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20 African Female Writers

20 African Female Writers

Africa is a continent with diverse ethnic and cultural practices and looking at the different ways in which African countries portrays their culture, it’s not surprising that a lot of screenwriters are emerging from the continent to showcase their rich cultures in movies.

This article seeks to unveil 20 African female screenwriters you may know or not know and 2 of their best movies.


Leila Djansi

Leila is a Ghanaian-born American based movie writer, producer and director. She had her Basic and Secondary education at the Kabore Primary and JSS and Mawuli School, all in the Volta region of Ghana


She began her writing skills at the age of 19 when she was convinced by a Ghanaian actor, Sam Odoi who was her role model to write a script on a film titled, “Babina”.

In the course of developing her passion for writing and filmmaking, she continued her education at the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) in Ghana and later relocated to the States to further her Film and Television Degree at Savannah College of Art and Design on a scholarship.

Today she remains one of the best movie writers to emerge from the African continent and projecting the image of Africa through movies. She’s notable for award winning movies such as “Sinking Sands” and “Like Cotton Twines”.


Genevieve Nnaji

Genevieve Nnaji is one of Nigeria’s screen goddess making Nigeria proud with her versatility in the Nigerian movie industry.

As an actress, she sought to raise the banner of Nigeria and Africa at large beyond the African continent through entertainment and arts.

She developed passion for movie making at a very younger age where she starred in “Ripples”, a famous TV series at the time. She officially started acting professionally at age 19.

Photo Credit: Genevieve Nnaji

Today, she can confidently boast of countless roles she has played in Nigeria movies and awards as well.

Climbing to the top of her movie career, she learnt about producing and directing and as a result, she’s been able to write and direct her own movie which is selling massively across the globe. She known for “the Lionheart” movie.

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Chineze Anyaene


Hailing from Abuja, Nigeria, Chineze is a film producer, director and filmmaker who was born on December 28.

She is a graduate of University of Abuja with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts and has also obtained a Master’s Degree in Directing at the New York Film Academy (NYFA), United States.

She promotes African culture through cinematic stories in order to meet the international film market. She’s well known for movies like,” Ije: The Journey” and “20 Years Later”.


Sara Blecher


Sara Blecher a director, a producer and a writer from South Africa. She spent her teen age in the United States where she attended Georgetown University in Washington DC.

After relocated to Paris  she attended a film school then returned to South Africa to put the theories she had learnt into practice.

Her best movies are “Otelo Burning” and “Ayanda”.


Shirley Frimpong -Manso

A multiple award winning female writer in the Ghanaian movie industry. Shirley is a professional writer who tells the African stories in movies.

She is also a producer and a director with a degree from the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) in Ghana.

Photo Credit: Shirley Frimpong-Manso

Her movies seek to empower women and motivate them through the lead roles often taken by women in her movies.

She has written, directed and produced over 10 movies including her best-selling movies, “Potato Potato” (2017), and “Perfect Picture” (2009).


Elaine Proctor

Proctor is a South African actress who doubles as a writer and a film director. She graduated from the National Film and Television School, United Kingdom. She’s known for “Friends” and “On the Wire”.


Wanuri Kahiu

Kahiu is a Kenyan filmmaker who has received several awards for her outstanding works in the movie industry.

As an author, a producer and a director, Kahiu was awarded for the best director, screenplay and best picture by Africa Movie Awards Academy in 2009.

She is a graduate from the university of Warwick, England and the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theatre, Film and Television where she pursued a master of fine arts in production and directing.

She’s best known for the movies, “Pumzi” and “Rafiki”.


Seko Shamte

One of Tanzania’s proud daughter projecting the image of Tanzania through filmmaking is Shamte. She is a producer, writer and a director from Dar es Salaam.

She is the owner of the production company, Alkemist Media established in 2008. The A-Team and Home Coming movies are projects of the writer which garnered huge recognition from the Tanzanian movie industry.


Mariam Naoum

Marian is a writer from Egypt. Most of her works are centred around the challenges women faced socially and economically because she’s famously known as a feminist and social screenwriter.

Mariam studied economics in France but returned to Egypt to further her education in screenwriting. She’s notable for the movies, “Wahed Sefr” (One Nill) and “Segn El Nesa” (Women’s Prison).


Sandra Nashaat

She is also an Egyptian film director, writer and producer famously known for her movies, Mallaki Iskandariya (Private Alexandria, 2005) and Leh Khaletny Ahebak (Why Did You Make Me Love You, 2000). Nashaat graduated from Higher Film Institute in Egypt’s capital, Cairo.


Arsema Worku Tiduneh

Tiduneh works as the General Secretary of the Executive Board of the Ethiopian Film Producers’ Association. Also, she is a movie director, producer and a writer notable for high achieving movies like, “Yigbagn” and “Emnet”.


Nkechi Okoro Carroll

Born in America, Carroll is a black American but her parents hail from Nigeria. Growing up, she stayed in several places including Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, the United Kingdom and the United States.

She is an actress, a producer and a writer with a lot of works in the American movie industry. She is notable for films like, “The Finder” and “Bones”.


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Apolline Traoré

A Burkinabe scriptwriter known for her movies, “Kounandi”, (2004) and “Borders”, (2017).

Born in Ouagadougou the capital of Burkina Faso, she had her education in the United States at Emerson college in Boston in the field of art and communication. She returned to her country of birth to begin directing and filmmaking


Kemi Adetiba

She is a Nigerian writer and a television and music video director best known for her movies, the “Wedding Party” and “King of Boys”.

Adetiba Began working as radio presenter and later upgraded to producing and hosting of several shows on TV.


Chika Anadu

Hails from Nigeria, Anadu is a writer and director, known for the movies, “B for Boy” and Ava.

Her movies mostly address issues of gender injustice and cultural pressures surrounding Nigerian traditions. She started working in Television and film production in 2008 after her education from the United Kingdom.


Akosua Adoma Owusu

Adoma is a Ghanain-American writer and a movie producer famously knowns for her movies, “Kwaku Ananse” and “Me Broni Ba”. Her works have been well received in major film festivals around the world.


Moufida Tlatli

Born and raised in Tunisia, Tlatli realised her passion in movies during high school days and was lucky to develop it through her psychology tutor who was managing a movie club.

She travelled to France to continue developing her passion for cinema by enrolling in a French film school known as Institut des hautes études cinématographiques in and completed 1968.

She is also a politician. Her best movies include, The Silences of the Palace and The Season of Men.


Safi Faye

 Faye is a Senegalese filmmaker and director notable for movies like, “Letter from My Village” and “Selbe: One Among Many”. She has directed several documentary and fiction films focusing on rural life in Senegal.


Cheryl Dunye

Born in Liberia, Dunye grew up in Philadelphia, US and obtained a bachelor of arts at the Temple University and master’s degree in fine arts at Rutgers University.

Her work often concerns issues of race, sexuality, and gender, particularly issues relating to black lesbians. Her best movies include, “the Watermelon Woman” and “Stranger Inside”.


Nuotama Bodomo

Bodomo is a Ghanaian born Norwegian writer and director notable for movies like “Random Act of Flyness” and “Afronauts”. She studied film at Columbia University in New York.


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