December 7, 2023

By Blessing Chinwendu Nwankwo

What is the holiday season without movies? Although Nollywood did not start the year with the best productions, it is undeniable that they have kept us on our toes and curious about what is next. The Nigerian movie industry has reaped from this eventful year, as have blogs and movie critics. So many productions by Nigerian directors have been aired in both international and African film festivals.

This has not only influenced the income revenue but also put the country in a visible space that favours both directors, producers and cast members. Nollywood has queued up numerous productions set to premiere this December. Although not Christmas-themed like Kunle Afolayan’s A Naija Christmas, the official trailers released are enough reassurance to viewers to look forward to seeing these movies.

You would probably ask, “how do I find these movies?” or “How do I even know what I’m searching for?” Well, luckily, you have us. Afrocritik has curated this list of films to be released this December and beyond. With every theme — love, hate, crime, justice, fear, violence and romance— covered, you have an eventful and fun-filled holiday ahead. Here are a few movies to keep you thrilled throughout the holidays:

Ijakumo: The Born-Again Stripper — Toyin Abraham

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A collaboration with FilmOne Entertainment, Toyin Abraham both produces and stars in Ijakumo. The film is a thriller that centres around the daughter of a powerful spiritualist who will do anything to get revenge on her ex-boyfriend who just so happens to be a popular pastor of a mega-church after he jilted her. In the course of this revenge mission, she partners with a stripper and choir leader.

Ijakumo features Kehinde Bankole, Kolawole Ajeyemi, Lolade Okusanya, Kunle Remi, Lillian Afegbai, Olumide Oworu, and Eso Dike. Ijakumo is set for release in cinemas on December 23, 2022.

Battle in Buka Street — Funke Ayotunde Akindele Network and FilmOne Entertainment

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Funke Akindele collaborates with FilmOne Entertainment in the production of this comedy-drama. Battle in Buka Street is centred on the business rivalry between two buka sellers who have their businesses established on the same street. In Battle in Buka Street, there is one bone of contention, as both women want the title of “king of buka street.”

The movie features Sola Sobowale, Tina Mba, Mercy Johnson, Bimbo Ademoye, Femi Jacobs, and Nkem Owoh.

Palava! — Niyi Akinmolayan

afrocritik- Eleven Movies- December -Movie Review- holiday season- Nollywood- Nigerian movie industry- Nigerian movie-African film festival- Nigerian directors- entertainment- palava
In film production, casting is probably fifty per cent of the entire show. This is because terrible casting can ruin an entire script. Hence, my favourite thing about Inkblot production is their dashing cast list. Having seen many of their productions, — Charge and Bail, Superstar, and Blood Covenant — it is safe to say their cast selection is their secret spice. In this new work of art, veteran actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, plays Osagie, a musician who has his ways with women. And as we know, promiscuity is scandalous. Osagie soon meets his doom when a scandal bent on ruining him and his family is revealed on the eve of his 60th birthday.

Palava! is a colloquial expression that means”problem.” Osagie earns himself a fair share. Palava! features other stars like Linda Ejiofor, Jemima Osunde, Beverly Naya, Gideon Okeke, Beverly Osu, Chinedu Ikedieze, Iyabo Ojo, Bisola Aiyeola, Mercy Aigbe, Eniola Badmus, Omawumi Megbele, and an acting debut by Neo Akpofure, a former Big Brother Naija reality TV housemate. The official trailer is out, and Palava! is to hit the cinemas on the 9th of December, 2022.

(Read also: The Man for the Job Review: More is Less in Niyi Akinmolayan’s Tech World Crime Thriller)

Rising: City of Dreams — Samuel Olatunji

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If you have ever spent any amount of time living in Lagos, then this movie will excite you with its portrayal of the politics that happens at the grassroots level and arguably at the national level, and the intrigue and violence that come along with it.

With a well-picked cast, it showcases two local government factions that engage each other in a war over the leadership of a market. Directed by Samuel Olatunji, and produced by Wale Muraina, it was shot in Oshodi, Lagos, arguably the “heart” of Lagos.

The cast includes Jide Kosoko, Zubby Michael, Femi Branch, Yvonne Jegede, Reminisce, Slimcase, DJ Neptune, Yakubu Mohammed, and Bolaji Amusan. The movie is to be released in cinemas on December 9th, 2022.

The StandUp — Jide Oyegbile

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Judging by the trailer, The StandUp will live up  to its name as a comedy.

The film produced by Peekaboo Productions in association with FilmOne Entertainment and directed by Jide Oyegbile is about a young man who travels to Lagos from his hometown to hit it big and raise money to pay off debts who come calling after his father dies.

