Nollywood has come a long way from the VHS tapes and video club era.
In 2003, Nollywood gave Nigerians some of the most memorable and exhilarating classics.
It was the year that perhaps one of Nollywood’s biggest exports, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme, aka Aki and Pawpaw, bagged their break-out roles in ‘Aki na Ukwa’.
So popular were their roles that fans never recalled the movie’s title and assumed it was ‘Aki and Pawpaw’.
While compiling the list, PREMIUM TIMES realised a trend that films of that year cut across some themes, rituals(blood money), comedy, prostitution and romance.
The stars of that year were undoubtedly Osita and Chinedu, who brought the silliest comic relief anyone could wish for.
Genevieve Nnaji also made her mark with her memorable role in ‘Sharon Stone in Abuja’, while her then-rumoured rival, Omotola Jalade, starred opposite her in ‘Blood Sisters’.
READ ALSO: Nigerians spent N2.4 billion on movie tickets in 2021 — Report
The late veteran actor Sam Loco held sway as he starred in almost all comic movies released in 2003, just as filmmakers Kingsley Ogoro and Ojiofor Ezeanyaeche produced the most blockbusters that year.
In 2003, filmmakers did not have to rely on social media but on movie posters featuring a known face and dramatic TV adverts highlighting distributors from Ebinmpejo lane and Upper Iweka road.
Twenty years later, we journey down memory lane, revisiting classics that dominated 2003.
“Aki na Ukwa 2”
In a sequel, to the first release of Aki na Ukwa, with the characters Aki and Pawpaw, played by Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme.
It continued the story of how the duo’s antics got them banished from their father’s house. Moving in with their uncle, they began terrorising another village.
Frances Nsonwu, Oby Kechere, and Amaechi Muonagor joined them. In 2021, Charles Okpaleke of Play network produced a remake, but it could have made more impact than the original.
“Osuofia in London”- produced by Kingsley Ogoro, kola Munis
It starred veteran actor Nkem Owoh, Francis Odegha, Cynthia Okereke, Mara Ashton and Romanus Amuta, among others.
‘Osuofia in London’ was produced and directed by ace filmmaker Kingsley Ogoro. Owoh,62, played the lead role in the film, which was a box-office hit. The film earned him critical acclaim and the nickname, Osuofia.
It told the story of Osuofia, who arrived in London straight from his village in Africa. It was after he inherited the vast estate of his deceased brother, who left the village years before and amassed a fortune in London.
The 2004 sequel, ‘Osuofia in London 2’, didn’t do so well.
The comic actor was supposed to reprise his iconic role in ‘Osuofia Goes To Miami’, scheduled for a 2021 release.
“Billionaires club”-directed by Afam Okereke
Billionaire’s Club 2 continued the story of a secret society of men who used occultic powers to manipulate people and make blood money.
The movie starred some of the greatest Nollywood actors, including Clem Ohameze, Pete Edochie, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Tony Umez, Sola Sobowale and Patience Ozokwor.
The comic movie ‘Two Rats’ told the story of two young boys whose father has been murdered by their uncle. In a selfish move, uncle-Amaechi Muonagor wanted them to work as houseboys in their father’s house.
The movie starred Osita Iheme (A-boy) and Chinedu Ikedieze (Bobo), Amaechi Muonagor, Patience Ozokwor, Andy Chukwu, Prince Nwafor, David Ihesie, Ricky Eze. and Atitebi Haleemah.
“Baby Police” – produced by Martin Onyemaobi, Amayo Uzo Philips
Starring Osita Iheme, Kenneth Jideofor and Chinwe Owoh among the long list of casts, the movie told the story of a mischievous little boy who constantly disturbed his neighbours with pranks and thefts.
He eventually got into more considerable trouble and formed the “Baby Police Force of Nigeria” (which was composed entirely of adults except for him- Dada), and earned money by taking money from “criminals’ (who were just everyday people).
“Abuja Connection”- produced by Ojiofor Ezeanyaeche
Starring Chidi Mokeme, Clarion Chukwura-Abiola, and Eucharia Anunobi, the movie told the story of Jennifer and Sophia, who belonged to the same clan but were rivals.
However, they knew each other well and had inside information about their mission in the struggle for power and money.
Their battle showed how having influential connections in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, can bridge the line between poverty and wealth.
