“Nothing Beats Naija!”
Nigeria is one of the most well-known destinations in Africa. It is the most populous
country in Africa and ranks seventh in the world! It is a diverse country with over 500
ethnic groups and languages and a variety of landscapes from mangroves, coastlines,
national parks and arid desert-like regions. It is an excellent choice for a filming location
and the energy in Nigeria is infectious from the music, to the fashion.
Nigeria, located in West Africa, is in an incredible and culturally diverse country and film
location. It has an Atlantic coast on the Gulf of Guinea, and is bordered by Benin to the
west, Niger and Chad to the North and Cameroon to the east.
As you move from the tropical coastal economic hub of Lagos toward the more arid
northern region of Kano you can experience various landscapes, languages and cultural
groups. Lagos is a vibrant and modern city that enjoys many western amenities.
Recently, there has been a large investment in Eko Atlantic, an artificial island being
reclaimed just off the coast of Lagos. It is anticipated to become a business center and
a financial hub for the whole of West Africa. It is here that future businesses, including
film producers, are expected to flock, enjoying a wide variety of events.
In the same region of the country, is Osun-Osogbo, just outside the city of Osogbo, and
is a sacred grove along the banks of the Osun River. In 2005, this sacred grove was
inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its cultural value and
global significance. Kano, in the north, is one of the locations in which the story Half of a
Yellow Sun (by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) takes place.
In 2013, the novel was made into a film starring Thandi Newton and was filmed on
location in Nigeria. Abuja, located in the center of the country, is the administrative and
political capital of Nigeria. Abuja was built mainly in the 1980’s, and is a planned city
conceived by a consortium of three American planning and architecture firms.
The largest ethnic group in Nigeria, making up approximately 25% of the Nigerian
population, is the Hausa. They are known for raising cattle and other stock, growing
crops and trading. The Hausa, along with the Fulani group, practice Islam and are
located in areas from the capital towards the northern borders. The Yoruba, found in the
Western region of the country and Lagos are mainly known for upholding traditional
aspects of their ancestors’ religious practices and beliefs. The Igbo people are an
essential part of the oil trade and found in the southeastern region including the city of
Culture and Entertainment
Nigeria is the home of Nollywood, the Nigerian Film and TV industry. For many years, it
was the center of the African film industry. Nollywood, is the second largest film industry
globally and estimated to account for almost 2.5% of Nigeria’s GDP, and a core growth
sector in Nigeria.
The entertainment industry in Nigeria is made up of television and film through
Nollywood, yet they also produce a wide range of musicians such as superstar Afrobeat
artists and have a vibrant fashion industry. The work of designer, Kenneth Ize, with his
focus on preserving indigenous adire cloth (indigo resist-dyed cotton cloths) has graced
the runways of Paris Fashion Week. His label was also shortlisted for the LVMH Prize in
- Many Nigerian musicians are also currently trending globally and collaborating
with regional and international artists, and make-up artists such WizKid, Davido, Burno
Boy and Asa.
The film industry in Nigeria is equipped to handle a variety small to large scale
productions, providing all the necessary filming equipment, as well as a wide range of
professionals such as directors of photography and stills photographers as well as good
art departments, camera assistants (focus pullers), sound operators, grips, gaffers,
stylists, hair and makeup, PA/ runners, production drivers and local film fixers.
In order to film in Nigeria, with the assistance of an African film fixer, a film permit can
be sourced from the Nigerian Film Corporation. There are a variety of permits available
depending on production needs and Nigerian authorities are accommodating to foreign
film crews. Once the permit is acquired, safety is an important consideration for Nigeria
as a location. Nigeria has, sadly, gained a reputation for being unsafe, but with the right
precautions around road safety and general personal and equipment safety, Nigeria is a
formidable and unforgettable filming location.