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Sorry but what’s a nollywood?


Let me begin this article by stating the innate contempt I have for the unoriginality of the name Nollywood. Come on Nigeria, we can do better than simply replacing ‘h’ with an ‘n’. If its like that, we will soon have N Factor, the Nigerian Yard and maybe the N.B.I …..

The movie industry in Nigeria is plagued with… plagues. Plagues of all sorts. Should I begin with the fact that most Nigerian movies have a plot that was clearly not screen-written or with the poor picture and audio quality? Should I bemoan the unreality of happenings in the movies or the over repetition of that love triangle plot? So you get my point, Nigerian movies, no matter how thrilling, suck when it comes down to the movie-making basics.

Or used to suck.

In recent years, the industry has undergone a reformation of some sorts. Well researched, well prepared for and well shot movies have been produced from this side of the world, movies which reflect African principles as their precedents did but are produced meticulously and with movie-making prowess, unlike those before them. In doubt? Think Chineze Anyaene’s award-winning Ije or Kajola, two movies that not only explored areas normally untouched by Nigerian films but also exhibited mastery in film-production and as such set the bar higher for ‘Nollywood’. Indeed, the wind of change.

Chineze Anyaene’s Ije (ijethemovie.com)

Not to say that the Nigerian movie industry was a complete failure in the past. Not in the least. Home videos have entertained Nigerian households for multiple decades now. All I’m saying is that emphasis is now given not only to the ability of the film to entertain, but also to the structural nature of the movies, something every film maker should tag as a necessity. I think that film-making is a stellar way to showcase yourself and your culture to the rest of the world and if this is improved then Nigeria and Africa is invariably improved.

I think it will be fantastic if we have African movies showing en masse in foreign cinemas, raking up whopping profits from foreign box offices. But we have some work to do in order to get there as can be seen above.  If even more attention is paid to the plots and structures of our films, we can definitely outshine.

Osuofia seems to think so too.

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