5 must-watch Nollywood movies with fierce female leads

female leads

As the Nigerian film industry blooms and captures international acclaim, women are stepping into the spotlight as powerhouse figures, both in front of the camera and behind it. Nigerian movies showcasing resilient female leads have not only charmed viewers but have also left an indelible mark on the film scene.

Kicking off the power issue, we’re bringing our favourite women-led Nollywood films, which we believe have triggered a cultural reset in Nigerian cinema and created immense value for the industry.

Citation (2020)

female leads - Citation

“Citation” emerges as a compelling drama spotlighting the critical issues of sexual harassment and abuse in Nigerian universities, all through the lens of powerful female leads. Produced by Kunle Afolayan, Temi Otedola delivers a powerful performance as Moremi, a young student who bravely confronts her harasser and seeks justice. Otedola’s portrayal of Moremi’s resilience and determination serves as a rallying cry for women’s rights and empowerment, amplifying the call for justice and societal change.

Lionheart (2018)

The outstanding Genevieve Nnaji directs and stars in “Lionheart,” which follows the story of Adaeze, a courageous young lady who stands up to salvage her family’s faltering transportation firm. Set against Nigeria’s male-dominated corporate world backdrop, the film honours Adaeze’s tenacity, intelligence, and dedication to her family’s history. “Lionheart” marks a pivotal moment in Nigerian cinema with its captivating narrative and nuanced portrayal of a female lead navigating through complex challenges.

Isoken (2017)

“Isoken” is a heartwarming romantic comedy exploring single Nigerian women’s pressures and expectations. Dakore Egbuson-Akande delivers a standout performance as the female lead in “Isoken,” embodying a successful career woman who confronts societal expectations and familial pressures. As Isoken embarks on a journey of self-discovery and love, Egbuson-Akande’s performance captivates audiences with its authenticity and vulnerability.

Adire (2023)

“Adire” is a comedic drama depicting Adire’s need to reinvent herself despite her trailing past. Kehinde Bankole captivates as the female lead in “Adire,” portraying a woman on a journey to reclaim her identity and overcome childhood trauma while navigating societal judgments. “Adire” embodies the gripes of human nature when it’s filled with unreasonable prejudices.

Oloture (2019)

“Oloture” is a gripping drama that sheds light on the dark world of human trafficking in Nigeria. Sharon Ooja stars as Oloture, an investigative journalist who goes undercover to expose the truth behind the illicit trade. Ooja’s portrayal of Oloture is raw and compelling, showcasing her character’s bravery and determination in the face of danger.

These films, spotlighting strong female leads, celebrate the rich tapestry of women’s creativity, talent, and indefatigable spirit within the film industry. Spanning genres from heartwarming rom-coms to evocative historical dramas, they each unfold a distinct narrative on the lives, dreams, and challenges of Nigerian women, thereby elevating Nigerian cinema and captivating global audiences with their profound stories.



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