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Independence Day: 5 Nollywood Movies That Celebrate Nigeria

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58 years ago today, Nigeria got her independence from the British.

What could be more satisfying than to lie in relaxation and watch a movie that celebrates Nigeria and the spirit of her citizens – ranging from biographical dramas to entertaining box-office blockbusters?

These movies below capture the Nigerian culture, journey of unsung heroes and the strength of Nigerians as a people.

1. “The Wedding Party“

The highest grossing Nigerian film, “The Wedding Party” represents the flamboyant Nigerian wedding culture. Except for the absence of the fundamental Nigerian Jollof rice – I mean, who holds a Nigerian wedding without Jollof rice? – the movie does its best to capture a typical Nigerian wedding.

It is a representation of all the drama that could occur pre and post a wedding party. A typical Nigerian wedding party is fun, dramatic, tedious, but definitely entertaining.

A typical Nigerian wedding has that relative who turns up for the food or souvenirs, friends who turn up for the ‘gram’ and even an envious ex who is just there to witness and gloat over the inadequacies of the ceremony.

“The Wedding Party” captures the energy, music, colourfulness, culture and fashion that makes a Nigerian wedding party fun to attend.

2. “A Soldier’s Story”

If there’s any film that attempts to celebrate and encourage heroic soldiers and their contributions to the country, it is “A Soldier’s Story.”

The movie follows a soldier on a peacekeeping mission, who is left for dead by some rebel soldiers. The movie depicts various emotions such as the heartbreak and anguish that accompanies the news of the demise of a loved one in battle.

This story is such that ensures we remember the labours of these heroes past; heroes such as the Lt. Colonel Muhammad Abu Ali and other gallant officers who died in service during the war against Boko Haram.

3. “A Place in the Stars“

Inspired by the tenure of the late Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Dora Akunyili, the 2014 Steve Gukas film tells the story of Dakim, a young lawyer who is in possession of vital information about the trafficking of counterfeit drugs that can save many lives if he passes it on, but make millions of dollars if he doesn’t.

Late Professor Dora Akunyili, during her tenure as the Head of NAFDAC, tirelessly fought to halt the sale and use of fake drugs, even at the expense of her life. She would go on to become the Federal Minister of Information & Communication in 2008, and spear-headed a rebranding campaign for Nigeria with the slogan: “Good People, Great Nation”.

The film acknowledges the dogged and honest spirit of several Nigerians out there who have been consistent in being good and portraying Nigeria as a great nation.

4. “Saworoide”

Nigeria is a country with several cultural practices that define us. We have the Sharo ceremony in Fulani Land; traditional baby naming ceremony in Yoruba land; the fattening room in Efik land; and Omugwo in Igbo land.

But if we are talking about one of the films that encapsulates an interesting culture of a tribe in Nigeria, it’s “Saworide,” which means talking drum or brass bell in English Language.

The Tunde Kelani film follows the setting of an old Yoruba norm in the town of Jogbo, where a person can not be crowned king without the Saworoide being played by the right person.

Drumming is a key part of the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people. They are several drums such as Gangan (Talking Drum), Bata, Saworide, Omela Ako; all used for different occasions.

The film celebrates the charm of African art, and the beauty of tradition and folklore.

Most importantly the movie speaks on Nigeria and how it has dealt with civil rule and military dictatorship.

5. “93 Days

“93 Days” celebrates the sacrifices of the late Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh and all who risked their lives to make sure the Ebola virus was contained in Nigeria.

On July 20, 2014, Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, arrived Lagos. He became severely ill upon arrival and died five days later of the Ebola disease. Almost 93 days later, on 20 October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Nigeria to be Ebola free.

The method used to contain the virus brought positive recognition from around the world for the country. In WHO’s Ebola Situation Assessment report, it was commended with lessons for countries such as the United States. Nigeria had become that exemplary kid in class for a good behavior.

Ebola was controlled as a result of the quick thinking, resilience and selflessness of the late Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh and other medical personnel. Ameyo is credited for curbing a wider spread of the Ebola virus in Nigeria by placing Patrick Sawyer in quarantine despite pressures from some quarters to have him released.

Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh died on 19 August 2014, few weeks after testing positive for the Ebola virus disease.

Apart from recording a significant period in Nigeria, the movie “93 Days” depicts the strength, selflessness and sacrificial nature of Nigerians.

Which of your favourite Nollywood films celebrates Nigeria as a country? Share with us in the comment section.

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