10 Romantic African Films To Watch This Valentine's Weekend
Image: Movie trailer

10 Romantic African Films To Watch This Valentine's Weekend

With love and COVID-19 in the air, we're here to help you make the best out of a stay-at-home date.

Thanks to neccesary restrictions on gatherings and social distancing measures, romantic dates are no longer what they used to be.

But staying home can be sexy too and whether you are alone or spending the weekend with a loved one, we have made a perfect list of 10 African romantic movies that are sure to get you in the mood for love. Because let's face it, your outdoorsy options are quite limited at the moment.

Atlantics | Official Trailer | Netflix |

Atlantics (2019)

Mati Diop's feature length debut may be a ghost love story, but it is certainly one for the ages. Ada (Mame Bineta Sane) and Souleiman (Ibrahima Traoré) are a young Senegalese couple separated when he decides to make the crossing by boat to Europe in search of a better life. He does not survive the trip. Ada is betrothed to another man in Souleiman's absence, but she is hardly able to function, haunted by her true love's ghost. A near masterpiece, Atlantics is a shapeshifting supernatural romance with plenty to say.

Where to watch: Netflix

Read our conversation with French-Senegalese Director Mati Diop here.

'Catching Feelings' Official Trailer

Catching Feelings (2017)

From the team that would go on to bring you the short-lived Netflix original series, Queen Sono, Catching Feelings is a deceptively lightweight romantic drama starring Pearl Thusi, Kagiso Lediga and Akin Omotoso. Amid growing tensions in their marriage (money, sex etc), a Johannesburg professor and his journalist wife have their lives further complicated when a fun loving older writer moves into their home. Beneath the stormy passions, the genuinely delightful Catching Feelings finds ways to comment on racial dynamics in post-apartheid South Africa.

Where to watch: Netflix

Isoken Full Trailer - starring Dakore Akande, Funke Akindele, Joseph Benjamin, Lydia

Isoken (2017)

Almost four years after its release and Jade Osiberu's Isoken starring Dakore Akande as a high flying thirty-something who continues to disappoint her anxious mother because she has not brought home a husband continues to charm viewers from Lagos to London. From having zero prospects in the dating department, Isoken is suddenly forced to choose between two seemingly perfect suitors, one of them Caucasian. What's a girl to do?

Where to watch: Netflix

Love Brewed in the African

Love Brewed in the African Pot (1980)

This interpretation of the timeless Romeo and Juliet story directed by Kwaw Ansah has come to be widely regarded as a classic of African cinema. Set in Ghana during the colonial period, Aba (Anima Misa), a woman born to a family of privileged settlers falls in love with Joe (Reginald Tsiboe), a mechanic and son of a fisherman. Aba's father a retired civil servant and influential figure in his own right is having none of it having arranged his own plans for his daughter's future. This conflict leads to tragic consequences.

Where to watch: YouTube

Namaste Wahala | Official Trailer |

Namaste Wahala (2021)

When Nollywood meets Bollywood, expect sparks to fly. Netflix's big play for the romantic season comes in the form of NamasteWahala, the streamer's latest original Nigerian acquisition. Loosely translated as hello trouble, expect the film directed by Hamisha Daryani Ahuja in her debut attempt, to come loaded with plenty of it. The trailer promises romance, drama, wedding bells, dollops of color and yes Bollywood style musical numbers. Are you sold yet?

Where to watch: Netflix

'Rafiki' - Official Trailer (Exclusive)

Rafiki (2018)

Banned upon release in director Wanuri Kahiu's native Kenya- never mind that it was the country's first film to compete at the Cannes film festival- Rafiki holds up as a convincing tale of sexual awakening between two Kenyan young adults who both happen to be female. The rebelliousness of Rafiki is understated, lying in Kahiu's ability to adopt bold colors, a vibrant soundtrack and a dash of realism to detail explicitly the challenges and dangers that the young lovers must navigate in the conservative environment in which they exist.

Where to watch: Showmax (not available in the US)

Tell Me Sweet Something Trailer- Releases to Cinema 4th September 2015 (2 weeks early)

Tell Me Sweet Something (2015)

Directly influenced by the classic Hollywood romcom When Harry Met Sally,Akin Omotoso's Tell Me Sweet Something stars sweethearts Nomzamo Mbatha and Maps Maponyane. Mbatha is Moratiwa a bookshop owner and occasional writer who meets go lucky model and heartthrob, Nat (Maponyane). Their chemistry is real and instant even though they have almost nothing in common. To start with, he doesn't even read. Will opposites attract this time?

Where to watch: Showmax (not available in the US)

Snake & Ladder Trailer

The Snake and The Ladder (2001)

Written and directed by Tarek El A'rian, The Snake and the Ladder is a romantic drama about love and commitment. The plot revolves around Hazm (Hani Salama) a recently divorced playboy figure who finds his pledge of non-commitment threatened when he meets the unyielding Yasmen (Hala Shiha). An old-fashioned celebration of love and sentimentality, The Snake and the Ladder creeps up on you even though you may have seen it all before.

Where to watch: Netflix

The string / Le Fil (2010) - Trailer English

Le Fil/ 'The String' (2010)

The debut feature length from Tunisian director Mehdi Ben Attia is actually an interrogation of cultural and class divides in post-colonial Arabic societies. Malik (Antonin Stahly), an architect of marriageable age working in France returns to his native Tunisia to spend time with his recently widowed mother, Sara played by Italian screen icon Claudia Cardinale. Unable to come clean about his sexuality, Malik meets and falls for Bilal, his mother's handyman. Naturally, complications ensue.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

'Inxeba' ('The Wound') Official Trailer

Inxeba/ 'The Wound' (2017)

This heartbreaking account of illicit romance directed by John Trengove among other qualities, boasts a waterfall scene that ranks as one of the most romantic moments in African cinema in the last decade. Xolani (Nakhane) and Vija (Bongani Mantsai) are two men who meet up in the mountains for a couple of days every year to rekindle their forbidden relationship while working as trainers to young Xhosa boys on the brink of manhood. The Wound remains a potent exploration of the role that cultural practices play in advancing homophobia and toxic masculinity. But for this Valentine's weekend, stay for the explosive love story at the center of the film.

Where to watch: Showmax, Netflix