“A babe is a liberated, independent, smart, good-looking woman. She’s always dressed to the nines, smokes, drinks, likes to have sex, sometimes for money, and likes rich men, in short, she’s a bad-ass bitch.”

by Vanessa Agbulu

Babes are becoming more and more extinct in Nigerian cinema or Nollywood. What’s a babe you may ask? In Nollywood movies, a babe is a liberated, independent, smart, good-looking woman. She’s always dressed to the nines, smokes, drinks, likes to have sex, sometimes for money, and likes rich men, in short, she’s a bad-ass bitch.

As someone who lived in a very conservative society growing up, this woman was freedom, liberation, hedonism, and sin. The Nollywood babe did all the things mom told me not to, yet she was who I wanted to be.

Sadly, these babes are being replaced by “progressive” or “modern” women. Like Duni in Netflix’s The Wedding Party, a modern woman is just as smart and independent as a babe but lacks her… promiscuity. Unlike the babe, this woman is supposed to be a moral pillar, avoiding vices like drinking and pre-marital se – how boring.

I think the “modern woman” is a failed attempt to portray women in a positive light. All movie makers did was strip away female sexuality and create a sterile, repressed, rigid, forgettable and uninteresting woman. The only “progress” this woman achieves is showing that it’s wrong for women to have sexual desires. But there’s nothing wrong with liking sex and there’s certainly nothing wrong in indulging in some vices. This is why the babe will always reign supreme.

Stuck in this never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to revisit old childhood movies from the 90s and early 2000s where Nollywood babes ran rampant. Through my innumerable re-watches, I learned many important life lessons from these hot babes. With these lessons, I was able to build a definitive list of how anyone, like you or me, could become a Nollywood babe.

Scene from Sleek Ladies. Image edited by Yung Nollywood.

Firstly, Nollywood babes always have men on their arms, an ugly one, mainly for money and a fine one, mainly for sex.

The women in Sleek Ladies were never afraid to use men, whether it was for sex or money. According to them, men were created to be used and women to seduce. Now this might sound very anti-feminist, but hear me out for a minute. These women held the key to the world between their thighs, they were hypnotists and mind controllers. With only a look, they could scam a man out of his life savings, and with a touch, they’d take his kid’s tuition too. They used their femininity and sexuality to take control and get everything they wanted. I don’t know about you but that sounds very empowering to me.

Regina Askia in The President’s Daughter. Still by Nollybabes

Nollywood babes always look good

When actress Regina Askia played the president’s daughter in the movie aptly named The President’s Daughter, she always had her hair done, nails pedicured, makeup on point, skirt extra short and top extra cropped.

Whether she was at birthdays, graduations, inaugurations or funerals, Miss Askia stayed sexy regardless. She knew that sexiness was the burden bad bitches had to carry in life.

Only in death do we have a reason to be ugly, and even that’s not a good excuse for the Nollywood babe. Casket-dress shopping anyone?

Monalisa Chinda in Extreme Measure. Still by Nollybabes

Nollywood babes are always “extra”

To be “extra” means to be ostentatious, attention-seeking, but most importantly, memorable. Nollywood babes were nothing if not extra. Women like Monalisa Chinda in Extreme Measure wore flashy clothes, drove expensive cars from their sugar daddies and were loud and rambunctious.

She never muzzled herself for anyone or anything. Her strong attitude and see-through-cleavage-hugging spaghetti straps made her the center of attention. Whether people loved or loathed her, they noticed her and never forgot her.

So, when you see me in my backless mini dress at Walmart, if you’re not gonna tell me how good I look, please mind your business. After all, where else am I gonna go during this pandemic?

Nollywood babes don’t shy away from a good time

When Genevieve Nnaji played Nollywood babes in the 90s and early 2000s, her characters were always ready to party. They brought dirty whining, grinding, sweat, explosive sex, drugs, alcohol and a good time. They indulged in all of life’s pleasures and all of life’s sins.

Therefore, once this pandemic is over don’t be afraid to bring some cocaine to your next party or maybe just liquor, the choice is up to you.

Genevieve Nnaji. Image edited by Yung Nollywood.

Nollywood babes never get played by men

Men always fell for babes, but babes never fell for men. They knew love was a useless emotion they couldn’t afford to have. Genevieve again knew that loving men was not only inconvenient, but it left a woman stupid and blind.

And, when a woman was stupid and blind, a man would play her.

So, remember when a man says he loves you, don’t fall for the trap, instead sleep with one eye open.

 Clarion Chukwura. Still by Nollybabes

If she gets played, a babe never cries over a man

Clarion Chukwura, another actress who frequently played babes in Nigerian movies, rarely ever pined over an ex. Whether her man cheated, lied, stole from or manipulated her, she never shed a tear, rather she spent her time plotting her revenge. Her revenge plots ranged from poisoning, stabbing, kidnapping, torturing to robbing her exes.

Now just a disclaimer, I’m not saying that you should poison or stab your ex, that would be crazy! But you could maybe rob them? No? Too much? Well, what I’m trying to say is you should never waste your time missing your ex, rather spend your time plotting his kidnapping. Too far?

Eucharia in Disaster. Still by Nollybabes

Lastly, any woman can be a Nollywood babe

Many babes of early cinema were women of varying ages and sizes. They ranged from thin to curvy and young to old. One of the most famous actresses who played older babes was Eucharia-Anunobi Ekwu, popularly known as just Eucharia.

In her movies, she was the cougar that every man desired, she had money, power, influence and sex appeal for days. She had every man wrapped around her finger and reminded them constantly of how powerless they were. She took their dignity and their money, leaving them penniless and they thanked her for it.

Eucharia showed there was no age limit to scamming men, an important life lesson we can all adapt.

Now that I have given all the keys to become the badasses I know you can be, I want you ladies to go out scamming, seducing and avenging in your see-through tops and pedicured nails. But definitely wait till the pandemic is over – you want to be a Nollywood babe, you don’t want to spread COVID-19.

If you’re interested in exploring more on the ways of the babe, here are some of the movies previously mentioned and a few others you can watch on YouTube:

Extreme Measure: https://youtu.be/P7chHQm01cU

Sleek Ladies: https://youtu.be/P6P_B2S8bx0

The President’s Daughter: https://youtu.be/IxDFnklqn4Y

Beautiful Faces: https://youtu.be/d19nnP0CtPA

Sinners in the House: https://youtu.be/pDvsOTJEy7k

Shattered Home: https://youtu.be/bvhjztwc4Zo

My Son and my Best Friend: https://youtu.be/QUFVFGkNWAs