When was the last time you saw a Nollywood movie? 2002? 2005? 1999? At the moment, Obi might not be the man we want him to be, but we cannot continue to pretend that he is still a boy.
"Nollywood is crap..."
"Actor A is horrible..."
"I can't watch a Nollywood movie..."
Most Nigerians have made negative statements like the ones above about Nollywood, if not worse.
Recently, Nollywood actress Omoni Oboli, who just finished filming her movie "Okafor's Law", gave the perfect response to a follower who thinks Nollywood is crap.
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“And it’s a wrap, we started with prayers and God has been more awesome I can't begin to tell you how grueling it has been over three weeks,’’ Omoni shared on her Instagram page.
“What kind of movies do you make in 3 weeks lol… Nollywood is a serious joke..no offense, just saying," the follower said.
“None taken darling, it’s just that you are kind of showing some ignorance. 3 weeks is for principal photography alone. I’ve been in pre-production for this movie for over a year and post production is still going to take some time. Filmmakers all over the world shoot in a couple of weeks as well. Nollywood is NOT a joke! It’s an industry that employs millions of Nigerians!at least over 250 Nigerians got paid on this project alone so put some repekt on my business," Oboli responded.
I am not focusing on how right or wrong these statements are, but I think most of these statements are made by Nigerians who last saw a Nollywood movie 10 years ago, or haven't been to the cinema in the last five years, or ever.
I am not blaming Nigerians who think the industry is crap. That is their opinion. An opinion they formed years ago, and have since decided to never patronize Nollywood. An opinion they should have changed if they have seen some recent works by some filmmakers. An opinion I also consider ignorant because they are not aware of recent happenings or changes in the industry.
But if these group of people are ignorant of the happenings in the Nigerian film industry, how do they know that the industry has not grown from the days of "Rihanna and Beyonce" to the days of movies like "October 1," "The Meeting," "Ojuju" among others? How are they aware that actor A has not grown from a clumsy actor to a method actor? How do they know that the 'Asaba' movie industry has not produced talented actors worth being proud of?
I bet they also do not know that Nollywood has produced web series like "Skinny Girl in Transit," and "Gidi Up," TV series like "The Johnsons," "Hotel Majestic," "Jenifa's Diary" among others.
Maybe they know about these things because they read a lot of things online, and are on every social media platform, but they just can't see a Nollywood movie because the last time they saw one titled "Abuja Runs Girl," they had a restless night. Probably they decided to try a 'new' Nollywood movie, but they skipped Biyi Bandele's "Fifty," Omoni Oboli's "Wives on Strike," Stephanie Linus' "Dry," and went for Rukky Sanda's "Dark."
You can't describe Nollywood as crap when you don't know 'new Nollywood' actors like Okey Uzoeshi, Ivie Okujaye, Adesua Etomi, Chacha Eke, Deyemi Okanlawon, Stan Nze, Tope Tedela, OC Ukeje, Femi Jacobs, Seun Ajayi, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Weruche Opia, Uzor Osimkpa, Gabriel Afolayan among other talented actors.
I recently carried out a survey and discovered that 70% of my selection who believe Nollywood is crap, saw a Nigerian movie last in early 2000s.
It is also interesting to know that most people who describe Nollywood as 'crap' would rather sit through Bollywood movies and some of its boring dancing scenes, and Hollywood movies with superheroes pulling off stunts. Now don’t get me wrong here, I have seen Bollywood movies, as well as numerous superhero movies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing Bollywood or Hollywood movies over Nollywood. Nothing at all. But it is a display of ignorance to describe Nollywood movies as 'crap' when the last movie seen was in 2005.
Nollywood is a huge community with just very few working hard to change the mentality Nigerians have about Nollywood. We can agree that Nollywood has a lot of issues - from ridiculous plots to titles and to any other issue you want to think up. But can one, in all honesty, claim that there are no such movies in Hollywood and Bollywood?
Nollywood is not 'crap,' while 'some' Nollywood movies, actors, plots, directors could be described as a joke, calling a whole industry that has produced amazing talents and movies 'crap' or a 'joke' is just a way of displaying your lack of information.
At the moment, Obi might not be the man we want him to be, but we cannot continue to pretend that he is still a boy.