Tinsel is a Nigerian soap opera on its eighth season, and has been on the air since 2008. It is famously known for its clarity in vision and attention to detail of production. While mostly comprised of Nigerians, the 80-person cast is made up of actors from both Nigeria and Ghana. For many years, the show was shot in a studio in Ojota, Lagos until 2013, and thereafter from a private studio in Ikeja.
The main plot of the soap is about two film companies: Reel Studios, an independent film company run by character Fred Ade-Williams (played by Victor Olaotan) and Odyssey Pictures, run by the enigmatic Brenda Nana Mensah (played by Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi). The two come head-to-head during a power struggle between the two studios, and the conflict spirals out of control from there.
Tinsel is a high quality soap opera with well-constructed sets, and studios built with solid lighting and multiple cameras. Often, the poorer quality shows have been called “parlor dramas” because the scenes are shot in someone’s living room. In such cases, even good-quality scripts end up being poorly produced.
The soap opera features respected top Nigerian actors Bimbo Manuel, Victor Olaotan, Iretiola Doyle, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi and Chris Attoh among many others. Other major characters are real-life couple Florence Uwaleke and Iyke Okechukwu, who got engaged then married after being a couple on the show.
Tinsel has had its share of real-life drama off the set as well. Some say it does not accurately portray the average Nigerian’s life. However, Tinsel remains one of the, if not the most, popular soap operas on Nigerian television. The hugely successful drama has spread further than its Nigerian borders – it is shown in about 45 countries and has millions of fans around the world.