Nollywood is Nigeria’s movie industry and Africa’s premier entertainment platform. In fact, it is the world’s number movie industry in terms of annual quantity of films produced. However, it is not new story that the industry is battling with its up and downs. Here are some;H
Film Makers Problem
How do you make movies without proper cooperation and coordination? When the people in charge of sets across the country begin to have problems working together; then a bigger problem arises that will last for years. I’m talking about producers here. The major problem in Nollywood is not the lack of talent or resources but the silent war among producers that prevents them from working amicably together to produce quality movies. That is beginning to change of course; but the process has been very slow. This is at the root of all other problems as a house divided against itself cannot stand much less make progress.
Another issue is the divisiveness that exist even within Nollywood. Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas all now have their own separate movie industries. This fragmentation further divides the larger scene and forces individuals to dissociate themselves from areas that are not related to their tribal industry. Here I am referring to Kannywood, Yorubawood, Igbowood etc. Even within these groups, we still have infighting and misunderstandings over leadership. In spite of these lack of cohesion however, each of the woods has her own guilds where separatism is very apparent in their dealings especially casting. For some time now many people have noticed that the movies that are being produced in Nollywood especially the locally made movies are always centered on the Igbo culture.
Sometimes people find it difficult to differentiate an Igbo movie from an ordinary Nigerian movie. This is because the choice of language, the dressing, and even the display of culture seems to be only around one side of the country. There are so many ethnic groups in the country why center the industry around just one. This issue needs urgent attention as Nollywood is a big tool to project the cultures and norms of the different ethnic groups in Nigeria to world. Movies with focus on other ethnic groups should be encouraged in Nollywood. Nollywood must begin to put mechanisms in place that will accommodate every aspect of the country; so that more and more talents feel welcome into the industry.
Lack of Umbrella Association
Nollywood has no umbrella association. As mentioned above, the industry as a whole suffers from fragmentation. But even more problematic is the fact that there is no body that coordinates the affairs of the industry. There is no organization that protects the rights of individuals. Nigeria cannot speak of a unified national association of filmmakers, the way that doctors talk about the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), lawyers talk about the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the gentlemen of the press have the Nigerian Union of Journalists(NUJ). Okay, don’t get it wrong that no association exists in Nollywood. Nollywood have all kinds of guilds but these are all based on the sentiments described earlier.
Coming under one umbrella will definitely solve a whole lot of the issues in the industry; but until then actors and actresses will continue to suffer neglect, extortion and exploitation in the industry.