Americans have Hollywood, our Indian brothers have Bollywood, and Nigerians are riding high with Nollywood. Many may not have heard about this Nigerian movie industry but it is definitely the leading on the continent. Never before have African movie makers and marketers been so prolific and the market at home and continentally is simply great. What then is their problem?
First, the film directors in Nigeria have to stop thinking Nigerian or African and think global. They need to get themes that are three dimensional, themes that will appeal to a wider audience, an audience outside their traditional market of Africa, and Nigeria in particular.
Second, the Nigerian film directors have been regurgitating the same stories with nothing new to offer. They have to think outside the box. They have done a great job so far, but a critic well versed with this movie industry will note that Nollywood is running out of ideas and the directors out there have decided to revisit the same themes time and again instead of showcasing the same old stuff.
Third, Nollywood has done well to produce cheap movies that are popular with the Nigerian market, but at times cheap is not always the better option. You may limit the budget of a movie, but for goodness sake, don’t compromise the quality. Customers, in this case movie goers still want quality, we still want the best on the screen however much affordable it may be. Doing a shoddy job in the back lanes is not helping Nollywood. It is time to rise above this lackluster performance and make better movies.
To go a little further, there seems to be a problem with publicity of Nollywood productions. Long before Hollywood movies hit the silver screen, long before they are screened in theatres worldwide, publicity campaigns are run that whet the appetites of all movie goers. This publicity is done for weeks to make sure that everyone knows about the next blockbuster movie being released by Hollywood. What about Nollywood? Nobody knows when a new Nollywood movie however good hits the market. We do not learn of Nollywood productions until you meet them on the market, already pirated.
Another factor that is ailing Nollywood is the fact that unlike in Hollywood where the best actors and actresses are used to market a movie, our Nigerian brothers bank on the same old themes of love, cultism, and black magic. It is time to use their best actors such as Desmond Eliot, Ramsey Noah and Patience Ozokwor to sell these productions both at home and abroad even before they hit the market.
Nollywood has also performed dismally when it comes to creating media sensationalism. Actors and actresses are human beings who make mistakes in their day to day lives; they are not gods that we place on some altar for worshipping purposes. It is time the media both at home and abroad got involved by spreading word about their private lives. Scandals involving famous Nollywood actors will sell their movies not only on the continent, but also worldwide.
I am African but have got taste for good quality movies wherever they are produced. I watch the best movies from Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood. It is time Nollywood upped their expertise by learning one or two things from the other two giants of the global movie industry.