African movies currently on Netflix

The last couple of years have seen a significant growth in African movies and cinema. In a continent with a plethora of diversity in terms of language, culture, and style, Africa shines with its unique storytelling and films rooted in heritage and art. The cinema of most African countries dates back to the late nineteenth century, and has blossomed over the years into several notable films encompassing multiple genres, from slapstick comedic films to thought-provoking cinematic masterpieces. 

Nollywood, Nigeria’s movie industry, is the second largest in the world in terms of output, churning out thousands of theatrical releases and independent films each year. The movie industries in Ghana and South Africa have also seen significant growth over the years and many films are now streaming on Netflix. For a glimpse into the world of African cinema, here are 10 films to catch on Netflix. 


Lionheart was Netflix’s first Nigerian original film production. The collaboration with Nigerian actress, director, and Nollywood veteran, Genevieve Nnaji was hailed as a positive step in the right direction for African cinema. It follows a young woman who is given the chance to lead her father’s company following his illness. She faces a ton of disrespect and sexism on the way as she attempts to save the company from debt, and a takeover by a powerful businessman. The film stars several notable Nigerian actors and was the first-ever movie the country submitted to the Oscars, although it was eventually disqualified by the Academy. 

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind 

While tagged a British film, the film takes place in Malawi and is based on the memoir of the same name by Malawian inventor and engineer, William Kamkwamba. It is also Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut. The film follows a young boy who saves his family and town from a famine by learning how to build a windmill to generate water and electricity. The story is a heartfelt one about determination and love and is an inspiring watch. 


This empowering historical film transports viewers back in time to sixteenth century Zazzau — now Zaria — in Nigeria, and follows the real-life travails of the warrior queen Amina. The epic period drama details her strength and bravery while in a land dominated by men, and is a tale about overcoming obstacles. The famous Queen expanded Nigeria’s Hausa kingdom through several conquests, and opened up many trade routes within North Africa. 

Atlantics (Atlantique)

Heralded as one of the most acclaimed African films of all time, this supernatural romantic drama by French-Senegalese director, Mati Diop, received significant praise for its tone and cinematography, as well as its heavy oceanic symbolism. The film focuses on a young woman whose lover has disappeared, and this absence leads to inexplicable moments of possession and haunted love. Touching on important subjects, such as the refugee crisis, grief, loss, and class conflict, Atlantics remains one of Africa’s greatest exports. 

The Wedding Party 

This romantic comedy drama is one of Nigeria’s most loved films ever. The crowd pleaser took over the country and quickly became the highest-grossing Nigerian film at the time of its release in 2016, and holding onto the record for four years. A hilarious, yet heartwarming film about the wars between families before a wedding, this film featured an ensemble cast of some of the country’s finest talent. It was directed by Kemi Adetiba, and spawned an equally successful sequel, The Wedding Party 2. 

King of Boys

Another brilliant film by acclaimed Nigerian director, Kemi Adetiba, was 2018’s King of Boys. A thrilling political drama, this movie is centered on a powerful and ruthless businesswoman whose lust for power leads her to a tussle. As she tirelessly pushes further toward her ambitions, secrets from her past threaten to dismantle all she has worked for. The dark, emotional tone of the film was praised for its stark contrast to The Wedding Party’s bright settings.

The Burial of Kojo

This visual masterpiece featured several first-time actors and received praise for its poetic tone and use of magic and spiritualism. Shot in Ghana, the film follows the titular Kojo, whose brother has abandoned him to die in a gold mine, and his daughter Esi’s attempt to locate and save him with the help of supernatural forces. The film was written and directed by Blitz Bazawule, famously known as Blitz the Ambassador, in his thought-provoking directorial debut. 

October 1

One of the darkest films in Nigerian cinema, this psychological drama is named after the country’s Independence Day and is often cited as one of the best films from Africa. The film focuses on a police officer, Danladi Waziri, who is sent to investigate the killings of native women in a rural community before the country gains independence from Britain. The movie has some excellent cinematography and is considered a national cinematic treasure, with convincing acting and enough patriotic moments to make one proud. 

The Figurine

Also directed by Kunle Afolayan is 2009’s supernatural thriller which has one of the most unique plots to grace the Nigerian film industry. Two friends stumble upon a mystical sculpture in a shrine. Little do they know that the piece belongs to the Nigerian goddess Araromire and it bestows seven years of good luck to those who encounter it. The two friends end up living wonderful lives for the next seven years, but things go from wonderful to horrible, for unbeknownst to them, seven years of bad luck follow. The Figurine is, to date, regarded as one of the finest moments in African cinema, and has become a part of the syllabus in many Art departments in universities across the country. 

Catching Feelings

A romantic drama set in Johannesburg, South Africa, Catching Feelings centers on a black, married couple, whose lives are turned upside down by the arrival of a successful white writer into their home. The film touches on important issues in the country like racism and post-apartheid relations between citizens, but offers a warm and triumphant love story above all.