How to Film in Nigeria and still be human by Niyi Akinmolayan



Lola, 26 has already made two short films , TV drama and a web series

Lola, 26, has already made two short films , a TV Film and a web series

Hi there!

Before I introduce myself (smh like it matters) may I brag about Niyi? I requested to meet him

last week Friday at Sao’s Cafe in Lekki and this guy, believe me, is the ‘most gentleman’ I have

come across in the industry. He talks from a deep, passionate, knowledgeable place and it was

such a pleasure to have met a talented, leading filmmaker willing to share and rub minds. It is

no  surprise  to  me  that  he  created  this  blog  to  share  knowledge.  Please  let’s  not  take  it  for


Okay! so my name is Adedolapo Omolola Adeleke. My screen name is LowlaDee and I prefer to

be called Lola off screen. I call myself a filmmaker because I think the only thing I don’t do is

handle the camera. From Writing to Producing, Directing, Editing. My Dear! LOL! but hey cheers

to Brave Short film and A Place Called Happy Television Film, my previous projects! This Is It TV

Show is set to debut September 13th this year.

When  I  registered  my  production  company  2011,  after  graduation,  I  tucked  the  certificated

somewhere  and  served  as  Production  Assistant  in  the  Nigeria’s  Got  Talent  Show  and  then

decided Format TV shows wasn’t for me and moved to Advertising. I worked at IMS Advertising

Lekki and It’s one of the best experiences of my life. We were all crazy creative wise and we

had the coolest boss ever Ladi. But amidst all the crazy and fun, I knew I wanted more. My body

was  scratching  me  so  bad,  I  looked  at  my  company  certificate  once  again  and  then  yes,  I

resigned before even confirmed a full staff. I haven’t looked back since.

don't drag something for 140mins when it can make sense in 30minutes

don’t drag something for 140mins when it can make sense in

Now, when I thought Oh yea ‘Lola you shall be called LowlaDee and you shall make the biggest

blockbuster  Pan African  movies  ever  seen  to  Man!’ Amen  to  that!  but  errr….my  bubble  burst

rather quickly. First of all, I discovered my style of narrative is very straightforward, hence my 30

minutes duration of short film ‘Brave’. Till today, people say I should turn it into a full movie, but I

just  don’t  have  the  patience  to  drag  something  for  140mins  when  it  can  make  sense  in

30minutes. And then I said to myself, maybe I should just be making shorts. But then again,

where is the commercial value in that? Hmm. Then I discovered something that exists, and I call

it  the  sleeping  giant,  “TELEVISION  FILMS” A  Place  Called  Happy  is  a  60mins  duration  film

MADE FOR TELEVISION. Yes, I was asked to bring it to cinema but I declined as I designed it

for TV.

And after the experience I said to myself. This Is It! Your niche is Television foremost!

Now, I grew up watching lots of entertaining TV shows, like Fuji House of Commotion, Passions,

Papa  Ajasco,  Tales  by  Moonlight,  and  even  the  DSTV  Hallmark  Channel  known  for  their

romantic  Television  Films.  There  were  no  cinemas  but  families  would  sit  together  and  laugh

watching these shows. I remember ‘Passions’ TV Show used to show at 9pm on AIT everyday

and one day I and my neighbors were stuck in the traffic, and we saw this public TV outside

where  mechanics,  bread  sellers  and  all  the  ‘adugbo’  people  gathered  to  watch  this  show

‘Passions’ and we were sadly stealing glances from the traffic. Because aint nobody joking by

9pm. How amazing was that!!! Now i cant even remember any show recently that has brought

we Nigerians together that way. That was golden.

In  fact!  Please  all  our  big  stars  now  like  Mofe  Damjio,  Rita  Domnic,  Genevieve.  Television

largely empowered them. I watched ‘Keeping Faith’ on TV. These stars were introduced to us by

Local stations and DVD Rentals, Not cinema! Television was proudly Alaba market Cinema and

even the modern cinema is yet to beat that. C’mon does it not beat you that the biggest stars

then are still the biggest stars now?? why??? Television draws in the common Nigerians! Those

eyeballs are many man!!!

But somehow as I grew older, with the rise of internet and all, this GIANT, this UNIFIER called

Television began to drift to sleep. Lol, I can’t remember lasting a minute on AIT, the once ‘ghen

ghen’ place.

