Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Nigeria: One of the best summaries & forward-looking statements on Nollywood?

First, it would be heartless for this Leo to ignore the on-going tragedy in Nigeria - which has since got the U.S President talking. His thoughts and prayers are with the families affected.

Moving on to another sad news is that according to the Vanguard Nigeria, this Leo understands that Mrs. Amaka Igwe (RIP), a renowned figure in Nollywood, has passed away. Likewise, this Leo extends his heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones.

In this Leo's recent post, he highlighted that Nollywood is increasingly being featured in Africa business conferences abroad (or others featuring the continent) and that there are now more entertainment industry conferences in Nigeria and across the continent. One of such events, on the continent, is the Nigerian Entertainment Conference (NEC) - which the late Mrs Igwe attended last year as a speaker. Her presentation was titled, 'Reflections of an Unapologetic Commercial Nollywood Filmmaker'. [Afro Leo is just that close to saying or wondering whether her projections influenced the figures attributed to the entertainment industry in Nigeria's latest GDP]

From her speech, this Leo seems to have picked out 10 points:
(1) Distribution is still Nollywood's biggest problem, but piracy maintains its place;
(2) Training and expertise within the industry is improving;
(3) Banks are beginning to understand that Nollywood can also be a suitable customer, but funding for top quality films is still an issue;
(4) The number of cinema screens, relative to population, is very poor;
(5) Nollywood (including its business model) is truly unique, instructive and portrays Nigerian culture;
(6) Associations and Guilds should know their respective responsibilities by learning from others e.g. here;
(7) The majority of academic/research work on Nollywood comes from outside Nigeria or the continent; 
(8) Government is beginning to understand Nollywood's potency and is now listening;
(9) Public funding to support the industry might not be directed where needed i.e. distribution; (but reports here and here suggest that the message is getting through to the public authorities) and finally,
(10)The time for celebration is over; time to grow by installing new or developing existing infrastructure.

Nollywood has lost one of its forethoughtful leaders and advocate. The hope is that others will continue speaking out to bring about an industry which is, among others, based on the quest for all round excellence. Stakeholders - in particular, those interested in the study of this industry - will not easily forget the late Mrs Amaka Igwe as a reference point. That is, indeed, a worthy legacy. May her soul rest in peace.

Other Afro-IP posts on Nollywood are here and here 

No comments: