By Senior Editor
The Nigerian movie industry, otherwise known as Nollywood has continued to grow in lips and bounds. From revenue generation to powerful and interesting storyline, the industry remains the second largest in the world. Nollywood generates an impressive 1 billion dollar annually.
Actors and actress continue to hold their audience spellbound with interpretation of movie roles. But what many people do not know is that such interpretation of roles are only made possible by those behind the scenes – producers and directors. Therefore, after a careful research, we present to you 8 nollywood producers and directors considered as legends in film making. For the sake of time, we decided to restrict the list to this 8 Directors. The list is in no particular order.
1. Teco Benson
Arguably, one of nollywood’s highest directors of action-packed movies, Teco Benson has maintained a very strong track record in the movie industry since 1997 when his directing career began.
Fondly called Action Director, Benson was part of the first Nollywood action movie in 1997 called Eye for Eye, which featured Segun Arinze, Ramsey Noah, Hilda Dokubo amongst others.
Originally a civil servant, Benson came into the movie industry in 1994 as an actor and then went into script writing and film production in 1995. He now focuses on directing. Benson represented Nollywood in Ghana in 2005 as part of the federal government delegation via the Nigerian Film Corporation. He was also as a part of the five-men delegation that represented Nigeria at the 32nd Cairo International Film Festival. In 2006, his movie Explosion was chosen to represent Nollywood in Israel. His film, Mission to Nowhere, introduced Nollywood to international screens.
He has also done love films and they turned out very good. One of such is Two Brides and a Baby, which he made in 2012. He directed ‘The Price,’ which was a very hot Christian movie featuring Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD) and Eucharia Anunobi in 1999.
Between 2004 and 2005, Teco took a decision to face his own productions which climaxed in 2006. In 2007 he returned to school for a masters in Communication Studies to sharpen his communications skills and the course lasted for two years. He now directs movies for different companies.
Some of his films include
Dirty Game (1998)
The Price (1999)
End of the Wicked (1999)
Broad Day Light (2001)
Formidable Force (2002)
Born 2 Suffer (2002)
Highway to the Grave (2002)
Power to Bind (2003)
Accidental Discharge (2003)
War Front (2004)
War Front 2 (2004)
State of Emergency (2004)
State of Emergency 2 (2004)
Danger Signal (2004)
Danger Signal 4 (2004)
Blood Diamonds (2004)
Six Demons (2005)
Day of Atonement (2005)
Silence of the Gods (2006)
Silence of the Gods 2 (2006)
Explosion: Now or Never (2006)
Explosion 2: Now or Never (2006)
Explosion 3: Now or Never (2006)
Mission to Nowhere (2008)
Mission to Nowhere 2 (2008)
The Fake Prophet (2010)
High Blood Pressure (2010)
Dr. Cruel (2010)
Blood in the Lagoon (2015)
Just One Blood (2018)
In 2001, Teco Benson got married to his wife, Uju Molokwu and together, they are blessed with five boys.
Benson, in 2011, won the Director of the Year at the Best of Nollywood Awards.
In 2012 he was decorated by President Goodluck Jonathan as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic.
According to Naija Gist, Benson has an estimated net worth of 29 million Naira.
2. Tchidi Chikere
Multiple award-winning Nollywood director, producer, actor, script writer and musician,
Tchidi Chikere was born on 10th October 1975 in Mbaise, Imo State in the south eastern part of Nigeria.
Chikere grew up in Lagos and completed both his primary and secondary school education there.
Chikere, after his secondary education, proceeded to University of Calabar, Cross River where he bagged a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts.
He started writing film scripts when he was still in school. While in school he belonged to a musical group and dramatic club. After completing his National Youth Service (NYSC) he travelled to the United Kingdom to publish his first book.
Upon graduating from University of Calabar, Tchidi Chikere joined the Nollywood as a script writer, movie director and actor. Tchidi Chikere is also a musician. He has done musical collaborations with Marvellous Benji and OJB Jezreel amongst others.
Tchidi Chikere is a creative filmmaker and one of the leading movie directors and producers in Nigeria with over 60 movies to his credit. One of his greatest movies is “Stronger Than Pain”, an emotional tragic movie which featured Kate Henshaw and Emeka Ike. The movie won him the award for best creative director in Nigeria at the African Movie Academy Awards.
His other awards include best director in Nigeria, most creative director in Nigeria and best producer in Nigeria at the African Movie Academy Awards and Africa Movie Viewers Choice Awards.
He was married to Sophia Chikere who is also an actress. They had three children.
Unfortunately, the marriage between Chikere and Sophia went south and they got divorced in 2012. Reports say the divorce was due to misunderstanding. Tchidi Chikere is currently married to Nollywood actress Nuella Njubigbo.
According to austine media, Chikere has an estimated net worth of $2 million.
3. Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
Born on July 27th, 1971, in Benin City, South South Nigeria, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, AKA “D’Guvnor”, is a prolific filmmaker.
|Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen|
Oduwa graduated with a degree in Theater Arts from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. His career took off with the Nigerian Television Authority before he ventured into full-time moviemaking.
