by Funke Osae-Brown.
Lagos. In 1992 the debut of Kenneth Nnebue’s movie ‘Living in Bondage’ brought a new twist to the infant motion picture industry in Nigeria. Shot straight-to-video, it was Nollywood’s first blockbuster movie which kicked off the Nigerian cinema industry. By the following year, more film makers tapped into this eye opening trend and so Nollywood was born.
Today Nollywood’s growth has been stunt by lack of professionalism and piracy by some practitioners. It has become an all comers’ affair and an avenue for cheap fame and making a quick buck.
From Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya to Egypt, most of what is known of Nigeria as a country today has been disseminated through Nollywood.Yet, little or no attention has been paid to the potentially money spinning industry that would have been a good source of revenue for the country. Efforts by current investors in the industry have been bedevilled by piracy.
Taiwo Ajai-Lycette, a veteran actress who featured in many productions in Nigeria including a TV series in the 1970s, ‘Winds Against My Soul’ expresses her angst with the quality of production of works churned by directors whom she thinks are not in tune with times. “We don’t have to be at the state we are now when it comes to film making in this 21st century,” she says.
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