Home Entertainment Top female producers in Nigeria’s $6.4 billion movie industry  

Top female producers in Nigeria’s $6.4 billion movie industry  

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Nigeria’s entertainment sector stands as a vibrant tapestry of creative forces, particularly within the realms of music and movies.

The music industry, garnering increasing global recognition, parallels the cinematic prowess of Nollywood, proudly holding the title of the world’s second-largest film producer and boasting a substantial worth of $6.4 billion as of 2021. 

Annually, Nollywood unfurls over 2,000 productions across diverse platforms. Its strategic collaborations with global movie streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Showmax have positioned Nollywood to export its rich culture and values worldwide.

This global outreach is facilitated by compelling narratives crafted by some of Nigeria’s most talented producers and directors. 

In the preceding year alone, the Nigerian box office demonstrated remarkable resilience by generating approximately N7.4 billion in revenue. This feat becomes even more impressive considering the challenges posed by diminishing purchasing power and inflation. 

As March remains women’s month and commemoration of International Women’s Day, Nairametrics highlights some of Nigeria’s exemplary female producers who stand as catalysts for inclusion and agents of growth within the dynamic Nollywood industry. 


13. Bolanle Austen-Peters    

Bolanle is a lawyer, acclaimed movie and theatre director/producer, and cultural entrepreneur. Recognized by CNN as the “woman pioneering theatre in Nigeria,” she is the founder and artistic director of BAP Productions and Terra Kulture, an arts and culture centre in Lagos.

Forbes Afrique named her one of the most influential women in Africa, acknowledging her numerous awards for contributions to the arts.

Additionally, Austen-Peters founded Terra Academy for the Arts in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation, focusing on empowering young individuals.

Her impactful work extends to previous collaborations with the United Nations.


 12. Ruth Kadiri 

 Ruth Kadiri is a Nigerian actress, screenwriter and producer. Tagged as the Queen of YouTube Nollywood, the female producer garners an average of 2 million views per movie hosted on the video platform.

Ruth Kadiri has made significant contributions as a screenwriter and film producer- with productions such as Mad Wife, Married and Diary of a Pregnant Wife. She has been involved in crafting compelling scripts for various Nollywood projects, showcasing her storytelling skills.  

Before focusing primarily on production, Ruth Kadiri made her acting debut in 2003 with the movie “Boys Cot.” Since then, she has consistently delivered captivating performances across a diverse range of films. Her ability to embody various characters with depth and authenticity has earned her widespread recognition and respect within the industry. 

Some of her notable works as an actress include roles in films like Matters Arising, Over the Edge, and “Husbands of Lagos. 


 11. Omoni Oboli 

Omoni Oboli stands as a preeminent figure in Nigeria’s film industry, despite facing a temporary hiatus from the industry due to family commitments, she has navigated the fast-paced landscape with success over the last two decades. 

 Oboli is not only a seasoned actress but also a trained digital filmmaker, having honed her skills at the prestigious New York Film Academy. Her creative energy is evident in a myriad of screenplays, including notable works such as ‘Fatal Imagination,’ ‘Being Mrs Elliott,’ ‘The First Lady,’ and ‘Wives on Strike.’ 

In 2010, Omoni Oboli clinched the Best Actress – Narrative Feature award at the Los Angeles Movie Awards and the Best Actress award at the Harlem International Film Festival.

In 2018, she took on the dual roles of star and director in the comedy film “Moms at War”  which starred Funke Akindele and has produced many movies for cinema and various streaming platforms. 

Notably, Oboli has leveraged the digital space, particularly on YouTube through her channel, Omoni Oboli TV. Hosting productions like “Marriage of Inconvenience” and “A Night in July,” she has amassed an impressive five million streams for her movies.


10. Toyin Abraham 

Toyin Abraham stands as a stalwart in the Nollywood realm, boasting an illustrious career spanning over two decades. Commencing her journey in 2003, she has not only graced the screen as an actress but has also ventured into directing and producing. 

