’76 ~ The 2017 West Africa Best Movie

Incase you are new to nollywood movies, here’s one you don’t want to miss, the blockbuster film ’76’.

76, formerly Lions of ’76 is a 2016 Nigerian historical fictiondrama film produced by Adonaijah Owiriwa and Izu Ojukwu and directed by Izu Ojukwu. It stars Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme, Rita Dominic and Ibinabo Fiberesima. One thing I loved about this movie is that the whole crew gave in their very best to make it outstanding, little wonder the historical film was nominated in fourteen categories for the 2017 African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) earlier this year in March.
The movie, ’76 which had a ₦600 million budget approx. ($3 million), emerged the biggest winner at this year’s Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) which was held at the Convention Centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. The film saw Nigerian actress Rita Dominic as best actress of the year and even went on to win the award of Best Movie West Africa over other nominees which are;

93 Days, Oloibiri, A Trip to Jamaica, and The CEO. ’76 stole the show at AMVCA, winning Best Movie, Best Actress, Best Costume Designer, Best Art Director and Best Director. A total of five winnings in fourteen nominations making it the highest winner at the event.

Bryan Okpara (Model) featured in Masterpiece Movie.

Ojukwu who was the movie director, has always had fantasies about making military movies, so much that he follows many coup stories. When the ‘76 project came along, he had to do a lot more readings and research, and also consult scholars on the crucial aspects of the story, to ensure historical accuracy, over a year was spent on the pre-production stage of the film. The historical account of ’76’ has the support of the Nigerian Military as the script went through a seven-month investigation and approval period before filming started. The military also assigned personnel to train the actors and guide the military aspect of the film. During the film’s development, the director tried to minimize violence because he wanted people to focus on the story and not get distracted or annoyed by gory images. Eight period cars of the 1970s were refurbished to be used in the film.

A teaser trailer of the film was released to the public on 20 November 2012. The release was initially slated for 4 October 2013, but was pushed back indefinitely due to delayed post production A first official trailer for the film was released on 14 November 2014. The movie was selected to premiere at the Toronto International film Festival in September, 2016 and at the BFI London Film Festival. The film was finally released on 25th November 2016.

Izu Ojukwu the director said “it’s a story told from a dual point of view – from the soldier’s patriotic perspective and from that of the officer’s wives.” He also makes it clear that the film pays homage to the strength of Soldiers’ wives, “As far as I’m concerned, the wives are the real soldiers,…they are the ones who suffer from whatever decisions their husbands make — whether on the battlefield or within their office complexes.”
which brings me to the conclusion that most girls really do not like to get married to one, except the daring and strong women who are ready to face any pot holes with their military husband.
The filming took place mainly at Mokola Barracks, Ibadan, Oyo. The film was shot using ArriSuper 16 cameras; It was initially meant to be shot on 35 mm film cameras, but the ground glass of one of the cameras which was to be used got damaged. And so, the director opted to shoot on 16mm film cameras instead. The film stock used for filming, along with other equipments used for production were subsidized by the Nigerian Film Corporation.
Issues reflected in the film include the rumours of foreign involvement in Murtala Muhammed’s coup; Ojukwu states: “You cannot run away from them… You must deal with all the rumours — although we cannot say, factually, what happened…” The film also strongly portrays intertribal marriages;


’76 is set six years after the Nigerian civil war, a young officer from the Middle Belt gets into a romantic relationship with an O-level student from the South-eastern region. However, their relationship is strained by constant military postings. The soldier gets accused of being involved in the 1976 unsuccessful military coup and assassination of General Murtala Mohammed, and the heavily pregnant wife, gets entangled in an emotional dilemma.


The historical account in ‘76 went through a seven-month approval period at the Nigerian Military before filming started and according to the director, this was an era when the Nigerian people started playing down on all forms of discrimination and saw themselves more as brothers and sisters. The film has been in production for about five years.

  • Ramsey Nouah as Captain Joseph Dewa
  • Chidi Mokeme as Major Gomos
  • Rita Dominic as Suzie
  • Ibinabo Fiberesima as Angela
  • Daniel k. Daniel as CPL Obi
  • Memry Savanhu as Eunice
  • Adonai Owiriwa as Captain V. M. Jaiye
  • Pat Nebo as Colonel Aliu
  • Nelly Ekwereogu as Ikenna
  • Shuaibu Ebenesi Adams as Lieutenant Jubril
  • Debo Oguns as Noel
Directed by Izu Ojukwu
Produced by Adonaijah Owiriwa
Izu Ojukwu
Screenplay by Emmanuel Okomanyi
Cinematography Yinka Edward
Edited by Emeka Ojukwu
Adonis Productions
Princewill’s Trust
Release date
  • 25  November  2016


Country Nigeria
Language English