The entertainment industry in Nigeria has fully opened its welcoming arms to the idea of web series. Web series are now a thing because people have hopped on the bandwagon due to the commercial success and appeal that they have shone. With the availability of free online streaming platforms, content creators have taken advantage of this to show off their talents. It has resulted in the growth of web series and Nigerians chose to not be left out of the movement.
Over the last 10 years, there has been a change in the film and television scenery in Nigeria. It started with the improvement of film culture as the age of the ‘new’ Nollywood cinema started.
Just like a break out single for a new artist, short films started to come into view and become a sort of talent detector. Somewhere along the line, web series started. According to Wikipedia, web series are a series of scripted or non-scripted videos. Generally in episodic form, released on the internet and part of the web television medium. They are longer than short films, but not like feature films.
Future of Web Series In Nigeria
Web series might not be a big deal to the people in America and Europe, but their success is a big deal for people in Nigeria. This is because the Nollywood industry didn’t consider their creators’ stories a good enough sign of directing and writing. They were also not seen as being worthy enough to produce new talent. This is why their success is relevant to the advancement of the industry and the forthcoming generation.
Many of the web series creators have now gotten to work on television. Either as directors or producers of some of the most popular shows in Nigeria. Some have also gone on to direct or produce feature films that have been in theatres.
When GTBank formed a production company and started creating its own content to appeal to the millennial generation, the game changed and further evolved. UBA (United Bank for Africa) and Sterling Bank have since followed suit and now, the quality of web content is high and better. Web series, just like short films, have been able to showcase the most compelling work that is being put in the Nigerian entertainment world.
Here are some amazing Nigerian web series that have caused a buzz on and off the internet.
Rumour Has It
Ndani TV is well known for producing some of the best web series. Rumor Has It is one of them. The series takes us through the journey of a gossip blogger who can’t take what she gives. In the first season, Uru Eke is a popular gossip blogger who is known for stepping on people’s toes. However, her husband gets another lady pregnant and the scandal is everywhere.
In the second season, Uru Eke is replaced by Linda Ejiofor who runs an NGO for the female child, but a messy scandal that got out by a popular blogger Jemima ruins everything she has worked hard to build. Rumour Has It will leave you at the edge of your seat.
Skinny Girl In Transit
Also an Ndani TV classic production, SGIT (Skinny Girl In Transit) is a general favorite and the followers don’t play. Abimbola Craig is the producer and she doubles as the main character, Tiwalade. It is a series based on the life of a plus-sized woman and her battle with men, love, societal conceptions, work, an overly dramatic mother, and a mildly jealous sister.
This series has definitely got the crown for Nigerian web series with the largest fan base and it’s fan are totally committed.
MTV Shuga is a show that focuses on the lives of young people, the decisions they make and the consequences of such decisions. The show promotes the idea of practicing safe sex and not stigmatizing the people living with HIV/AIDS. Fun fact: The Oscar award-winning actress, Lupita N’yongo got one of her major breaks from the Kenyan version of the show. It also has a cult-like following.
This Is It
The main body of this series revolves around a young newlywed couple (played by Kenyan Nick Mutuma and Nigerian Chigozie Nwakanma) from different cultures, their romance, dispute, how they cope with understanding each other’s differences, how they deal with single friends, and their parents’ intervention in marriage.
It is produced/directed by LowlaDee and I think the storyline is amazing. Whether married, soon to be married or not yet thinking of marriage, you will enjoy watching this series. You can rest assured it’s a good way to spend your past time. Too many lessons to learn about ‘Marriage Life’.
The Men’s Club
The Men’s club takes us on a journey of 4 friends. Surrounded by women, business and the hassles of their city. These young men share their highs, lows, ups and downs with us.
Louis Okafor, Tayo Oladapo, Aminu Garba and Lanre Taiwo are idealistic characters similar to your Lagos friends played by Nollywood’s finest. The women in their lives bring joy, laughter, baggage and have no intention of backing down. Created by Tola Odunsi and Akin Akinkugbe screenplay by Dami Elebe, the show redefines the opinions we have of young men in Lagos.
I’m looking forward to the time (because I know it’s coming) when web series become an end goal for directors, actors, and producers in Nigeria. With the way content use in the world has changed in the last 10 years, someone (hopefully, me) will figure out how to get Nigeria’s online platform that will be Netflix’s competition.