My people, una well done o. This is Aribaba back again with 10 things I love about Naija. I hope say una never tire for me yet. It seems like such a long time ago that I started this series. Anyways… number 8 on the 10 things I love about Naija is Nollywood – Naija’s multi-billion dollar movie industry. Yes we’ve come this far in past 20 years.
I remember when I was about ____ years old…lol – I was young sha. It was 1992 and my family gathered around the living room to watch, what was then, the only mainstream naija movie, Living In Bondage. The original version was in Igbo with no subtitles, and so if you didn’t understand igbo, you’d just be watching and waiting for when crazy things happened or the cult scene to come up again. I still remember the scene when Andy’s wife, Merit, showed up as a ghost in Andy’s bedroom and was saying in a very haunted tone, “Andy!!! Andy!!! Kedu ife mmere gi.” Chineke!!! That had to be one of the scariest things I had seen in any movie before. As simple as the special effects were, it just had some way of creating a very scary feeling in your body. Classic movie mehn… Living in Bondage was one movie that my mom and aunties watched time and time again. As time went by, the movie gained popularity and eventually the demand got so high that there was a subsequent version with English subtitles released to the naija market, and that was beginning of the second largest movie industry in the world. Yes… We’re second only to Bollywood (India). Yes… we’re bigger than Hollywood :). America no dey carry first for everything…lol. If you haven’t watched Living in Bondage, then I suggest you go do so asap… I consider that movie Nollywood 101. On a side note, Merit was a fine babe o lol.
After that movie came some of the Nollywood classics, Nneka the pretty serpent (Who remembers the theme song? Nnekam oooooooo… O bu gini?), Taboo, Glamour Girls, Rattle Snake, Osuofia, Igodo, and co. I mean some of those movies, I’m really just beginning to appreciate a lot. That’s when there were few movies that everyone knew. Now there are a lot of movies that a lot of people don’t know about. Anyways here is the intro to the classic Nneka the pretty serpent.
Since the early 90s, Nollywood has continued to grow and has not stopped to look back at all. Numerous stars have been born from the industry since then. Ini Edo, Kanayo O Kanayo, Jim Iyke, Emeka Obi, Genevieve Nneji, Omotola Jolade, Ramson Noah, Rita Dominic, Pete Edochie, Nkem Owoh, Bob Manuel Udokwu etc… I mean I can go on and on with the stars in the industry that will otherwise be unknown if not for the Nigerian Movie Industry. Nollywood is one thing in Nigeria that shows the extreme industrious nature of our people. Imagine taking a non-existent industry and transforming it to a multi-billion industry in less that 20 years. Thank God for the folks at Idumota Market on Lagos Island, and 51 Iweka Road in Onitsha. I tip my hat off for Naija man. Keep in mind that Hollywood & Bollywood have been around for 50 years plus.
In my list of things in Naija that I’m most proud of, Nollywood is up there. It’s one of the things about Naija that I can walk around and talk smack about to other Africans. I remember when one of my Jamaican friends told me he and his family love naija movies. I was stunned… “U mean people outside Naija watch those movies.” I had heard so, but never really seen it. It’s truly a thing of pride. So there… # 8 on the 10 things I love about Naija is Nollywood. Now let me go to bunibuni.com, and watch some movies biko 🙂