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Yoruba pioneered films on screen and video in Nigeria

Discussion in 'AFRICAN MOVIE REVIEWS' started by Tiger, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. Tiger

    Tiger Too blessed 2 be stressed

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    By Segun Ajiboye

    Who really should take credit for being producer of the first home video in Nigeria? This is one big question that has continued to trigger heated controversies among movie enthusiasts in Nigeria.

    The general claim that Living in Bondage, an Igbo movie shot in 1993 and delivered in English Language was the first home video does not seem to go down well with a section of the industry, as some practioners insist that the first home video was a Yoruba flick.

    One of such people, who belong to the latter category, is the movie star and one of the most popular faces in both Yoruba and Igbo movies, Prince Jide Kosoko. The renowned actor, who recently emerged as the president of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), maintained in a recent chat with Sunday Sun that the first home video was Ekun. According to him, “it was one of us that made the first home video. Muyideen Aromire made the first video, entitled Ekun. He was the first person to shoot a home video in 1988.”

    Prince Kosoko, who believes that there is urgent need to put a stop to the raging controversy, accused those who question the origin of the industry of ignorance. He said it is in furtherance of his ambition to prove this that his association is staging a world film festival later in the year. “You see, we started from the stage when our fathers started the alarinjo thing (travelling theatre groups). They went from place to place entertaining people,” he said.

    Ask him if he has not embarked on an impossible mission, Kosoko shoots back: “Wait until we are through with the films festival, and you’ll be in the position to tell who really made the first home video in Nigeria. That all the records are at our disposal shows that a Yoruba movie was the first to be made into a home video.”
    This time, Kosoko, who remains one of the successful crossover actors in Nigeria, said he wants to “put the records straight on the history of movie making in the country.”

    On the history of home video
    The content of any film is the culture and the tradition of the people that is being propagated. We started from the stage when our fathers, Hubert Ogunde and others started the traveling theatre groups entertaining people with drama, dancing and other things. From that point we graduated to television productions, where we improved on things that cannot be achieved on stage. This is the more reason why we said Hubert Ogunde remains the father of commercial theatre in Nigeria.

    If you talk about commercial filmmaking in Nigeria, Ola Balogun, Duro Ladipo and Ade Love played a significant role when they came out with Ajani Ogun in 1976. The film, which was a huge success, was followed by other productions by Hubert Ogunde and others. Yoruba films are the pioneer films in the country. And, they are the only films that people go to the theatre to watch. Because we have been able to build our viewership over a long time, we have been very successful in other African countries as well.

    All the films you have talked about were shot on celluloid. What about the history of home videos in the country?
    Following the downturn in the economy, efforts were made to produce home videos. Again, it was one of us that made the first home video. Muyideen Aromire made the first video, entitled Ekun. He was the first person to shoot a home video in 1988. To be honest with you, we were not happy with him at the beginning. We wanted to keep within the concept of shooting on celluloid. The movie was screened at the National Arts Theatre, which goes to prove its success.

    But some people say Living in Bondage was the first home video. How true is this?
    Living in Bondage was produced in 1993. How does that take away the record of 1988? What they are supposed to be happy about is that it was the first successful attempt. Even my own production, Asiri Nla was produced in 1992. It sold 150,000 copies. I can go on naming more Yoruba movies, which came out before Living in Bondage. However, I must say this, I really appreciate the way they came into the industry and changed everything. In fact, their entrance assisted us in moving up ourselves technically.

    Now, what do you intend to achieve with the film festival?
    I have been thinking of this ever before I became the president of the association. But because of our orientation, we detest a situation whereby you bring down people because you want to change some things. But now that things are getting out of hand, now that movies that are being produced in the English movies cannot capture the world attention, we have decided to come out and put the records straight.

    When you talk of Nigerian movies making waves outside the country, it is not just movies done in English. You need to go out and see Yoruba in the Diaspora to understand what I am saying. This festival is determined to expand the scope of our viewership. We also want to use the festival to sensitize our producers and filmmakers on the need to continue to project the tradition and culture of our people in the right way. For example, we have a special way of christening babie. We have our own way of marriage. All these we need to project to the world. We don’t know how long this would go in helping the scientific development of the world.

    What other things do you hope to achieve with the festival?
    We want the whole world to know the origin of filmmaking in Nigeria, and how it metamorphosed from the era of stage, through television to home video. We would also give awards to all those who have contributed to the growth in one way or the other. We also use the festival to create an avenue for investors, producers and others to meet and discuss on how to do joint productions that would enhance Yoruba movie productions.

    When you talk of Yoruba movies, it doesn’t necessarily mean movies done in Yoruba language. It could be done in English language, but with the rich tradition of the Yoruba people. We need sponsors to join hand with us on the project. We want corporate bodies to come on board. The governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, has accepted to be our guest of honour. So also our royal father, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade. We will also make a serious attempt to unite all our traditional fathers.



    Photo: Sun News Publishing
     
  2. Sola

    Sola Administrator
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    This is one of those little known facts about film and video in Nigeria. Very few give Muyideen Aromire his credit today. He set this off and it was the examples of these home movies in Yoruba that Living in Bondage followed. Sadly, the Yoruba folks always played it safe (obviously cos they come from a history of losses on stage) and never invested big in production and marketing, something Nnebue was willing to do since he wasn't bogged down by that background. He gathered boys from NTA, Victoria Island, spent more than anyone had committed so far then on home videos and shot in English (he had already made some Yoruba ones too with the main Yoruba players prior to that. Isn't it incredible how our lives get intertwined?). We need to do a definitive interview of that period before we lose any of these guys and the history they collectively made.
     
