Home Alluring Stories Fincho: The First colour movie ever produced in Nigeria

Fincho: The First colour movie ever produced in Nigeria

Sam Zebba from Israel produced the first colour movie in Nigeria in 1957. What he did for adventure became a world class project.

He was mainly drawn by the unique way of life and communication of Nigerians because of a video clip that he watched in Israel.

Sam reportedly saw a video of some Nigerians working in a factory. He heard them communicate in “Pidgin English” and felt fascinated. This inspired him to do a film in Nigeria.

Nigeria existed long before 1960 when it eventually gained independence from British rule. Those that lived in pre-independence Nigeria also toiled in various professional careers including film making.

Like most forms of art, film making attracts people. The thought of inventing characters that play various roles in movies is fascinating. Sam Zebba, a notable figure that played a key role as a movie maker in the late 1950s in Nigeria. His first movie “Fincho” is the first to be credited to what is now known today as Nollywood.

Fincho became the first Nigerian movie to be shot in colour.  By 1960, the Nigerian film industry was established and cinema houses thrived like never before. The gaining of independence in 1960 influenced the expansion of the Nigerian film industry as was evident by the establishment of many new cinema houses as at that time.

Sam Zebba, the global film icon

Sam Zebba was not a Nigerian. He only took a special interest in Nigeria because he saw video footage of activities at a Nigerian factory. It was his relatives that shot the video which captivated him. Sam was particularly attracted to the language “Pidgin English” which seemed understandable like English.

He then went on the adventure from Israel to Nigeria. The concluding part of the movie production was done in the United States.  It was more of an adventure by Sam than a career move.


The first Nigerian movie in colour named “Fincho” was not Sam’s first movie. He had others to his credit like “The Nun’s Story.”

Fincho was essentially meant to capture the Nigerian experience of the people especially their unique communication. It worked! What was meant to be just an adventure, caught the attention of renowned film makers at the time. Norman Corwin, Fred Zinnemann and Bernard Herrmann wrote letters to Sam to commend his work.

He treasured the work he did on Fincho until his death in 2016 in Israel. Great minds like his, inspired what has grown today to become the Nigerian Movie Industry A.K.A. Nollywood.

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