5 female African music video directors redefining the music industry


The music industry encompasses more than those who perform our favorite songs. Behind the scenes, a multitude of people works tirelessly to make our favorite artists relevant.

Ranging from A&R professionals, producers, choreographers, video directors, songwriters, and marketing teams, a diverse array of talents collaborate to shape the music we love. This article will focus on African female music video directors who have changed the game.

The African music landscape has gained a significant trajectory in the right direction however when it comes to women in the afrobeat business, there is a huge gap between the male and female gender. The music cinematic space has been male-dominated, but the tide is gradually shifting as several talented and trailblazing female directors are emerging as forces to be reckoned with.

African creativity continues to break boundaries, and a fresh wave of creatives is emerging in the music industry. As we commemorate Women's Day this March, it's crucial to applaud the African female music video directors who are steadily making their mark.

1. Director Pink

Directing in the African music industry is a male-dominated space. Director Pink is one of Nigeria's most prolific female music directors. The phenomenal director has worked with many prominent Nigerian artists, such as Phyno, Chike, and Mayorkun. Praise Onyeagwalam best known as Director Pink is the brain behind Pinkline Films and has been the brains behind some of the most famous music videos in Nigeria.

Pink has fully embraced her position as a director and producer, demonstrating her talent for transforming visuals into captivating artistry. Her impressive body of work includes a variety of noteworthy music video projects, notably the viral Egwu featuring prominent Nigerian artists Chike and the late Mohbad. The visuals for Egwu garnered 3.2 million views within six days on YouTube. In 2023, she directed Phyno's Do I.

According to Guardian Lifestyle, Pink began properly shooting in 2020. Pink started directing from her church and got it the industry by chance. Pink studied Economics before transitioning to filming. Her first music video shoot was If You Know Love by Chike featuring Mayokun.

Director Pink has become a rare gem in a predominately male-owned industry. She is virtually one of the few Nigerian female directors who have broken into mainstream media.

Also Read: Meet Director Pink the 21-Year-Old Female Director Behind Chike's Videos ft Simi & Mayorkun

2. Kemi Adetiba

Kemi Adetiba is Nigeria's own Martin Scorsese. Her films have achieved significant popularity and high streaming numbers in Nigeria. She is renowned for works like King of Boys (2018), King of Boys: The Return of the King (2021), and The Wedding Party (2016). She also holds the position of CEO at Kemi Adetiba Films.

In a milestone moment on September 8, 2016, Adetiba's directorial debut, The Wedding Party, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as the opening film of the City-to-City Spotlight. Within the Nigerian entertainment industry, she is considered a formidable force. Beyond her film endeavors, Adetiba has made contributions to the music scene, directing several music videos. Notable examples include Tiwa Savage's Darling, Olamide's Anifowoshe, Banky W's Lagos Party, Simi's Loyal featuring Fave, and more.

3. Dalia Dias

Dalia Dias is a Nigerian-Egyptian creative video and photography director. Dalia has excelled behind the scenes and worked with notable personalities such as Ckay, Davido, Focalistic, and Cardi B. Dalia Dias serves as the creative force behind Pema Studios. She has helmed the direction of music videos for various tracks, including Cavemens' Adugo, Davido's Champion Sound featuring Focalistic, City Girls' Twerk featuring Cardi B, Buju Banton's Blessed, and several others. Dias has played a pivotal role in enhancing the visual appeal of hip-hop artists like Quavo, YG, Tyga, and Ty Dolla Sign, bringing vibrancy and polish to their music videos, and effectively breathing life into their songs.

Dalia initially began her career collaborating with emerging rappers in the UK before venturing into the realm of fashion. Recognizing the potential for a distinctive perspective in music videos through an understanding of fashion, she delved into various aspects of content creation, encompassing photography, videography, and fashion. During her interview with Nylon Magazine, she said "I felt like I was able to develop a really strong portfolio to show my work, my flair and taste, and my creative direction in fashion, and bring that back to music". Dalia has a Bachelor's degree in Spatial Design & Photography from the University of the Arts, London, which provided the foundation for her creative discipline. This educational experience enabled her to collaborate and receive direct mentorship from esteemed visionaries such as artist Hassan Hajjaj and director Daps.

4. Edith Nwekenta

Edith Nwekenta is a Ghanaian Nigerian producer and director. She is a producer for film, TV, music videos and commercials.

The prolific director got her first break with the short film Unspoken which she co-wrote back in 2012. The short film went on to screen at festivals and win awards. A year later in 2013 she co-wrote and produced her first feature film, Mum, Dad, Meet Sam which premiered nationwide in Nigeria in 2015 before being streamed for two years on Netflix.

She has directed music videos for Stonebwoy, Wande Coal, J Hus, Patoranking, and Malik Berry. Music directing is still facing a huge gender gap as female directors are rare. Edith Nwekenta believes that the agenda of women directors is not pushed and therefore it has become commonplace for men to assume that role naturally. In an interview, she once said, "In my experience of being on set, women are automatically expected to be the video models, make-up artists, and producers. I was once mistaken for a lead video model on set of a video that I was directing”

5. Scilla Owusu

Scilla Owusu is a Ghanaian Screenwriter, Music Video & Film Producer. She started as a business studies major before transitioning to directing. Being a young black and female music director meant she had to work twice as hard to be seen. She has since worked professionally with some of Africa’s most renowned artists on their music videos. Featuring the likes of Wande Coal, Fuse ODG, Burna Boy, Patoranking, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Mr Eazi, Davido, and many more.

She got into the creative industry by shadowing her brother, Danny Wonders. Her first web series a lesson learnt went on to win the Screen Nation Award in 2016. Scilla Owusu has used her acuity and storytelling skills to blend audio and visuals. She was listed on Forbes 30 under 30 in 2020.