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B Side, Film

Netflix Adapts Shanty Town as an Original Series

Shanty Town premieres exclusively on Netflix on the 20th of January.

  • Damilola Aleje
  • 9th January 2023

Historically, African cinema has been crafted on celluloid film by its directors, or auteurs, and it has always been intended to project images of Africans and to inspire thoughtful reactions from its audience, as opposed to Hollywood filmmaking, which aims to entertain. Nollywood emerged as a popular industry in the 1990s, and the industry has stood in stark contrast to auteur filmmaking for its video format and aim to entertain.


As the industry has evolved in the last few years, it appears that streaming seems to be the most viable solution for disseminating and screening movies as well as series and other TV programming at once across and beyond the African continent. It is not surprising that global media giants, such as Netflix, have capitalized on confinement and expanded their subscriptions by millions. Meanwhile, other streaming platforms, including Showmax, Iroko TV and TV providers Canal+ Afrique have tried to remain competitive during the pandemic despite layoffs. 


To further showcase its intentions to lead the game, Netflix has intensified its content library for African titles in 2023 by acquiring the highly anticipated Nigerian crime thriller, Shanty Town as an original Netflix series. The show is created by the duo of Xavier Ighorodje and Chichi Nworah, and it will be released as a six-part series primed for January 20, this year.


Shanty Town  follows the story of three Lagos State hustlers (Ini Edo, Nse Ikpe-Etim, and Nancy Isime) who unite to wage war against the biggest and most ruthless crime ring in the state.



Chidi Mokeme who plays Scar in the film, an acclaimed actor in his own right, gives one of his best performances and transports the audience into the dark rumbles of Lagos. Directed by Dimeji Ajibola, Shanty Town tells a story that is both familiar and different. Through this tale of redemption, the audience learns about the grit and hustle mentality of the average Nigerian and other fast-paced, vibrant cities all over the world.


By projecting African stories to a global audience, the series will be spotlighting the underbelly of the city of Lagos and bringing to life the various character dynamics that exist beneath the cover of everyday life thus telling a truly fresh and compelling story.


The show’s stellar cast includes Nollywood icons such as Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ini Edo, Chidi Mokeme, Nse Ekpe-Etim, Sola Sobowale, Shaffy Bello, Ali Nuhu, and Uche Jombo.


Shanty Town  also features fan favorites Zubby Michael, Omowunmi Dada, Mercy Eke, Sola Sobowale, Regina Daniels, Judith Audu, and Peter Okoye of P-Square fame. 


Shanty Town  premieres exclusively on Netflix on the 20th of January.

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