There is no doubt that Nollywood has grown beyond expectation in spite of the criticisms that have trailed the industry for some years. We obviously fail to appreciate the things that we have in this country. While promoting those of others, we look down on what we should improve upon to move us ahead as our pride. The industry may not be a perfect one but this can be achieved if only we do all we need to.
The criticisms generated are often centered on the name of the industry which most people say has no meaning and is non-existent because it was copied from America’s Hollywood which basically has no historical bearing. Theorists of this assertion should realize that there is nothing about a name and that a name is just word(s) by which a person or thing is described. Whether it is meaningful or not a name remains a name provided it makes a reference to a particular person or thing.
Another argument hanging against the industry is the quality of the movies often churned out by the producers into the market. Although, this needs improvement, such an improvement will only come if we so recognize it. This is where the government should come in to aid the producers. There is nothing wrong if the government produces movies that will advance the culture of the people or pass on certain messages to the citizens that are of value to the nation as a whole.
There are also some ugly and unpleasant complaints over the attitudes of the producers who want to go to bed with actresses before role can be given to them. This is certainly damaging to the image of the nation as a whole as discipline should be instilled and maintained in the sector because Nollywood is now standing as the image maker of the nation since these films are seen in far away countries where they have pleasantly gained prominence. Artistes like Pete Edochie, Kate Henshaw-Nuttall, Patience Ozokwo, Jide Kosoko etc can be used by the government to achieve positive aims of improving the image of the nation.
Mention should also be made of ethnic discrimination often leveled on the Igbo whom other ethnic groups accuse of having hijacked the English version of the sector. A good number of artistes have made public this accusation and the Igbo have a ready excuse in the dictation of the movies producers over who and who must feature in the movies produced by them. A situation like this will surely not help the development of the industry since the door must be opened for more competent people to feature.
There is also no doubt that the Yoruba movies have been doing well in the market. Statistics show that wider audiences are beginning to accept the local movies in the country even beyond the Yoruba locality. Non Yoruba indigenes also feature in these movies provided they can communicate effectively in the local language.
There is now “Kannywwod” which is the name by which the Hausa sector of the industry is known. It is now fast growing and chasing the English version. Typically people want to know how this group of people marries, confer chieftaincy etc. Very soon it will become a household name in the country and far.
The question is what has happened to the Igbo version that started well. Why has it suddenly gone extinct after we saw scintillating movies like “Ikuku”, Rattle snake etc? It is very sad and unfortunate that this version of the Nigerian “home video” has gone extinct and nobody cares. The rich culture of the people that should be portrayed to the world which ordinarily should unite the Igbo from far and wide has been neglected simply because Igbo movies producer speciously allege that it is too expensive to produce one and it does not do well in the market. What a huge joke!
What ever it is that is the problem the version of the movies should be made to bounce back into the market.