Indeed, there are still some elements of mediocrity in Nollywood contents but that’s not the focus of this article.
Over the years, I have listened to people tear down our movie industry; Nollywood with statements like: “It is so predictable, the exaggeration is way too much, there is over acting”. If only these critics would stop at these, it could pass the truth test but they don’t! They go ahead to explain why Hollywood is better sometimes giving the opposite of Nollywood weakness as the strength of Hollywood.
Years ago, the producer of Super Story; Wale Adenuga lamented about the influx of foreign soap operas into our local TV stations. He warned that our local content might be lost.
The foreign soap operas started from the days of “When you’re mine of the Paloma and Diego hall of fame”, it moved to several other Spanish soaps then the Philippines soaps. Later, the Korean soaps became a sensation then, the Telemundo and Zeeworld series took over.
Yours truly followed these trends but had a brain restructuring just before the telemundo craze. Having watched one or two series in each of the aforementioned foreign soap, I think the actual mediocrity is to believe these soaps are better.
The saying that a prophet is not honoured among his own is quite applicable to the criticism shown to Nollywood by a number of Nigerians. Our dear Funke Akindele had an epic reply for a critic who wondered why the character Jenifa in the soap opera with same name is still unable to speak English after many episodes. She replied that even Mr. Bean is still mute after many series.
Should we talk about the indestructible hero that always survives all the tactics of the villain? He jumps off cliffs and bridges and somehow manages to fight and win the bad guys yet that doesn’t fit into our definition of exaggeration.
How about India’s Bollywood where everyone on the street knows the love song composed by the groom for his bride and the Philippines soap operas where there is always hatred among siblings or inlaws.
Their soap operas also tend to portray the country of Philippine as a place where the birth of illegitimate children are normal; you discover that two former enemies later discovered that they are siblings. The fight for inheritance, the different social classes falling in love to the disagreement of the rich class is just a common theme of their contents.
Now, am I saying Nollywood isn’t guilty? Yes! She is. Am I saying Hollywood and the rest don’t have superb content? Yes, they do.
My point is that we shouldn’t run down our content which actively depicts our society using a foreign yardstick that actively depicts the society it portrays.
We would be fair if we weigh movies on a literary scale without foreign comparison because each country has a story to tell and how she tells it differs. Yes, sometimes wack, other times, superb.
This article was written by Debby Ajiboye; connect with her on IG here