Nollywood Movies

Credits: Wikipedia

So I concluded with a friend that my chronicles would be on some sort of roster; say Wednesday of the every week I would upload a new chronicle. That would (in my opinion) help people unconsciously look forward to them; and also be able to dedicate a couple minutes of their time to joining whatever discussion the chronicle would spark without feeling bad about abandoning their jobs.

I’ve tried hard to keep to that but with the craziness going on in our world today, how on earth can I?

Moving on, so I won’t say I grew up on Nollywood movies because even though I’m a fairy and all, I’ve been a scaredy cat from birth; a mischievous friend affectionately calls me a ‘chickenosarus’ sometimes. And since at some point Nollywood was all about depicting Nigeria as some jungle where three in every five Nigerians was either a herbalist or patronizing one (I see we have handed that baton to Africa Magic Yoruba) and honestly, I couldn’t stomach all that ‘winchy winchy’ so I didn’t watch!

When I developed enough liver to start watching, I ended up being seriously amused and sometimes outright insulted by the simplistic scripts, weak storylines, extremely poor continuity (or none at all); in fact, let me paint you a picture.

Continuity entails ensuring that the facts, links, and time in a script are not only properly expressed in a production, but also in a coherent manner. You know, simple stuff like an Ini Edo who’s supposed to be playing the role of a poor girl living in the village with her blind widowed mum (you know we love sob stories) should not be dressed in rags and sporting glass nails!  Especially when you’re going to depict her ten years later with her rich boyfriend (or husband) who visited the village after living abroad for 20 years, saw her on her way home from the market, probably knocked her down with his car (for good measure), fell in love with her; oh my God! You know where this is going don’t you? Let’s continue sha.

So he falls in love with her, has to fight with his family because she’s not up to their ‘class’, and when she finally gets accepted by the family she’ll be pictured in his house with the same nail extensions, same frigging color! And believe me, that’s just one example out of many!

Still on Nollywood, I saw something on twitter recently that I had to retweet! Medianemesis said, ‘God must be annoyed with them (Nollywood) for giving Him glory for their wack movies’. I think I agree.

Anyways, so at some point Nollywood decided that since they had explored just about every issue with rituals, herbalists, and the supernatural in general, they wanted to have ‘Inception-like’ themes in their movies and so a typical script would play out like this:

A ‘bookwormish’ A student at some dodgy university would fall in love with the head cultist on campus (and not know he was a cultist). On a fateful day (most likely night) she would be on the way home from the library and homeboy and his peers would be out on a ‘mission’ and she would get caught in the crossfire (insert mission impossible soundtrack or some other give away background song, and the lady’s eye contact the said boyfriend before he shoots). Of course the boyfriend would be the shooter!

Fast forward three weeks later; she’s in the hospital with a head band and hanging limbs (even though we were shown she was shot in the stomach), and there we would find that when her poor widowed mum brings her food she’ll meet the boyfriend (who’s begging for forgiveness), see the ‘mark’, and recognize the son she had for ‘Chief’ eons ago. Add an enraged chief, the doctor revealing that the lad’s pregnant for the boyfriend (maybe twins for effect), chief’s wicked wife and the drama she’ll bring, three or four most-likely-to-confuse-rather-than-enlighten flashbacks, the clincher (revelation by the widow) that the lady was adopted so she can marry her boyfriend and next thing we’re ‘giving God the glory’ because the movie’s over! That’s of course if they decide to spare us the trouble of turning it into a four-part serial!

Would you believe me if I said this chronicle wasn’t supposed to be about Nollywood? Tell me to stop already, jeez! To be fair though, our artists are world class, as evidenced by the recognition they receive at international fora. And I truly salute people like Kunle Afolayan (The Figurine), Jeta Amata (Amazing Grace, Inale), Tunde Kelani (Abeni)* and other industry people who with their works show that movies can be brilliant, faultless, on point, timely, and still be Nigerian. Keep raising the bars people!

To the people behind the scenes, gaffers, cameras, lights, continuity, welfare, floor managers, drivers, costumiers, location managers, props; keep doing what you do! Your labor of love (which is paid here on earth) will also be rewarded in heaven by the Fairy Godfather.

To the stars of the show, the Genevieve Nnaji’s, Kalu Ikeagwu’s, Omoni Oboli’s, please feel free to challenge/reject/ask to amend dodgy scripts!

And to the scriptwriters (where the script is not written by a shirtless, chubby human being having a beer in his Alaba store on a hot, ‘NEPAless’ afternoon), according to Frank Capra “scriptwriting is the toughest part of the whole racket… the least understood and the least noticed”. We know, doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate you though!

P:S – You won’t believe this chronicle was supposed to be on politics! Ah well, let me get to writing that now!

  1. Azuka says:

    Funny storylines. That’s all I can say about Nigerian movies.


  2. anonymust says:

    In what world are Jeta Amata’s works ‘faultless’ ‘brilliant’ and what does ‘on point’ even mean?


    • Plumbline says:

      @anonymust: Jeta shot Amazing Grace on 35mmk, Location: Obudu Cattle Ranch, yet he showed a detailed Slave Trade story …

      Now, the Politics of Nollywood movies is one thing to contend with, and the desire for quick return-on-investment….it affects even the exemplified by the Econet-Vodacom-V-Mobile-Celtel-Zain-Airtel saga…things won’t change as long as it’s one semi-illiterate deciding plot and cast, banning actors/actresses, simply cos he’s d financier!


    • Anonymust, Jeta Amata is breaking boundaries that other producers in Nollywood are not even aware of. I think that by acknowledging and encouraging the people who are doing well, we spur those on the path of greaness to work harder, and those who are clueless to get it together, or find another profession!
      And yes, on point means………spot on!


  3. Hello this post is nice and interesting. I’ll use it for my blog :). Can you say to me some related articles that I can read too?


  4. […] movies, we’d say “To God Be The Glory.” (By the way I recently read something funny on FairyGodSister’s blog about someone’s musing on that particular phrase. You gotta read that post for the full […]


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