I have become very critical of Nollywood movies (which is mainly the English language based Nigerian movie industry) for their lack of focus and message beyond the show of negativity, luridity, and pornography.
It is not however same with Yoruba (language based) movies which are done by actors under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners, NANTAP.
Though I may not totally exonerate their movies from the debauchery that presently plagues the Nigerian movie industry, they have continued however to ensure that there’s a lesson to be learnt and a message to be passed across in most of their movies.
I also find quite exemplary the fact that regardless of whether the scene is villagey or in a town or city, the importance of the inclusion of elements of Yoruba culture and tradition in the movies isn’t lost on the producers and directors, which is something that’s either totally lost in the so called Nollywood movies or replaced with only the overtly diabolic aspects of it.
It’s true that Nollywood movies have gained wide acceptance and have been quite profitable it has however failed to stand the test of time as those made by NANTAP practitioners.
This is what has continued to keep movie practitioner in the Yoruba language based movies in business over the years and probably beyond what we know as Nollywood today, because as I see it, charlattany and mediocrity have limits beyond which they will no longer become attractive to even the most undiscerning of Nigerian movie watchers.
I will not end this without mentioning a third arm of the Nigerian movie industry that’s Hausa based located in the Northern part of Nigeria, ‘interestingly’ called AREWAWOOD.
I’ve not been patient enough to watch a full feature, even of a subtitled one, so I can’t comment really on that genre for now. This development isn’t unusual in a Nigeria where a constituent arm of the ethnic groups that make up the entity called Nigeria do not like to be outdone by people or practitioners of other groups.
It is noteworthy, to state here that what is today Nollywood was mainly peopled by actors of South-Eastern and South-Southern extraction, and infact was a metamorphosis from the early Igbo movies before they moved into the English speaking arena.
Nollywood will do well to adopt some of the methods of NANTAP if it is to continue to remain relevant, or else they’ll find that even the federal governments financial intervention in Billions of Naira (Nigerian currency) will not be able to reverse the slide to the irrelevance that’s currently looming.
Interestingly, at a recent stakeholders meeting, Nollywood practitioners overwhelmingly rejected the offer by the government as been too little and not enough for an industry they think requires the kind of investment the oil industry (Nigeria’s economic mainstay) currently enjoys.
So, I guess it is safe to assume that we won’t be seeing much changes atleast for the time being.