 Her cinematic repertoire includes notable works such as  “IjakumoThe Born Again Stripper,” and the blockbuster “Malaika,” which emerged as one of the highest-grossing movies in December 2023, amassing N300 million—the pinnacle of her box office achievement yet.  

Other notable movie pieces include “Fate of Alakada” in 2020, which garnered N113.2 million at the box office. Following this success, “Alakada Reloaded” also raked in N70 million. 

She also produced, “Seven and a Half Dates(2018), and The Ghost and the Tout(2018).


9. Tope Oshin 

Tope Oshin is a cinematic force, recognized for her role in producing noteworthy films like Up North, featuring Nigerian singer-Bankole Wellington. Acknowledged in 2017 as one of OkayAfrica’s Okay100 Women, Oshin stands as a highly decorated filmmaker, boasting a portfolio that spans over 7,000 hours of TV and film content. 

 Her directorial prowess shines through some of Africa’s most prominent drama series, including MTV Shuga, Tinsel, Hotel Majestic, Hush, Castle & Castle, and more, accumulating a staggering 750 episodes. Notable among her directorial credits are films like New Money, Journey To Self, InLine, Ireti, The Young Smoker,” and the groundbreaking December 2018 theatrical release, UpNorth. 

Tope Oshin’s multifaceted role encompasses ShowRunner, Producer, and Lead Director of MTV Shuga Naija 4 (Season 8). Her producing credits shine with the highest-grossing Nigerian box office hits – The Wedding Party 2 and Fifty. A revolutionary documentary titled “Amaka’s Kin: The Women Of Nollywood” shows her commitment to spotlighting female directors in Nigeria. 

 Trained in Filmmaking at the Colorado Film School, Denver, and having studied Cinematography at Met Film School, London, Oshin is the proprietor of Sunbow Productions. 


8. Jade Osiberu  

Jadesola Osiberu stands as a remarkable figure in Nollywood, transitioning from a background in software development career to writing, directing, and movie production. As the founder of Greoh Studios, she gained traction after churning out pieces such as Isoken (2017), Sugar Rush (2019), Brotherhood (2022), and the crime thriller Gangs of Lagos,  the first Nigerian original film exclusively streaming on Amazon Prime Video. 

 In September 2022, Osiberu’s Greoh Studios inked a transformative three-year deal with Amazon, signalling a commitment to develop and produce original scripted TV series and feature films for a global audience. This collaboration positions her production house as a key player in shaping the narrative on a broader scale. 

 Osiberu initiated her venture into film production with the establishment of Tribe85 Productions in 2017, fueled by the mission to “tell African stories to a global audience.”


7. Mary Njoku 

With nearly two decades immersed in acting and filmmaking, Mary Njoku has solidified her status as a powerhouse in the African movie industry.

Since her debut in 2004, Njoku has graced the screens in over 100 films and TV series, predominantly within “Nollywood”  the Nigerian movie industry renowned as the world’s second-largest by production output. 

 In the last decade, Njoku has seamlessly transitioned from on-screen roles to a behind-the-scenes executive, playing a major role in shaping the creation and distribution of African content tailored for the streaming age.

In 2013, she took a bold step by founding ROK, a digital media company that operates four TV stations. Additionally, she established ROK Studios, a content production company catering to IrokoTV, a Nigerian streaming video-on-demand platform founded by her husband, Jason Njoku. 


6.  Biodun Stephen 

Biodun Stephen is a Nigerian film director, writer and producer, specializing in romantic drama and comedy films.

She has been noted for getting inspiration for the title of her films, from the main character names as depicted in the film with Tiwa’s Baggage, Ovy’s Voice, Ehi’s Bitters and Sobi’s Mystic as notable examples. 

Biodun Stephen began her film-making career in 2014 with the release of The Visit. The film was praised for its minimal yet insightful cast, story and originality. It received two nominations at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in Lagos. 

She co-produced, Breaded Life, and directed Sista.  


