Random Thoughts On Nollywood: Originality

Posted on Posted in Random Thoughts

Nollywood is a growing and thriving industry with so much potential. We have talented filmmakers, amazing actors and a country willing to give the industry a chance. Still, our movies find a way of falling short.

At the start of Nollywood, movies like Living in Bondage, Violated, Mortal Inheritance, