See Nigerian 5 Top Movie Directors Running The Show In Nollywood (WN Picks)


In a conversation concerning the growth of Nollywood, movie directors should get a full session to themselves because they are the ones who truly bring movies to life. If the script is like the Israelites, movie directors are like Moses, leading them – the movies – to the promised land.

As with every movie industry all over the world, these directors work with actors and every other individual – reading and editing scripts, directing film crews and actors, and overseeing the production – just to ensure the film matches the vision for final production.

The roles of movie directors cannot be underplayed in any circumstances. On WN Pick this week, we want to shine a spotlight on some of the top and amazing movie directors in Nollywood, working magic and bringing creativity to life.

Kunle Afolayan

Nigerian filmmaker Kunle Afolayan during the shooting of Anikulapo
Nigerian filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan during the shooting of ‘Anikulapo’

Widely credited for changing the narrative in storytelling in Nollywood, improving the quality of films, amongst other things, Kunle Afolayan has made a name for himself in the industry as an actor, producer and director.

Having been active in the film industry since 2005, Kunle Afolayan has several movies with his name as director on it including Irapada, The Figurine, Phone Swap, October 1, The CEO, Citation, Swallow, A Naija Christmas, and his latest movie, Anikulapo.

Also, Kunle Afolayan has equally worked on several projects as producer and writer.

Kemi Adetiba

Kemi Adetiba on the set of The Wedding Party
Kemi Adetiba on the set of ‘The Wedding Party’

Telling creative stories in creative ways, Kemi Adetiba has stamped her name in the film industry as one of those you want to watch their work.

Transitioning from her career in Radio to being a TV producing and presenting shows, Kemi Adetiba enrolled in the New York Film Academy, working her way to becoming one of the top movie directors in Nigeria and Africa.

Her short film, Across A Bloodied Ocean Was screened at the 2009 Pan African Film Festival and National Black Arts Festival. Also, one of her popular films, The Wedding Party premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

Some of her more popular works include King of Boys, and King of Boys: The Return of the King, a political crime drama limited series released exclusively on Netflix.

Dare Olaitan

Dare Olaitan the director of Ile Owo
Dare Olaitan, the director of ‘Ile Owo’

Studying Economics and Business Management in his undergraduate studies in Illinois Wesleyan College, Dare Olaitan decided that the growth in the African market was in Film production so he took a Film Directing/Screenwriting degree at the Colorado Film School.

Having worked in the industry for quite a while, the 32-year-old Nigerian has a couple of films under his belt. In fact, his debut film, Ojukokoro (Greed) is a Nigerian crime-heist comedy that got people talking when it was released in 2016. This was followed by ‘Knockout Blessing’ to the latest project he worked on, Ile Owo described as a psychological thriller with elements of horror in it.

Dare Olaitan pushes his creative genius further in every project, delivering something new and brilliant.

CJ Obasi

CJ Obasi receiving an award
C.J Obasi receiving an award.

Starting the Fiery Film Company with his wife in 2012, CJ Obasi has proven himself to be a prolific writer, editor and director who has worked on many films in those capacities.

His debut film, ‘Ojuju’ premiered at the African International Film Festival in 2014 winning the award for Best Nigerian Film. Also, the film got him the Trailblazer of the Year award in 2015 at the Africa Viewers’ Choice Awards.

His second, ‘Juju Stories’ is a 3-part anthology exploring magic in Nigerian folklore and urban legend, while his latest, ‘Mami Wata’ will have its premiere at the Sundane Film Festival in January, 2023.

Tope Oshin

Movie director Tope Oshin on a movie set
Prolific Nigerian filmmaker, Tope Oshin on a movie set.

As a woman of talents and knack for excellence, Tope Oshin gets rewarded for all the work she puts in with the many awards and recognition she gets.

Listed as one of the most influential Nigerians in Film in 2019 amongst many other recognition, she has a career of over 12 years under her belt as an actress, producer and movie director.

Some of her very popular works include Up North, New Money, and We Don’t Live Here Anymore, with several other feature and short films.

Tope Oshin has also worked on documentaries as well as Television shows, winning awards for her works as a prolific director.


The Nigerian movie industry is made up of talented and brilliant filmmakers, and with the crop of movies coming out of the industry, coupled with the immense growth, we can safely say we are in safe hands.

With this, we’d hope to see more movies with brilliant direction, great storytelling, and standard quality.

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