4. Funke Akindele 

Funke Akindele or Jenifa, is a prominent Nigerian filmmaker, actress, director, producer, and politician. Born on August 24, 1977, Akindele gained widespread acclaim for her role in the sitcom “I Need to Know” (1998–2002). In 2009, her outstanding performance in “Jenifa” earned her the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 

The character Jenifa became a cultural phenomenon, leading to a 2015 television series adaptation titled Jenifa’s Diary, produced by Akindele. Her performance in the series earned her consecutive wins for Best Actress in a Comedy at the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards in 2016 and 2017, with additional victories in 2020 and 2022. 

Beyond acting, she made history as the first Nigerian female director to surpass a billion naira at the Nigerian box office with “A Tribe Called Judah(N1.4 billion) which became the highest-grossing movie of 2023 in cinemas.  Funke Akindele has maintained a three-year sequence of top-grossing films in Nigeria. 

Her movie, Omo Ghetto the Saga had a total gross of N636 million in 2020, while her 2022 film, Battle on Buka Street grossed N668 million. 


3. Kemi Adetiba 

Kemi Adetiba is a Nigerian filmmaker, television director and music video director, whose works have appeared on Channel O, MTV Base, Soundcity TV, BET and Netflix. She started as a radio presenter for Silver’s Rhythm 93.7 FM. She was the voice behind the two national hit shows – Soul’d Out and Sunday at the Seaside. 

Kemi Adetiba slowly moved from radio to television by presenting on TV. Afterwards, she moved to music and movie production. 

In 2016, directed a film titled “The Wedding Party” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) the same year.

The wedding party was a great achievement and broke box office records by raking in over N3.5 billion. Kemi Adetiba is also the founder of a web documentary series; King Women. King Women mentors and inspires young women. 

The popular political thriller, King of Boys which starred Sola Sobowale in the lead role was produced, written and directed by Kemi Adetiba. Known as the Bruce Lee of visuals, Adetiba’s most recent TV series crime thriller To Kill A Monkey is set to premiere on Netflix this 2024.  


 2. Emem Isong 

Emem Isong is a Nollywood icon with about 25 years of dedicated service to championing women’s rights through impactful storytelling in Nollywood. 

Notably, her movie “Bursting Out” left an indelible mark, attracting a sold-out audience at the Odion Cinemas in London in November 2010. Emem has also collaborated on documentaries for significant organizations like Action Health Incorporated (AHI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF). These initiatives aim to empower out-of-school and marginalized adolescent girls in slum communities around Lagos 

In 2018, Emem received the prestigious African Film Leadership Award at The African Film Festival (TAFF) in Dallas. Her array of awards includes the Giama Award, Thema Award, ZAFAA Award, Best of Nollywood Award, City Peoples Award, and the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMMA), often regarded as Africa’s answer to the Oscars. 

Emem’s films have transcended borders, earning screenings at major film festivals and becoming subjects of academic study at universities across Africa, Europe, and America. 


1. Mo Abudu 

Mo Abudu, recognized by Forbes as one of the most influential women in global media, stands as an influential figure in Nollywood.

Her journey involves spearheading Ebony Life TV since its inception in 2006, establishing herself as a prominent figure in the entertainment industry. 

Under Abudu’s leadership, Ebony Life TV has expanded its reach to over 49 countries across Africa, the UK and the Caribbean. The network has become a significant player, fostering global partnerships that enhance its influence in the media landscape. 

Notably, Ebony Life TV has secured major collaboration deals with industry giants such as Sony Pictures Television, AMC Networks, and Netflix.

The groundbreaking agreement with Netflix marked a historic milestone as the first time an African media company entered into a multi-title film and TV agreement with the streaming giant. 


Note: The individuals featured in this compilation have been carefully selected by a distinguished panel of editors, experts, and analysts at Nairametrics.

It is important to note that none of the individuals listed have solicited their inclusion. While this list aims to be comprehensive, it is by no means exhaustive; numerous other contributors have played significant roles in Nigeria’s $6.4 billion movie industry. This compilation is exclusive to Nairametrics and may be updated periodically to reflect changes and advancements in the field. Feedback will be appreciated.


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