human experiences. 

Yahoo Plus 

Doing yahoo is one thing, but you see, the one that has “plus”? Omo, it’s on another level. This is what Yahoo Plus characters, Ose (Keezyto) and Abacha (Somadina Adinma) find out when they decide to try their hands at the upgraded version of the famous internet scam. 

With popular faces and social media clout carrying most of the films in the cinema, the success of Yahoo Plus is a testament to what having a good story can do for a film. Even though it gets a bit preachy at some point, It’s one movie we need more people to see ASAP!

The Milkmaid

Over a year after it was submitted as Nigeria’s official entry for the Oscars, Nigerians are finally getting the chance to see Desmond Ovbiagele’s The Milkmaid after it premiered on Amazon Prime in August 2022. 

The Milkmaid follows Aisha, a Fulani milkmaid who embarks on a gruelling journey to find her sister, Zainab, after religious militants kidnap her. In a time when Nigerians are becoming desensitised to violence, especially in the north, The Milkmaid serves as a visual reminder of how life-changing these attacks are on their victims. 

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King of Thieves 

We’ve come to know Yoruba films for their outrageous plots and even more unhinged subtitles. But while these things have turned most of these films into memes, real ones know that Yoruba movies are still the shit when it comes to entertaining Nollywood productions. 

Starring Femi Adebayo, King of Thieves is a glorious epic that reminds us of the old magical stories that defined our childhood as Nigerian kids. But for a project this ambitious, the film isn’t without its flaws, especially regarding its use of visual effects (VFX). But for what it lacks in Hollywood-level visuals, King of Thieves delivers in great storytelling, costumes and a daring depiction of Yoruba culture. 

A Simple Lie 

New Nollywood thrives on comedies backed by Big Brother Naija alums and social media influencers. While this formula has proven ineffective most of the time, A Simple Lie is one of the few films that defy the odds. 

The super talented Bisola Aiyeola stars as Boma, a woman whose lie spirals out of control and sets things in motion for A Simple Lie. With most of the film set in one place, it’s easy for the film to fall into claustrophobia, yet it manages to keep the audience’s attention from start to finish. Shoutout to the comedic timing of its cast, especially KieKie of Instagram fame, for making A Simple Lie one of the most entertaining projects of the year. 

Ile Owo

Ile Owo introduces us to Busola (Immaculata Oko-Kasum), a girl who has been served breakfast so many times that she’s ready to give up on love. However, a chance encounter with the super attractive and wealthy Tunji (Efa Iwara) puts more than her heart at risk. 

Horror films are coming back, and we’re here for it. After being scared shitless by Surreal 16’s Juju Stories in 2021, anticipation was high for Dare Olaitan’s Ile Owo. While Ile Owo focuses more on trying to scare us than actually presenting a cohesive plot, we can’t deny how daring the film is for trying to reinvent a classic Nollywood trope for a new audience. 

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