Nollywood Movies, A Long Term Love Affair

“Nollywood is the Nigerian film industry which grew quickly in the 1990s and 2000s to become the second largest film industry in the world in number of annual film productions, placing it ahead of the United States and behind only Indian cinema.The Nigerian film industry is worth NG₦522 billion (US$3.5 billion) as at 2008” (Google)

An interesting fact “One of the first Nigerian movies to reach international renown was the 2003 release Osuofia in London, starring Nkem Owoh, the Nigerian comedic actor.”

The general consensus is that Nollywood as a movie industry “officially” started in 1992 with a film titled “Living in Bondage” by Kenneth Nnebue. This is agreed to be the “official” start as this was the first film that was on video cassette that was widely distributed. There were Nigerian films long before this, only they were not on video cassette. If you want a good bit of history, check out this article

The name “Nollywood” according to the African Courier started out as a derogatory term. “The name Nollywood actually came into existence in 1995 when some Americans looked at what we were producing and concluded that it was trash. You see, with what we did, they became afraid and threatened that their own movie industry was going to collapse. It was clear to the world that anybody could actually tell all these big-budget stories by using mere hand-held cameras. Therefore, those leading names in the big theatre and film equipment, production and marketing businesses became jittery that, if this local home video industry in Nigeria should continue, it would kill the big-budget film industry that was sustaining them. So, just like they have been doing to anything that comes out of Africa, they concluded that the emerging home video industry in Nigeria was nothing, not like Hollywood.” Oguejiofor continued: “So Nollywood stands for ‘Nothing’. It is an acronym for ‘Nothing Wood’. It was actually meant to be derogatory and uncomplimentary. But we decided to claim that nothingness and push it, and today they are wondering how nothing has suddenly turned out to become something that is colonising the entire world.”
Read the whole article here:

Nollywood films are definitely a staple for Nigerians, Africans and the world alike. I don’t think I have come across a Nigerian household that doesn’t watch Nigerian films even if not very often. I think many hold a love relationship with Nollywood while some hold a hate relationship with it. Nigerian films are in fact world famous. I’m sure you will agree that there are people you don’t expect to watch them that do, and thoroughly enjoy them. I think Nollywood is something for Nigerians and Africans alike to be proud of. The amount of films that are produced on a weekly basis far outweighs any other film market we know.

The Nollywood films most will come across are Igbo films as these are the ones that tend to be made in the English language.

My earliest memory of watching a Nigerian movie is watching a Yoruba movie at about 4/5 years old that was titled “Bukola Omo Daddy”. The only actor I can remember that was in the film is Mr Jide Kosoko. It had two parts though I never got to watch the second part. I remember watching this with my mum on more than one occasion. The story as I can vaguely remember it was a loose Romeo and Juliet story though the details are very sketchy in my mind.

My favourite Nollywood films at present (there are several) are Jenifa, Madam Dearest and Abeni.

Jenifa because this was such a funny film that was different to anything we had seen for a long while. I will admit there were a few scenes I skipped (the ritual bits) as I can scare easily and those were a bit too much for me, apart from that, it was hilarious from the start to the end. It involves a village girl who leaves her local village area for the more exciting University shores in Lagos. Unfortunately, her parents don’t provide her with any means to live and eat so she takes matters into her own hands.

the reason I like this film is because the quality of the film and the way the film is put together. It just exudes quality. It is a film that makes me proud of where the Nigerian film industry has come from. It is about childhood friends, Abeni and Akanni who are from different social backgrounds. Their differences in culture causes them to lose touch and later become reconnected as adults. Only Akanni is engaged to be married to someone else.
If you are interested in watching it, part one is here –

Madam Dearest
Madam Dearest is a film I loved because the story line was actually well thought through and there was a high standard of acting and production. A married couple who have no children live together as normal. The husband goes out one day and gets drunk. On his way home, he stops to help someone who has been hit by a car. In his drunken state, he takes the patient to the hospital, unaware he died in his car. The story unfolds from there.

Until Next Time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl


About Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl

A Londoner rooted in Yoruba culture exploring life behind her personal lenses

Posted on March 12, 2014, in Book, TV,Programme, Film and Music Reviews, The Randomers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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