Nollywood has become a very popular and supposedly thriving industry. Everyone from the hills of England to the shores of Los Angeles have been enthralled by the dramatic almost Shakespearean themed storylines set against the backdrop of stunning mansions and plush gardens hidden behind tall metal gates. But it looks like the side effects of this once booming industry is finally taking its toll.
According to multiple sources, the Nigerian home video and film industry as a whole is suffering financially and the reasons are purely reactive. As popular as Nigerian movies have been and continue to be, the hype has mellowed out and consumers are no longer patronizing the home movies with the same enthusiasm and gusto as they did say, five years ago. The core of the problem seems to lie in the monotonous over-exaggerated story lines and the unfortunate recycling of the beloved Nollywood actors and actresses.
It appears there are consequences that come with sticking to a stagnant formula for so many years. The viewers inevitably grow steadily restless and boredom sets in which in turn discourages potential consumers, especially once the word about “stale” storylines gets out on the streets. Another major cause for the decreasing interest and sales is attributed to the very poor quality of the DVDs being sold and passed around. Sometimes the background noise and chaos tend to drown the voices of the actors and the images are blinded in darkness. This has the effect of make viewing tedious and not so pleasant. In any case, this situation is one of immense concern for the actors who have managed to forge lengthy and thriving careers over the years thanks to the Nollywood effect.
Budget cuts are always inevitable anytime a particular industry is in crisis and the actors are now crying “foul” due to the drastic pay cuts they have been forced to endure. The humiliation has proven too hard too for some of them to take that they have resorted to not even appearing on the screen at all. Notable actors like Ini Edo and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde have fallen victim to the growing crisis, and despite their reputable monikers, they have been downgraded to less than desirable roles with limited screen time. Producers are now searching for newer, younger fresh-faced artists to replace the “overused” recycled batch of actors that they now see as the growing cancer killing their once dependable fan base.
The ironic aspect of the Nollywood fiasco is that on the surface things seem to be going rather well for this industry. Especially, if you consider the fact that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)recently declared Nollywood the world’s second largest film producer. Unsurprisingly, India came in first and the US clocks in at third place lagging behind Nigeria and India. The main reason for the boost was attributed to the high interest and soaring demand among the blacks living in the US, Europe and even the Caribbean countries.
So it looks like there is still hope for Nollywood, give or take a few edits here and there. But the bottom-line is that this is a salvageable problem. One that, with the right mixture of fresh talent both on and off screen, may have a fairytale ending.
To read more from Ezinne Ukoha, you can visit her blog at http://www.trendybuzz.blogspot.com/
Photos Courtesy of Wikipedia.org