  3. teejay

    teejay I am taking territories

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    To really say the real truth here there has been a sort of segregation between the Yoruba and the English/Igbo Artistes, which it's not suppose to be at all. As a matter of fact they are all representing the country of Nigeria & their aim should be to always bring glory to our country Nigeria.

    There should not be any controversy what so ever on who first started what. It was so sad when I read Jide Kosoko's interview. He specifically said that Yoruba Artistes don't belong to Nollywood. This actually indicates that there's no unity amongst them the way it should.

    That is my own opinion.....
     
  4. noone

    noone Guest

    Fada,
    In my own humble opinion ( and I don't know if you've done so already) but Jonathan Haynes' Nigerian Video Films is quite informative on the subject as well as Frank Ukadike's Black African Cinema.

    Yours truly, the Yoruba's started the whole filmaking tradition and the Igbo marketers et al pushed it into greater acceptance but like teejay mentions above, we really need to work together 'cuz we have a lot to offer.
     
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Registered

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    Muyideen Aromire! Oh yes!

    Yoruba is definitely not Nollywood!
     
  6. elodie

    elodie Member

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    this ppl r racist (YORUBA)
    living in bondage the first and the best .
    this JIDE KOSOKO I HATE .
     
  7. Peaches

    Peaches Registered

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    I HATE YOU TOO!!!
     
  8. noone

    noone Guest

    Peaches, mba, mba, mba,

    It's unlike you! Why reply to such? Mba, I was expecting you to comment on the topic not waste time on a post that did not address the issue.

    Anyway sha, hope you're alright. haven't heard from you in a while:love004:
     
  9. teejay

    teejay I am taking territories

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    One more thing which I like to point out is the fact that, Most of the English/Igbo Artistes including the producers and directors are well informed & enlightened compared to the Yorubas. With the exceptions of the likes of Uncle Tade Ogidan, Uncle Tunde Kelani, Kunle Afolayan, Muyiwa Ademola who are part of the yoruba genre. These people go extra miles to take their production to another level, ensure of doing excellent work on their production.

    My conclusion is, as for the Yorubas, they possess excellent story lines but sometimes the technicallity and the plotting are uncalled for. I remembered Earnest Obi confirming this in his interview one time that even though yorubas have good stories as he had done couple of yoruba flicks before, compared to english, but the only people that normally have the script of the movie are the director and probably the producer but not the artiestes, they memorise their lines 2hrs before the shooting and then improvise. To me, this does not look professional.

    Having said that, there are few English/igbo producers who release movies every week. Just for the money sake, shoot films for 1-2 weeks not bother to do any neccessary checks and editing before releasing to the market.

    I rememeber having a conversation with an igbo producer who came on a business trip here in UK. He mentioned that producers like Tade Ogidan, Tunde Kelani waste a lot of money on their productions also they take too much time on their projects. I disagree with him straight way, I made him realised that these people know what they are doing. They always strive for excellence and that is what matters.
     
  10. Sola

    Sola Administrator
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    I know of Haynes work. Known him so-so since the start of Nollywood. We still met again last year in CA and I have his book. I haven't read Ukadike's though. Will look for it. You can never study too much of history...
     
  11. blackbutterfly

    blackbutterfly Well-Known Member

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    Whoa! With only three posts under your belt, you sure are stepping out in grand style and you are letting your ignorance shine through so brilliantly. I love it! NOTTTTTTTT!:lightning: :lightning: :thumbs_down:
     
  12. Abike

    Abike Well-Known Member

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    Thread carefully my friend, thread VERY carefully!




     
  13. Abike

    Abike Well-Known Member

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    pa pa, pa pa pa pa!

    3 posts since 2005? shouldnt you have been deleted by now?


    nonsense! its comments like this that fuel up ignorance! you could have made your point in a better way, ish!



     
  14. keji56

    keji56 Active Member

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    get a life we dont need people like you anymore. Get enlightened
     
  15. Crystalgirl

    Crystalgirl Brown Sugar

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    What is wrong with some Nigerians? Why is there so much emphasis on where people are from? Why has everything got to be measured by culture and tribe? What happened to individualism? This issue sickens me. Sometimes, I can't wait for the older generation to go...but then again looking at the asinine nonsense being spewed by some of the so-called younger generation...
     
  16. twinstaiye

    twinstaiye Member

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    Yoruba movie is sure the first to produce home videos. Even before Love in Bondage production, there had been in existence scores of Yoruba flicks produced by Ken Nnebue. He indeed should take credit for giving popularity to home videos. However, it was when Love in Bondage was released that a lot of people started producing home videos apart from those who earn their living with the profession in the past.
    Truth is, it is only the English movie producers that shield away yoruba actors/actresses from featuring in most of their movie as in cross-over. Nowadays, you see lots of english artiste in Yoruba movies. People like Emeka Ike, Ramsey Nouha, Ernest Obi, Patience Ozokwo, Lilian Bach, Shan George just to mention a few had all featured in Yoruba flicks. It is only Shola Shobowale, Jide Kosoko who featured mostly in english movies.
    Just like most posters had said earlier, I want to believe too that working together should be the best thing to move the industry forward.
     
  17. tombabe

    tombabe Active Member

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    who cares about who started it first......as long as they are working together for the best
     
  18. angeleyez

    angeleyez angeleyez

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    Who cares, na ya own headache
     
  19. angeleyez

    angeleyez angeleyez

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    Are you sure about that? They have money for sure to deliver a bad project but well informed than their yoruba counterparts....i doubt that.
     
  20. kolinzo

    kolinzo Oodua4life

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    You almost got me confused there my guy, but after I read those names you wrote up there I fail to see the point on the highlighted part (in black). Nobody from EMG compares to those names you mentioned up there -that's a fact!
     
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