A letter to Nigerians from a Defender of Nollywood

Black Panther has become some sort of a movement in the world, all over people are identifying with the Wakanda tribe (even if it’s fictitious). Nigerians are not left out; some fans of the movie have come out to say that Nollywood doesn’t have what it takes to make such a great film. This didn’t go down well with a few persons who feel that the comparison is completely uncalled for, a staunch supporter of Nollywood wrote me to share his thoughts on the matter. I decided to publish so you guys can feel the passion in his write up. Enjoy.

Hello Ose, great job you’re doing. I just want to air my views on the current bashing of Nollywood since Black Panther made it to the cinemas. I am all for what rocks one’s boat. However, can we stop condemning what we don’t have detailed information on? Do the fellows who wrote such statements about Nollywood know how much was budgeted for the BP movie? Where do they think a Nollywood movie will get that kind of funds? The sky? Which bank will give a loan where there are no guarantees for returns? Firstly, there aren’t enough cinemas, secondly, the laws against piracy are weak and thirdly there is no government policy to deliberately support and guide the industry. Which Insurance Company will cover a full production.

Read Also: What Lancelot Imaseun said about Black Panther

We also often compare things that should be incomparable; do we know how old Hollywood is and it’s reach? How dare we compare Nollywood with Hollywood? We can’t even compare with most of Bollywood yet. Unrealistic comparisons are now part of our national psychic. We compare our football with the premiership in England. I am 70% certain that if given the opportunity Nigerians will choose oyinbo things than things made in our industries. If we don’t deliberately begin to choose us over oyinbo, we won’t grow. I was in a meeting where the directors of the company told the foreign M.D. the major reason he was hired was because Nigerians love everything foreign. Shikena!

We don’t want bad products but they won’t get better by standing aloof and acting all sanctimonious. We mock our products, acting all “tush” like we are more sophisticated than those who are in the industry. Our indifference and pride will get us nowhere. We must deliberately make our products world class standard. This we can do by deliberate governmental policies and people’s participation. Taking the South African football league for example, South African brands admit that their league is far from European standards, but still put down money nonetheless while demanding better standards. It makes sense as they know that without money you cannot get the standards you crave. In Nigeria, the brands say you should somehow find a way to become a top package before they back you. We will all fail that way for sure.

Also don’t complain about films not being new, fresh or original if you refuse to watch just because the faces aren’t popular or familiar. All over the world, there are indie filmmakers, making brilliant, insightful, touching stories, fresh perspectives, which go largely unseen. “Slow Country” was a good movie but didn’t get the kind of vibe because it had no known face so to say. We need to change our ways.

Well, guys, what do you think? I’ll be in the comments section.

Read Also: Filmmaker Don Pedro writes an open letter to Rita Dominic

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Ose
Ose
Ose is a cartoon enthusiast sugar junkie. He loves to travel, make new friends and he never gets tired of spaghetti and plantain.

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