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Celebrating Nollywood @ 20

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Sola

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#1
By Fidelis Duker

In a couple of months, Nollywood will be celebrating 20 years of this phenomenon that has taken the world by storm and it is interestingly one of the best cultural exports from Nigeria. This is an industry that has given employment to several youths who, hitherto, would have gone into several negative social vices. But interestingly, the industry called Nollywood has created a veritable platform for solace, relaxation, employment, entertainment and revenue earner for Nigeria.

It is important to define the term Nollywood, which is the name attributed to Nigeria’s movie industry. My simple definition is that it is the Nigeria’s movie industry by Nigerian producers for the Nigerian people. Nollywood has, over the years, become a world phenomenon as its movies are seen and sold in Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Africa, as well as Jamaica and the Caribbeans, USA, UK and even the Middle East, to name a few. The industry has, therefore, become a global phenomenon.

I must say the name itself has caused a bit of a protest in the earlier days, as several Nigerians felt the name was not original –imported and derived from Hollywood and Bollywood. To some of us, what is in a name? Besides, the name was given to the industry by a reporter of the Washington Post newspaper in 1999 who did a feature story on the blooming Nollywood movie industry which was quantified in his article as an industry of quantity, rather than quality.

There was also that little issue of the name being coined by a foreigner, some didn’t like it, but the good thing is that Nollywood, as a name, has moved far beyond these earlier hiccups; no-one actually thinks twice about the origin of the name today.

Today, Nollywood ranks as the second largest movie industry after Bollywood (India) with Hollywood (USA) following closely behind in quantity and not quanlity. It has been able to hold its own despite so many deterrents, which to name a few, include expensive technical tools of the trade, inconsistent supply of electricity (which is taken for granted in almost every other country in the world), the horrible traffic-jam conditions which can lead to extreme lateness in production times (but the “show must go on!”), lack of training, funding challenges, poor distribution and marketing platforms, amongst several other issues, that has plagued the industry in 20 years.

At the beginning, Nollywood movies were made on shoestring budgets ranging from N1m to N3m apiece, spanning seven to 10 days. This is an incredibly short, jam-packed production time by all standards, but most of us were able to make our films in this short a time, coupled with the several challenges. But the budget has since improved over the years to as much as N30million per movie.

What makes the industry so unique is that it is a videodriven industry; the movies in the early days were produced and put straight on VHS cassettes and then released/ distributed for sale to the public. Now, with the new technological advancement in place, they are usually on VCD’s, Nigerians refer to the movies as “home video”.

Next week, I will celebrate some of the phenomenal talents, movies, journalists and sectors that have made Nollywood tick in 20 years. This article will be in three parts and I promise it will be a collector’s item.

SOURCE
 

kolinzo

Well-Known Member
#2
This is why I always say Nollywood is different from Naija movie industry, when I read Nollywood @ 10, Nollywood @ 20 then calling it Naija movie industry..then they'd start telling the history from 1993 onward. There was a vibrant movie industry in Nigeria before Nollywood started, how else can we explain this to some of these writers who have refused to learn about the proper history!

Anyway, the bar is being set higher and higher everyday and Nollywood is almost there. At least now movies are being shot on bigger budgets and funds are a little easier to acquire.

However, I believe our Nollywood would reach a steady state where they cannot do more anymore if our government don't help with the intangibles needed to support creativity, trademarks, intelligence etc. The primary market is in Nigeria and money must be made in Nigeria first before anywhere else to have a more successful industry. This is where the government (state governments most espcially) should explore, the industry that is.
 

kaymax

Well-Known Member
#3
This is why I always say Nollywood is different from Naija movie industry, when I read Nollywood @ 10, Nollywood @ 20 then calling it Naija movie industry..then they'd start telling the history from 1993 onward. There was a vibrant movie industry in Nigeria before Nollywood started, how else can we explain this to some of these writers who have refused to learn about the proper history!

Anyway, the bar is being set higher and higher everyday and Nollywood is almost there. At least now movies are being shot on bigger budgets and funds are a little easier to acquire.

However, I believe our Nollywood would reach a steady state where they cannot do more anymore if our government don't help with the intangibles needed to support creativity, trademarks, intelligence etc. The primary market is in Nigeria and money must be made in Nigeria first before anywhere else to have a more successful industry. This is where the government (state governments most espcially) should explore, the industry that is.
how about the Government just invest in simple infrastructure, like say uhhhmmmm electricity.
 

kolinzo

Well-Known Member
#9
how about the Government just invest in simple infrastructure, like say uhhhmmmm electricity.

At this point I don't think Nigerians care much for electricity anymore, they just get on with their lives. But the major problem that is really facing Nollywood is lack of security which government is the only entity that can provide it. Nothing is secured in that country. Intelligence is not secured, trademark is not secured, movies are not secured. While one can agree that we are moving up despite lack of security we must also agree it is at a very very very slow rate.

Generally, Nigeria will only go as far as its citizens allow it to go. Over-reliance on government will only keep us stagnant, therefore a subtle revolution (which is brewing as I type) will solve our problems. Basically, federal government has no business in providing electricity, water etc, but that is for another discussion.
 
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