The rise of Nollywood

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What is ‘Nollywood‘? Nollywood is a sobriquet that originally referred to the Nigerian film industry. It emerged in the early 1990’s and is the third largest film industry in the world with over 1,687 feature films produced in 2007 alone.

“Nollywood’s popularity across Africa and the diaspora certainly demonstrates the capacity of the films to travel” – Nigerian film producer and financier Yewande Sadiku

The cinematic phenomenon that was inaugurated in Lagos, has known an unprecedented measure of success in its homeland, Nigeria. Nollywood provides imagination and entertainment for its clientele and draws on traditional characters and situations as well as television serials imported from other places such as Mexico and Korea.

The development of Nollywood, manifested by informality and the robustness of different market networks, is a model of the unique challenges and opportunities that have allowed a creative growth and uprise in the global outline. As the world is highly networked, the exposure of the network society allows informal cultural industries to increase as well as the informality, opacity and alternative networks to become even more relevant.

In the reading “Nollywood: spectatorship, audience, and the sites of consumption” by Onookome Okome, it debates how certain societies in Nigeria have joined the trend of the “global village“. He discusses how the global village acts an a bilateral utopia, where stimulation of technology is extended to the whole human society. It highly correlates to globalisation and it shown through the concept of Nollywood through its films.

A central idea towards globalisation are cultural flows. This notion is highly significant to the notion of Nollywood and its industry as it varies in dimensions. Arjun Appadurai who was a contemporary social-cultural anthropologist recognised as a major theorist in globalisation studies, mentions the dimension of technoscapes, otherwise known as the flow of technology. The way technology flows from other countries into the Nigerian culture influences the notion of globalisation. As Nigeria has a poor economy, items such as filming equipment cannot be sourced from there. They are know to purchase more affordable technologies from different countries where they are known to me manufactured. Certain equipment such as digital cameras and DVD players would not exist if it wasn’t for globalisation and the modern means int brings to the world.

Mediascapes can also be seen in Nollywood through the result of globalisation. Mediascapes are the flow of information and images which are apparent through the Nollywood films themselves. The Nollywood industry is becoming more and more interesting to overseas scholars and curious individuals for its diverse culture and storytelling. The Nigerian films are widely accessible to anyone around the world thanks to globalisation. It connects the outside world to to Nigeria in a number of ways and shows the open effect globalisation has on Nollywood.

Listed below are two examples of Nollywood trailers. Enjoy!


References

En.wikipedia.org. (n.d.). Nollywood. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nollywood [Accessed Aug. 2017].

Fortune.com. (n.d.). Meet Africa’s Nollywood, the world’s second largest movie industry. [online] Available at: http://fortune.com/2015/06/24/nollywood-movie-industry/ [Accessed Aug. 2017].

Journals.sagepub.com. (2012). Global Nollywood: The Nigerian movie industry and alternative global networks in production and distributionGlobal Media and Communication – Jade Miller, 2012. [online] Available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1742766512444340 [Accessed Aug. 2017].

Postcolonial.univ-paris13.fr. (2007). Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption. [online] Available at: http://postcolonial.univ-paris13.fr/index.php/pct/article/viewFile/763/425 [Accessed Aug. 2017].

Www-tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au. (2009). Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave. [online] Available at: http://www-tandfonline.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/abs/10.1080/01292980902826427 [Accessed Aug. 2017].