The Cinema is a great place. Oh how I love the new Nollywood and all of us young Filmmakers

now churning out cinema movies. Its called progress and its beautiful. But the thing is, when I

walk  through  the  cinema  halls  and  see  some  movies  put  in  the  cinema,  I  say  to  myself,  this

could pass for a Television Movie. Not all movies are meant for cinema. This is my own opinion,

and to me, if you are making a cinema movie, there must be that cinema experience worth me

driving to the cinema, opening my wallet and paying a whooping N1500 for. I’m not paying to

watch something I can easily find on my Television screen. Heck I’m not paying to ‘watch’ your

movie.  I  am  paying  to  ‘Experience’  your  movie.  I  can  watch  Television  plx  tainzz.  You  may

disagree but like I said, its my 2 cents and I believe I have a point.

The beauty about Television Films is that with a small budget you can make magic because you

don’t need the A-list stars for people to watch. No, you create the stars. You create stars that

gather a massive following and in turn the cinema moviemakers can discover these stars and

these  stars  can  now  bring  their  following/audience  to  watch  your  movie.  Wow!  what  a  ripple


Lowladee's first TV drama

Lowladee’s first TV drama

I look forward to investors and the brands not just splashing money to advertise on Television

but to empower Television producers in creating Big budget Television Shows that will in turn

tripple  their  revenue  and  cause  a  movement.  Do  you  see  the  effect  of  HBO’S  Games  Of

Thrones on people? Join the cinema halls together, it may not contain all the eyeballs that watch

GOT. People get addicted to TV. Thats good for business!

I  believe  in  the  power  of  Television.  I  believe  that  all  those  childhood  moments  I  had  with

Television can come alive again. Just as the Cinema is growing, I want the Television to grow as

well.  We  need  more African  series,  Sitcoms,  Telemovies. Aren’t  you  tired  of  them  big  music

show formats?? Imagine if the budget used for The Voice was used for one mad ass Television

series! Chai!!! Big ups to African Magic trying to keep Television alive with some of their new

series but biko my eyeballs hurt from watching Tinsel for so long sha and its still not terrestrial. I


Actors, don’t think your big break is always tied to a cinema film role mahn! You might be the

next  Ellen  Pompeo  (Greys  Anatomy),  the  next  Kerry  Washington (Scandal)  or  Josh  Radnor

(How I Met Your Mother). Go for more Television project auditions. You can empower yourself

from Television and name your price when cinema producers come calling because you have

commercial value.

Producers, as we think Cinema, lets think of creating ‘mind blowing’ content for Television as

well. Bless Amaka Igwe but that woman understood the power of Television. She was queen

man! and look at the many lives she touched!

Lowladee's Upcoming web series

Lowladee’s Upcoming web series

Lets wake up this sleeping Giant! I grew up to know Television as King. It still can be!

And  Producers,  if  you  think  cinema  is  more  glamorous  than  TV,  do  you  know  you  can  have

grand premiers for your Tele-movies and shows? Man! you can create the same hype!!!

I can’t say all now. But one day hopefully, I shall write a book on this after I have made some

tangible contributions to African Televison by God’s grace as I am still a learner.

So  Yes!  I  am  proud  to  be  running  a  production  company  catering  solely  to  Mainstream  and

Digital Television. And yes its bringing bread to the table small small. I have another production

company registered for cinema releases but it is tucked somewhere far ‘on purpose’. We move,

one mission at a time.

I really hope after this piece someone opens up Google and does more research on Television

Films and Television shows!

Sorry for the long write up! Its passion that culz it o lol!

And  if  you  have  cool  ideas,  I  mean  ‘bankable’  cool  ideas!  Biko  reach  me  at

lowladeeonline@gmail.comNo dulling plx.

#LongLiveAfricanTelevision #LongLiveAfricanCinema #LongLiveNigeria #LongLiveAfrica




Categories:   Uncategorized


  • Posted: August 21, 2016 13:24


    Hi, I love that you're passionate about TV and I think you're right about TV's potential. But exactly HOW is TV more profitable than film? I mean, who pays for you to produce a show and air it on that ogbonge platform that will draw a lot of eyes? I am genuinely curious about this and I hope you can enlighten me.
    • Posted: August 21, 2016 17:28

      Michael Celestine

      I hope she answers that question. I really need to know.
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 18:55


      TV is broad, remember we are talking 'African' Television 'Films' and 'series' here. The logic is simple, the more cinemas, the more money cinema movies will make. How many cinemas do we have at the moment? We are gradually getting there...but the potential to make money from TV cannot be overemphasized. There should be a TV in every home I'm not sure when cinemas, will be on every block. Cinema movies on a global scale make money because on the films opening night alone, showing in probably over 5000 cinemas, the production house can break even in one night. Anyway, in Nigeria, you can pitch your TV show idea or pilot, to a traditional broadcast network, or an independent company. If your pitch is successful, the network finances the project. Or, if you want to go the individual style, you can gather money from investors, or rich family friends who are willing to support you, and make bucks from TV Advertising. Corporates jump on terrestrial advertising. So all you ned to do is have an agreement with the TV Network to air your series, have advert rate cards and get the companies to advertise. You will make money. Period. Now in terms of Television Movies, like I said, its a lower cost production than cinema for many reasons such as casting, story etc. You make money buy licensing and re-licensing to TV networks online and offline, in Africa and beyond. Yes! Even French speaking countries, year after year. You make money from product placements. Its a long lecture really and I can only scratch the surface here...I hope this helps a little
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 13:44

