‘Bell’s ‘rubbish’ tag on Nollywood is unfair’

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blackpearl

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FILMMAKER Kunle Afolayan returned from Paris, France at the weekend with the good news that his jubilee hit movie, Phone Swap has been voted best film and best viewers choice film at the maiden edition of the Nollywood Week in Paris. The event, which held between May 31 and June 3 in Paris, was organized by a Paris-based non-governmental arts organization to showcase the best of Nigerian films.

The need to provide a dramatic visualization of the rich African culture and tradition documented in some Nigerian films is the reason the week was held and it featured public screening of films like Mahmood Ali Balogun’s Tango With Me, Keke Bongos Ikwe’s Inale and Chineze Anyaene’s Ije. Some of these films have also featured in some international film festivals in the past. But while the industry has been recording giant strides both locally and internationally with its movies, one Mr. Richard Bell, Chief Executive Officer of a Kenyan PayTV outlet — Wananchi Group — thinks that movies that have come out of the phenomenon called Nollywood amount to heap of waste.

Bell was quoted to have described Nigerian movies as “Rubbish”. He was speaking at the East Africa Communication Conference and Exhibition held recently with the theme, “Seizing the Digital Growth Opportunities in a better Connected East Africa.” Bell whose company owns and runs Zuku, a fledging pay TV operation in Kenya delivered a paper on opportunities and challenges for operators and content providers in next five years. Bell whose company is struggling unsuccessfully to unseat the market leader, DStv in East Africa told his astonished audience that “African content should not be just about rubbish Nigerian movie” and claims to have the widest variety of content on DTH.

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