The movie has an impressive cast in Richard Ayodeji Makun (AY), Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD), Anita Asuoha (RealWarriPikin), Jide Kosoko, Mofe Duncan, Dibor Adaobi Lillian, Stephanie Zibili, Paul Olope, and Eso Dike. The StandUp premieres in cinemas nationwide on December 2nd, 2022.

U-Turn — Gabriel Afolayan and Uche Agbambu

afrocritik- Eleven Movies- December -Movie Review- holiday season- Nollywood- Nigerian movie industry- Nigerian movie-African film festival- Nigerian directors- entertainment-uturn
Gabriel Afolayan returns to our screens again, but this time as a passenger who charters a cab driven by Olaiya Igwe for a cross-country road trip. But they both have something to hide from each other.

Directed by Gabriel Afolayan and Uche Agbambu, the cast includes Jide Kosoko, Muyiwa Adegoke, Ebun Oloyede, Mama No Network, and Tina Mba.

Produced by Studio 6 Multimedia Limited, the movie is to be released on Netflix on December 2nd, 2022.

57 — Craig Freimond

A trauma counsellor encountering a traumatic experience sounds obscure but not out of place. Craig Freimond is a South African filmmaker known for his comedic dramas like Gums and Noses and Beyond the River. 57 is a documentary made in memory of Sibusiso Khwinana, the star of Matwetwe who was murdered because of a cellphone. 57 is centred on investigating and understanding why crime and violence are at an all-time high peak in South Africa, and also looks at a possibility for redemption, i.e. a solution that reduces the rate of crime and violence.

While some South African films contain violence, this documentary is fun and informative for viewers, while offering solutions to violence.

(Read also: Jewel Review: A Quiet Reminder of the Continuing Impacts of South Africa’s Sharpeville Massacre)

Far from Home — Chinaza Onuzo

Far from Home is yet another Inkblot production that puts together a class of upcoming actors and screen legends. The movie features the likes of Funke Akindele, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ufuoma Mcdermott, Bimbo Akintola, Femi Branch, Bolanle Ninalowo, Adesua Etomi Wellington, and many others.

Far from Home tells the story of Ishaya, played by Mike Afolarin, a talented and charismatic teenager whose dreams are drawn near by a scholarship to one of the most prestigious schools in the country. Unfortunately, there is a lingering secret of his that threatens his new status. Far from Home is set to be released on December 16th, 2022, with a global premiere and exclusivity on Netflix.

 (Read also: The SetUp 2 Review: Chinaza Onuzo’s Latest Release Focuses on Aesthetics and Lacks Depth and Clarity)

Domitilla — Zeb Ejiro

If you are a true Nollywood fan, you will remember an original 1996 production of the same title. Domitilla was popular in the 90s alongside RattleSnake, Living in Bondage and the lot from that time. While it is true that the attempts to remake or make a sequel for some classics like Glamour Girls, Nneka the Pretty Serpent, Aki and Paw Paw haven’t been the most successful, this one might be different. As in a post on Kayode Kasum’s Instagram, “this is not a sequel or remake, it’s now a reboot.” With the original director, Zeb Ejiro, making a return, we expect nothing less of 26 years of history relived.

The cast of this movie is yet to be announced, and details are unclear. However, viewers are excited to see what is coming: a show of possible theatrical greatness.

How to Ruin Christmas 3 — Johnny Barbuzano

Johnny Barbuzano makes yet another return in the production of a third season. And just like the first two seasons, we look forward to more drama. This season follows the previous one, which ended with the Sello and Twala families deciding to put their differences aside and welcome a new grandchild from Beauty and Sbu into the family.

If you’ve seen the previous seasons and witnessed the chaotic Christmases between the families, with Tumi always in the centre field, you’re prepared for more drama. The series will be available on Netflix on December 9, 2022.

Crime and Justice Lagos — Showmax

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Crime and Justice Lagos
 is a police procedural and crime drama series set in Lagos, Nigeria, and is to be released on the 8th of December, 2022, with exclusivity to Showmax.

The series is co-produced by Showmax and CANAL+. This would become a second addition to the Crime and Justice franchise since there is an original series set in Nairobi.

The drama series explores the activities of a fictional Serious and Special Crime Unit (SSCU) which is led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Femi Biboye played by William Benson.

Starring in this first-of-its-kind is a cast generously dominated by Nollywood veterans, Uche Mac-Auley, Paul Adams, and Femi Durojaiye.


Blessing Chinwendu Nwankwo, a film critic, beautician, and accountant, currently writes from Lagos State, Nigeria. Feel free to drop your opinion in the comment section below. Connect with her on Twitter at @Glowup_by_Bee and Instagram at @blackgirl_bee.

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