    Gluck Azunwena

    Awesomeness... You talk alot like Niyi, u have plenty sense in ya head and I love the trailer.... Cheers
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 14:49


    Awesome!!! On point. You so right. Points noted. More grace, more strength to you.
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 18:56


      Amen thank you chy!
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 15:08


    I am more than excited being a part of this. Perhaps, one of the few good things so far this year. Thanks, uncle Niyi, many minds are indebted to you. And, my dear lady! It's really an overwhelming honour to finally know the brilliant brain behind my revered 'BRAVE'. After I saw it, it won my heart and I resultantly got engrossed by the whole enticing feature that it became one Nigerian thing I was happy to see over and over. It's true the teeming industry needs innovative, brilliant and visionary filmmakers like you two and I trust your resolves. I care to be part of the revolution!
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 18:57


      Thanks!! You should be a part! all the way Hun!
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 15:33

    Barnabas Emordi

    Director of Life, It was a pleasure working with you on "This is it" TV show. I agree with you that television is king, mehn imagine the impact that game of thrones has had on television viewers. I really can't wait for people to see the wonderful show you have created and I know they will be glued to their TV because the show is super amazing. If there's one thing I learnt from you on set, Passion! Passion!! Passion!!! You are passionate and happy about what you do and that alone is an inspiration to people like me. Thumbs up to you and thanks for giving me an opportunity to be a part of your your show. It was definitely a pleasure being a part of the crew for a unique TV show. Thanks for being an inspiration. God bless!
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 18:58


      My dear Barny, my pleasure. Was great working with an articulate mind like yours. You'd go far! We have more work to do!
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 16:01


    First, I'll like to thank Uncle Niyi for thus platform. He might have an idea but doesn't know exactly how helpful this blog has been.. Thanks LowlaDee for your "Passion" for TV. This has been a subject of thought and discussion lately and I'm excited you feel this way.
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 18:59


      Abi ooo! thanks Suz!
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 16:10

    Victor Negro

    This is beautiful. I also understand the mine in tv and I've been working on ideas too that will drop like a bang. Thanks Niyi for brining this wonderful soul on this blog.
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 18:59


      Your comment warms my heart. Thanks!
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 16:24


    I've been following ur progress (so to say) since Brave! And I'm so proud of what you have been churning out... it's always been worth the mb to stream your visuals... and you've hit it right on the money... let me add just this... terrestrial TV is King!.. I think you two cents are worth millions of dollars! My first foray into producing was to shoot a sitcom (sadly hasn't panned out right) because my feasibility studies showed a more predictable Break-even-point... enough said, I've been looking forward to working with you for a while now... I guess I'd send a mail and look towards a collaborative effort (ofcourse I've always wanted a collab with Oga Niyi)... let's do some TV!!! P.S. I'm tired of all them reality TV/music, format shows. Yes I can imagine all that money in a Nigerian series with the right hands and 'winter will come" to Nigeria
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 19:00


      You are the real MVP! Kolade you just made a girl blush o!. Thanks for the MBsss!
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 17:11

    Roseline Nya

    Its encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who's been thinking about this. You've said basically all there is to say.... Its a vast sea of creatives out here (in Nigeria) but our TV stations do not reflect that. Laziness, mediocrity and silliness are what comes to a lot of minds when our local stations are mentioned. A lot can't tell the last time they watched a local tv station because all the good stuff are sold separately (on their own) and what's left on tv are the grade Ds and Es.... Though I'm also aware that sometimes a tv is forced to reflect what its audience love. So, I'm soooo looking forward to when we'll be able to put our best intriguing and intellectual stories on our tv... I love culture and all that, but I'm looking forward to when cultural parodies will cease to be the only entertainment we can put on tv.
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 19:02


      You said it right. And it starts from here...young creatives can change this...and thanks to Niyi's blog...we are all beginning to meet in once place. The growth will happen. I believe!
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 19:55

    pete osemeke

    Well written and we'll articulated,i still remember then people rush home to go watch CATHELINA AND SEBASTINE,GUARDNERS DAUGHTER,SECOND CHANCE ON AIT,these were Mexican series but according to my mum it's like Mirror in the sun those days...soonest those contents will be lightened up again...
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 19:03


