by Okon Ekpo
The television shows on this list kept us glued to our seats, inspired countless social media trends and kept us coming back for more. Presented in no particular order.
Every weekday on social media,- Twitter in particular,- the conversation settles around Hush, the exciting political series airing on Africa Magic Showcase and starring Richard Mofe-Damijo as a fashion entrepreneur who has a (not so secret) dark side. Hush, produced by Victor Sanchez Aghahowa is gripping television thanks to its unique characters, unpredictability and wild but relatable plot.
The Voice Nigeria
From the second quarter of the year, Sunday evenings were all about The Voice Nigeria, the local version of the American TV series. Premiering on Africa Magic television channels Showcase and Urban on DStv in April, The Voice Nigeria, thanks to the chemistry between the judges was an instant ratings and critical hit. Nigerians kept faith with the various contestants, laughed, cried and decided their fates even as 28-year-old A’rese Emokpae sashayed away with the top prize.
The Johnsons is a Nigerian comedy series airing on Africa Magic. It focuses on an average middle-class Nigerian family in Lagos, and the challenges they face navigating everyday life. Starring comedy heavyweights Charles Inojie, Chinedu Ikedieze and Ada Ameh, The Johnsons manages to make everyday mundane situations funny.
Hosted by Arit Okpo for EbonyLife television, The Crunch is a trendy, current affairs programme about what matters relating to Africa and Africans. The Crunch aims for a buzzy, easily digestible approach to interpreting the news cycle and understanding just how the biggest headlines affect the average citizen. It does this by interviews and chats with some of the brightest young professionals and experts.
According to confirmed rumour-mongers, ‘Your View’ on TV Continental is Nigeria’s most watched TV show. Your View is essentially an I-can’t-even-be-bothered-to-hide-it rip-off of ABC’s enduring show, The View that has hosted all of America’s brightest, created by Barbara Walters. It is basically 4 women (co-hosts) with very strong personalities and very strong views coming together for a no-holds-barred gabfest. It airs Mondays thru Friday from 9am with a repeat at 11pm.
This “high octane” political drama starring Hollywood Nigerian actress Caroline Chikezie premiered on EbonyLife television in July. Set in a fictional Savannah state, The Governor is Angela Ochello, a political outsider who finds herself in the seat of power when her boss dies suddenly from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Ochello faces the toughest battles of her life yet as she struggles to stay afloat in a system unused to her style of leadership.
Sons of the Caliphate
Directed by the immensely talented Kenneth Gyang, Sons of the Caliphate may be our very own Game of Thrones – young people with too much wealth dispensing money, power and influence across a make-believe state Nigerian state of Kowa. It boasts a fine cast of actors – most of whom we may not be familiar with. At least not here in Lagos, or Asaba for that matter. Rahama Sadau, Mofe Duncan, Sani Muazu, plus, the incomparable Patrick Doyle.
Motion Town is created by Ndani TV and hosted by Femi Odewunmi who reviews various automobiles on roads across Nigeria. Motion Town has a lot going for it. The television landscape isn’t exactly inundated with Nigerian shows about cars, which means Motion Town stands out by default. It is presented by Ndani TV, (basically Nigeria’s #1 online television platform,) and is pretty well produced, as is par for the course for all things Ndani.
Skinny Girl in Transit
Skinny Girl in Transit may be the most popular online/web series currently running. Produced by Ndani TV, SGIT which just began airing its third season manages to increase its popularity with each succeeding season. The plot revolves around a plus sized young Nigerian lady and her efforts at navigating the dating pool while balancing family and societal pressures as well as her own numerous insecurities. The writing can be bleh but none can say SGIT doesn’t have its followers.
The Jenifa character is one of the most iconic characters ever to grace our screens. Widely beloved with mainstream bonafides to boot, Funke Akindele brought the money minting character to the small screen to spectacular success. Presently in its seventh season, Jenifa’s Diary has outlasted critics who slammed the show’s early seasons for a lack of originality and inventiveness in terms of approach to its familiar material.