Written by Emediong George
The Nigerian film industry is one of the largest movie industries in the world. Nigerian movies (known across the world as Nollywood) are created in English, Youruba, Hausa, Igbo and other Nigerian languages.
The “old Nollywood” operated mostly from Asaba were low budget movies were scripted and produced. The movies were often shot in locations across the eastern parts of Nigeria like Asaba, Enugu, Imo state and Anambra.
The financial outlay for the production of movies in “old Nollywood” was relatively small and the actors and actresses get little pay.
A systemic shift happened in the Nigerian movie industry towards the end of 2009 when a new generation of players took over as actors, producers and directors.
Some of these new faces such as Kunle Afolayan, Steve Gukas, Kemi Adetiba, Oge Obasi, Ruth Kadiri, Funke Akindele Bello and many others brought in creativity and dynamism to the industry. They took the industry energy levels several notches up.
The new Nollywood brought in more actors and actresses with amazing talents such as Toyin Abraham, Timini Egbuson, Nancy Isime, Adesua Etomi, Ik Ogbonna, Daniel Daniel, Sharon Onaji, Ini Dima-Okojie, Gabriel Afolayan, Enyinna Nwigwe, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Jide-Kene Achufusi, Ayo Ayoola and many others.
Buoyed by the influx of new capital, technology and the creative talent, Nollywood began garnering international attention which also led to more investment from several sources.
ROK TV, IROKO TV and many other platforms also got into the movie ecosystem in Nigeria making it possible for Nigerian movies to be consumed and rated internationally.
Let us also not downplay the ubiquitous movie channels on DSTV and other satellite TV networks and then the new entrants- Netflix and Showmax.
The new generation of players in the Nigerian movie industry really brought in a big change to the system and now Nollywood movies are shown in cinemas across the world and streamed daily on millions of smart devices by paying customers enabling the growth and prosperity of the industry- a great privilege which the industry pioneers never enjoyed.