      Amen! but hopefully Nigerian content not Mexican this time! Did you watch PALOMA?? That one was lit!!!! Lol!
  • Posted: August 21, 2016 23:26

    Kayode @

    Hi Lola let me start by saying bravo your passion for TV is oozing and I love the trailer for "This is It" can't wait to see it. You're absolutely right, TV is a multibillion dollar industry that is yet to be tapped. The likes of Nexflix, HBO, Hulu, Syfy are all making billions by creating content that are created for TV. Nigeria is gradually getting there and I believe with the likes of you...the sky is the limit. I would hit you up via email we've got to talk. To answer Nkechi's question. Producing content for TV is great and profitable if you have platforms like Netflix where people pay to watch original exclusive content. Just like what Ebony TV is doing although they are not available on terrestrial TV. Also look at Wazobia TV they started on Startimes as marketing strategy to get people to buy more startimes decoder, but they recently launched their terrestial channel Wazobia Max. Internet is still a bit expensive and most TV in nigeria aren't internet ready yet. Soon once the digitalization is complete there will be need for more original content for TV. Getting funding to produce the content won't be an issue if there is a guaranteed means of recouping the investment and the most reliable means is through subscription based viewing. I hope this answers your question. Lastly I want to say thank you to Boss Niyi Akinmolayan May God continue to bless you. You're a rare gem and a blessing to this generation.
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 19:04


      Damn boy...your head is dia!
  • Posted: August 22, 2016 08:07


    nice content
  • Posted: August 24, 2016 02:47


    She went "I shall write a book on this after I have made some tangible contributions to African Televison by God’s grace..." and I go: Amen! #LongLiveAfricanTelevision #LongLiveAfricanCinema #LongLiveNigeria #LongLiveAfrica
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 19:04


      AMEN!!! Thank you Ejiro!
  • Posted: August 26, 2016 12:36


    Very intelligent write-up. I'm also a huge advocate for television. "I look forward to investors and the brands not just splashing money to advertise on Television but to empower Television producers in creating Big budget Television Shows that will in turn tripple their revenue and cause a movement." I also look forward to when our television networks e.g. NTA will take a cue form their foreign counterparts e.g. ABC and start commissioning producers to create top-notch & highly-rated shows like Grey's Anatomy, GOT, Scandal, etc. Not every time be waiting for somebody to buy their ridiculously expensive airtime. The amount of money that could be made from television syndication advertising and sponsorship is underestimated especially on such a huge network with millions of eyeballs like NTA. The revenue structure for TV hasn't been fully understood and exploited yet which is why I believe most producers would rather opt for cinema. At least it's more straight-forward with money-back guarantee. Even if it's just to make some small change on top of your capital.
    • Posted: September 5, 2016 19:06


      Mahn! We should chat know whatsup. Really smart comment. I'm dying to see the day NTA and ko just take a cue, a tintili cue...sigh
  • Posted: August 30, 2016 23:05

    Sandra ufuoma

    Great! Nothing as inpsiring as reading a brilliant piece from an intelligent and creative lady. This blog sha, to think i get to read all these tinz for free.. Oga Niyi thank you o.
  • Posted: September 5, 2016 19:07


    Awww Sandra...kisses thank you!
  • Posted: September 8, 2016 20:06


    Great lecture and eye opener. Thank you for the insight. Am am up and coming tv producer, so passionate about tv content. I will love to have more details on how tv series are acquired by tv stations, the deals available for tv producers and how money is made. I have some tv pilots, teasers and ideas. How do go about getting a tv station to fund the productions.
  • Posted: February 28, 2017 16:09


    Hi Lola, Incredibly insightful. I thought I was the only one that thought there was so much potential in TV. I'm a script writer and about to (hopefully) commence production on one of my scripts. The producer loved it and can't wait to start. I'm really hopeful that the market would expand. All series you mentioned above, I've watched with such intensity, one would wonder if there lied an obsession within those realms. I get lost in TV series, cos you get to know them, watch them grow, their characters becomes a part of you, very much like a next door neighbour. Some have argued it's very much a woman's world (TV series I mean) but with such amazing TV like the Breaking Bad, I beg to differ. One day, my name will appear on a screen as "script writer", one day my TV series will be much more successful compared to "Jenifa"( Well that appears to be the most successful at the minute-Do correct me if I'm wrong) And by the way Mr NIYI...You write so well. You have got to be a writer too! I'm so enthralled by your write ups, kind of like watching a movie unfold. Well done all!!!