“Emotional Crack” – produced by Ebere E. Eze, Rob Emeka Eze, Nse Ikpe-Etim
Starring Dakore Akande, Stephanie Okereke, Ramsey Nouah and Patience Ozokwor, the movie told a story of a man named Chudi who never cherished what he had; he had a good wife, but he continually abused her.
It soon dawned on him what he had when he lost her to another man.
“Egg of Life” – produced by Ojiofor Ezeanyaeche
The adventurous movie told the story of a journey to restore the life of the king’s only son, a group of girls were sent into an evil forest to retrieve the magical egg of Life.
The movie starred Uchemba Williams, Funke Akindele, Sam Ajah, Padita Agu and Pete Edochie.
“Blood sister”- produced by John Nkeiruka Nwatu
Blood sisters told a captivating story of two sisters who grew up in a world of poverty, where selfish desires are realised, and jealousy becomes the main issue of their household.
The movie starred Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Tony Umez, Oge Okoye and Patience Ozokwor.
“Police Recruit”- produced by Ojiofor Ezeanyaeche
Directed by Charles Inojie, the movie starred Chiwetalu Agu, Nnamdi Eze, Charles Inojie, Sam Loco Efe, Amaechi Muonagor, John Okafor and Nkem Owoh, told the story of four miscreants who joined the police force and engaged in a spree of incompetence and corruption.
This romantic 2003 movie starred Jim Iyke, Ramsey Nouah, Pat Attah, Rita Dominic and Genevieve Nnaji.
In the movie, Juliet (Genevieve) and Austin (Ramsey Nouah) end their relationship and then play mental games to test their love for each other. While similar scenes play in the lives of other characters.
The movie packed a theme of romance and Infidelity.
“Sharon stone in Abuja”
This oldie continued the story of a Lagos female casanova Sharon Stone played by Genevieve Nnaji, who relocated to Abuja after being burned in Lagos by her own game, with an agenda to gain government contracts.
She soon discovered that earning a living wasn’t so easy and teamed up with another playgirl ‘lady B.’
The movie starred Genevieve Nnaji, Tony Umole, Emeka Okoro, Prince Val Nwigwe and Nneka Kwulu.
“Twin Brothers” – MacCollins Chidebe
Starring Hanks Anuku, sam Loco Efe, Tom Njamanze, Osita Iheme, Lasa Amoroand Maryann Apollo, this classic told a story of a man who forcefully tried to terminate his daughter’s pregnancy without success.
When she finally gave birth to a set of twins, one of them turned out to be a miniature person.
“Nicodemus” – Directed by Reginald Ebere
Leading the cast, Osita Iheme and John Okafor, aka Mr Ibu, Nicodemus takes us on the adventurous comical story of the everyday life of a no-good wannabe electrics repairman.
Although he cannot repair anything, he jumps from job to job, tries to have sex in his employee’s room and makes weird jokes with his wife.
However, the real star of this movie was the son. He was an intelligent and cheesy young boy who behaved (and even looked) more mature than most other characters.
“The Return” – Kingsley Ogoro
The return told a story about a successful but arrogant and ruthless businesswoman who died prematurely but returned to earth as the reincarnation of her own deceased housemaid Elo, to whom she had shown little or no compassion in life.
The movie starred Uche Ama Gabriel, Fred Amata, Ruke Amata, Patrick Doyle, Segun Arinze, and Richard Mofe Damijo.
“Unconditional love” – Nkiru Sylvanus
Directed by Jeta Amata and starring Grace Amah, Ansa Ekpo Bassey, Bassey Ekpo Bassey and Olu Jacobs, the movie is a story about a young man who was ripe enough to pick a wife and settle down as was the wish of his father ‘Okonkwo’ (Olu Jacobs) and the people closest to him.
His bright prospects seemed to stand in the way as he, ‘Emeka’ (Bassey Ekpo Bassey), had problems picking from many women flocking around him to impress him.
However, he had to do everything to woo her when he found what he sought in a girl ‘Ebere’ (Nkiru Sylvanus).
Starring Olu Jacobs, Stella Damascus, Chioma Akpotha Ramsey Noah and Remi Abiola, it was the story of a man searching for real love.
He met a pretty blind girl and fell in love with her but had to battle their highly prejudiced society to accept their love.
“Not man enough” – produced by Nwafor Anayo
With lead stars, Emeka Ike, Genevieve Nnaji and Andy Chukwu, the classic tells a story of the battle between two guys, Nelson and Steve, who wants a lady, Maureen.
While Nelson plays the promiscuous flirt, Steve is the nice guy in the battle for Maureen’s heart.
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