THE NEW NOLLYWOOD: A POSTIVE PERSPECTIVE
By: Oghomwen Toni-Osagie.
When I was given this subject matter, “The New Nollywood” I pondered for a bit and I was a little bemused. Not because I knew I had to do a lot of research on this topic or because I was confused as a french man in an English speaking country, No. It is because the contrast that exist between the Old Nollywood and the New Nollywood is Yay! large, it is almost like a different civilisation period entirely. The New Nollywood is…”That Ghen-Ghen Industry” the most thrilling thing about this new movie industry is the fact that we have musicians delving into this field.
Growing up, I saw the likes of Richard Mofe Damijo on my screen, and the Jason Statham of Nollywood Sam Dede (love him) I think the most amazing thing about Sam Dede’s acting skills is the mere fact that he never ever cracked a smile…he was so badass, the way he handled his roles like it was a very serious and real life matter. I watch New Nollywood movies and the one actor that reminds me of Sam Dede is Desmond Elliot. You might not see the similarities yet but let me help you; the height, the skin tones, the seriousness in their given roles. You won’t see a movie preview of Sam Dede and in it he will be a security man or a beggar on the street (no prejudice to other qualified actors) same goes for Desmond Elliot.
Helen Ukpabio, forever young. One distinctive feature in this woman is her locks, I mean her hair. That mass of hair is her one crowning glory, the emotions she puts in her words and the way she captivates a viewer is so immersing. In the New Nollywood one woman that is synonymous Is the ever beautiful and beguiling Chioma Chukwuka, if two women could ever be so similar in their field of expertise it is these two. If you doubt me, please go out right now to your nearest vendor and get a copy of these women’s works and give your verdict. They are both built from the same fabric theatrically.
The New Nollywood, most people will argue that it does not have as much substance as the old Nollywood. Well, allow me to ask you this: What do you mean by substance? Better plot? Picture quality? Cast? Or better diction and orientation of cast members? The costumes? Others might say the various ‘parts’ of a movie in some cases are unnecessary, you’ll buy a movie and it will be divided into Parts 1-4. Well let me tell you something have you ever stopped to think about the financial aspect of this film making business, I promise you that cost of production and all it entails to make a movie has quadrupled over time, the makers of this movies have to make as much or more than they invested into this project. Dividing it into parts is one source of financial breakthrough for them. If you notice how this movie industry has evolved from the old days till now, most producers and directors have to go to different countries or continents to make a classic movie, this cost a lot so paying for Parts 1-4 is a small price we have to pay.
Most major brands like GLO have also shown a great support for the New Nollywood, in the world famous movie Jenifa 2 you’ll see many GLOBACOM NG adverts and reference to this brand. The revolution of Nollywood is so amazing. Guess what? This industry deserves more credit than it is given at the moment. The likes of Mrs Omotola Jalade Ekende and Genevieve Nnaji are doing amazing things for this industry globally, I saw Omotola at a conference with world leaders, Proud yet? I even read that she made Forbes top 100 most influential list. Yes Forbes, the same Forbes Jay Z and Oprah have been featured on. So please don’t tell me you’re fed up or embarrassed by the New Nollywood. This is one good industry in Nigeria. It also ranks as the second movie making industry in the world. Oprah Winfrey made comparisons of our very own Genevieve Nnaji with the beautiful Julia Roberts. The fact that Oprah knows Genevieve Nnaji means we are doing something right. Nollywood might not have great producers like Quentine Tarrantino but we have our great and notable ones. We have the likes of Uche Jombo who is a prolific movie actress turned producer, she has eleven movies she has produced and still waxing strong. I look forward to watching any movie her name is in. Onwards and Upwards I say!
The New Nollywood, Their growth and development will not be complete if I don’t mention our notable cinema houses. Over the past years Nollywood movies have been included in our Filmhouses, one of the first movies I saw in a Nigerian cinema was, ‘The Figurine’ by the great and noble Kunle Afolayan. The picture quality was impressive. The eloquence and articulate drama by Funlola Aofiyebi. The ever graceful Omoni Oboli. Sigh… That was a good movie. Maybe the New Nollywood isn’t as notable and profound as the one our parents grew up watching, but this New Nollywood is leaving their footprints in the sand of time. I don’t know about you but with each movie preview I see growth and development. It might not be to your individual satisfaction cause we have high standards cause we’re used to Hollywood movies and we expect that Nollywood should emulate their counterparts. Let me tell you something…. We will get there. New Nollywood is the era for great changes. We will make notable movies that will be worthy of international awards and accolades. Timing, just wait and see in time. Nollywood will overcome your expectations. Till then support your own, patronize our actors, build them up constructively. Stay blessed!