Great movies were not the only thing interesting about Nollywood in 2016. There was controversy, scandal and pettiness.
It’s less than four weeks before we all say goodbye to the dramatic year and we have rounded up moments in the industry that caused quite a stir, made Twitter interesting, was buzzworthy and started different conversations.
In no particular order, check them out below.
It’s one thing to have an unpopular opinion, it’s another to proudly share it in public.
In 2016, Nollywood actor and Actors Guild of Nigeria President, Emeka Ike, granted lots of controversial interviews that got people talking. But today, we will be focusing on his interview with TVC Entertainment, where he spoke about the quality of films in Nollywood.
Making reference to Kunle Afolayan, Ike had said that there was nothing special about making a 'great movie' with 200 million Naira.
"Don't tell me Kunle Afolayan is making a fantastic movie," he said. You gave him 200 million Naira for crying out loud. The entire industry has not even used 200 million before now to make movies for God's sake now. So if you give a dunce that money, he can get the best producer. So it's not a fantastic thing, you are not making me feel oppressed."
Responding to the controversial statement, “The CEO” director Kunle Afolayan said, "I don't respond to such. He's irrelevant.”
Afolayan is popular for movies including “The CEO,” “Figurine,” “October 1” and “Phone Swap.”
Emeka Ike who was a household name in Nollywood in the 90s and early 2000s, made his last movie appearance after a long break in the 2013 movie “Stigma.”
Nollywood actress, Princess Chineke and Chrystabel Goddy got into a fight which led to Goddy biting off flesh from Chineke's thigh.
The incident happened on Friday, February 12, 2016, on set of the movie 'Behind the Smile," at Iyana Ipaja, Lagos. Goddy admitted to inflicting the injuries, defending the action as self defence.
Following the incident, Goddy was suspended by the Actors Guild of Nigeria.
An episode of Emma Ugolee‘s The Gist caused quite a stir when Uzo Okpechi, Charles Novia and Moses Inwang discussed the term 'New and Old Nollywood.
According to Uzo Okpechi, the new set of Nollywood actors have brought nothing to the table. He also stated that they are not known outside Lagos, describing them as 'Instagram stars."
"They even call themselves the new Nollywood," Moses Inwang said.
"If you put Blossom, OC Ukeje at the box office, and put a different film with Ramsay Nouah and RMD. It's the movie with Ramsay that would probably pull more crowd," Novia added.
Nollywood actors, producers and directors took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the statement, which most considered wrong, unnecessary and petty.
If you followed the unfortunately hilarious thread, you would have found conversations between Novia and James Omokwe a distraction from the economic state of Nigeria.
Actors, directors, movie lovers and Twitter went into an intense conversation about the unexpected ban of Kannywood actress, Rahama Sadau.
According to the Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Sadau was expelled for featuring in a romantic music video by Jos born singer, ClassiQ.
Her expulsion was considered by many as partial and sexist.
ALSO READ: 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RAHAMA SADAU
While movie lovers were anticipating the release of one of the most collaborative productions ever, "Room 315," media personality Wana Udobang accused Niyi Akinmolayan of plagiarizing her web series, "Room 313."
Following the accusations and series of tweets, Wana asked for a change of name while Niyi described the incident as creative coincidence.
The incident raised quite a stir on social media as team of both parties went hard on each other. After all said and done, the movie was shot and will premiere in Nigeria on December 13, 2016.
Every one of Omoni Oboli’s movie has a controversy attached to it.
With “Wives on Strike,” she pulled a publicity with the help of her co-stars Chioma Chukwuka, Uche Jombo, Ufuoma McDermott with Blessing Egbe as a guest star in the 'stunt that made their fans believe the actors were fighting with each other.
She went further to respond to ‘accusations’ leveled against her by ‘Nigerians’ who claimed “Wives on Strike” was a ripoff of Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq.”
Her publicity stunts paid off as the movie did well at the box office, becoming the second highest grossing Nollywood movie of the year.
It was promotion time for her new movie “Okafor’s Law,” and the real controversy strolled into her empire.
A Canada-based writer, Jude Idada, accused her of stealing his story and idea for her new movie "Okafor's Law."
He also accused her of stealing his idea for her directorial debut movie “Being Mrs Elliott” which was her directorial debut.
Speaking to Pulse Nigeria, Idada revealed that he was in talks with his Lawyer to settle the case.
“Right now as TIFF is done, and Omoni herself has decided that her silence is a statement of her innocence. I am speaking with my lawyers and will be deciding on the way forward,” Idada said.
While Oboli didn’t respond publicly to the accusations, a reliable source told Pulse Nigeria that the controversy and accusations threatened the screening of her movie “Okafor’s Law” at the Toronto International Film Festival where it was one of the official selections.
This has to be the most controversial event of the year 2016 in Nollywood. It got everyone talking; the talented, the ‘instagram stars,’ the ‘upstarts,’ Lai Mohammed, young and old filmmakers, it just had everyone talking.
In March 2016, a 10-year-old bill resurfaced with rules like, no actor or director can be on more than one project at a time..
The Motion Picture Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MOPICON) bill was created over 10 years ago after a group of industry practitioners sat to draft it.
Earlier this year, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the inauguration of a Ministerial Committee aimed at fast-tracking the passage into law of the MOPICON Bill.
The social media was an interesting place to be during the controversial argument. Some of the ‘old’ Nollywood actors thought the younger ones were not wise enough for rejecting a regulatory body.
There were tweets, there were articles and then, there were those who didn’t even know what ‘MOPICON’ meant.
ALSO READ: MUCH ADO ABOUT MOPICON BILL [OPINION]
With all these controversies, great movies like “The Arbitration,” “93 Days” weren’t the only thing fascinating about the year.