He directed his first film at the age of twenty-four. He has a special interest in promoting the Edo language through his films, such as Ikuemiting, Olidara, and Ebuwa, which premiered in Benin city with over twenty-five Nollywood stars in attendance. He has won numerous local and international awards.
Some of his films include
Scarlet Woman (Date unknown)
Sinners in the House (Date unknown)
Issakaba 1 – 4 (2000 – 2001)
What I Want (2003)
Private Sin 1 – 2 (2003)
Love & Politics (2003)
Emotional Crack (2003)
Wanted At All Cost (2004)
Promise Me Forever 1 – 2 (2004)
Official Romance (2004)
Masterstroke 1 – 2 (2004)
In Totality (2004)
Critical Decision 1 – 2 (2004)
A Million Madness (2004)
Without Shame 1 – 2 (2005)
Saving the Crown (2005)
Moment of Truth 1 – 2 (2005)
Men Do Cry 1 – 2 (2005)
Games Women Play 1 – 2 (2005)
Family Battle (2005)
Django 1 – 2 (2005)
Colours of Emotion 1 – 2 (2005)
Circle of Lives (2005)
Behind Closed Doors 1 – 2 (2005)
Traumatised 1 – 2 (2006)
Games Men Play 1 – 3 (2006)
Dying for Tomorrow 1 – 3 (2006)
A Prize to Pay 1 – 2 (2006)
Brutal Heart (2007)
Yahoo Millionaire 1 – 2 (2007)
Unfinished Business (2007)
Wrong Desire 1 – 2 (2008)
Sister’s Love 1 – 4 (2008)
Can’t Let Go 1 – 2 (2008)
Kings Battle (2009)
Entanglement 1 – 4 (2009)
Home in Exile (2010)
Bent Arrows (2010)
A Private Storm 1 – 3 (2010)
Last Celebrity 1 – 2 (2011)
Shattered Mirror 1 – 2 (2012)
On Bended Knees (2013)
Lonely Heart (2013)
To Rise Again (2014)
ABCs of Death 2: L is for Legacy (2014)
Invasion 1897 (2014)
Girls Are Not Smiling (2017)
Rant Queens (2019)
According to Celebsagewiki, Lancelot’s net worth is $1million to $5million .
4. Izu Ojukwu
Nigerian film director, cinematographer, scriptwriter and editor, Izu Ojukwu is the director of the Nigerian historical fiction drama film ‘76 produced in 2016.
He is an award-winning movie producer whose films have received recognition both locally and internationally. He became successful as a result of his determination and self development.
Born into a large large polygamous family as the fourth child of 20 children, Ojukwu grew up and schooled in Jos. He attended St. John’s College, Jos, and started learning film making from school. Before then, he was making money from drawing and painting. So, he became independent from an early age.
Later on, he got obsessed with photography and film; and began to see a career in them. He started visiting national and state libraries in Jos to get books on film production, especially from the National Film Institute, Jos.
For years, Izu was reading books he borrowed until people started calling him to be a resource person for their film production classes. In 2002, he got his first invitation as a resource person from Vassar College, New York to teach guerrilla film making. Eventually, he attended a film school in the United States.
Izu visited cinemas to watch Indian and Chinese films from the projecting room after making friends with the projector operator. Afterwards, he constructed a projector from the sample he saw in the cinema and projected films from his father’s garage. He would gather children in the garage and make them watch his film for just a token.
Subsequently, he improved and used every opportunity to learn more. Later on, he constructed a camera, created a tripod, and made his young ones stand in front to read news. All of these was gearing him towards film making.
Eventually, in 1996, he produced his first film, an Igbo film, titled Moment of Bitterness.
The director has worked with great actors like Omotola Jalade, Ramsey Nouah Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Rita Dominic, Ireti Doyle, Stephanie Okereke, Chidi Mokeme, amongst others.
Some of his films are:
Moment of Bitterness, 1996
A Home too Far, 1997
Eva The River of Mystery, 1998
Line of Duty, 2003
The World is Mine, 2001
Love Boat, 2001
Eleventh Hour, 2001
Desperadoes 1 & 2, 2001
Battle of Love, 2003
Moving Train, 2003
Across the Niger, 2007
No One But You, 2004
GL 1 & 2, 2005
Shut In, 2006
Minority Tension, 2007
White Waters, 2007
Who Will Tell The President, 2007
Cindy’s Note, 2008
Distance Between, 2008
The Child, 2009
Alero’s Symphony, 2010
Power of 1, 2018
Awards And Recognition
He won the Best Director for ‘Sitanda’ at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), 2007
He won Best Director for ‘White Waters’ Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), 2007
Also Izu won The Best Nigerian Film, ‘Across The Niger’ Africa Movie Academy Award, 2008
He won Best Director, Best of Nollywood, 2009
He won The Best Director for ‘76’ at Africa Movie Academy Award, 2017
Also, he won Best Director for ’’76‘ Africa International Film Festivals, 2017
He won Overall Best Film for ‘’76’ Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award, 2017
He won Best Picture Director, ’’76’ Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award, 2017
There is no record of Izu Ojukwu’s estimated net worth.