Home » Articles » Our 2023 Nollywood Closer: A Year for the Audacious

Our 2023 Nollywood Closer: A Year for the Audacious

Posted by


2023 comes to an end for Nollywood, and what a beautiful ending it is. Stylized from the very beginning with relentless action and wraps up with heartfelt, gut-wrenching storytelling that makes you dab your teary eyes with your already soggy kerchief and tissues.

Overall, it’s been a good year for the trades with Hollywood producing titles with the potential of becoming all-time favorites and cult classics, and for the first time, this year was the year our own Nollywood seemed to match the great and aged Hollywood when it came to storytelling, directing and acting.

Yes, yes of course there were some… meh stories, some subpar acting and horrific cinematography, but those were the outliers, the odd ones out.
In 2023, Nollywood shone like she was always meant to. She shone both on the big screen, small screen, and streaming, and she won big time. She won not only at home but abroad.

But wait, let’s take a pause here-

Nollywood did shine at home, but there is still work that needs to be done. A religious adage says “A prophet isn’t appreciated in his own home.” this was the case with Mami Wata, a spectacular folklore movie that for some reason saw its growth stunted back home, its wings clipped, but this wasn’t the case overseas.

Abroad, Mami Wata found its footing. Its place. Dare I even say it’s home?

Mami Wata flew so close to the sun, almost making the Oscar nominations for Best International Film, but instead of burning its wings, they grew wider, and bigger and became the most impressive thing to have ever graced the cinemas of Nigeria (albeit short-lived) and abroad. Its impact on the film stratosphere is not to be underestimated.

2023 for Nollywood signified an era taking Nigerian stories to places they’ve never been before, writers did the deed, directors murdered parts like that scene we will not talk about in Breath of Life, and the Nigerian audience appreciated every shot, dissected every dialogue and praised the impeccable and distinct performance of Nollywood actors.

Though we had these great films that brought glory to Nollywood and its creatives, we also had the outliers, and they reminded us where we lacked, and where we needed to do better as an industry.

All in all, it was a good year for Nollywood. A year that witnessed writers soaring, breaking boundaries in storytelling, and telling stories merged in the Nigerian culture as seen in The Black Book, a breakout action thriller that should be rightly dubbed “The Traditional and Cultural John Wick.”

Storytelling in 2023 held up a mirror before the Nigerian people and her culture, her sickening extravagances, her toxicity, and her corruption. It showed her who she truly is, the crimes she had perpetrated on her people, and as always most of her people pushed back. But Gangs of Lagos held firm, stood on business, and made sure Nigeria did not hide from some of her shameful culture.

Gangs of Lagos Trailer

Funke Akindele also continues her box office domination with A Tribe Called Judah. Still, in 2024, I hope Nollywood pushes harder. I hope she tells the Nigerian story as raw as we are seeing it play out, I hope she fights and strives and tramples upon those who would dare stunt her growth.

Our standout directors: CJ Obasi, Jade Osiberu, and Editi Effiong

Our Standout Actors: Genoveva Umeh, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Evelyn Ily Juhen, and Tobi Bakre

Happy New Storytelling Year to Nollywood, and to breaking more barriers in the coming year on both the big and small screen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *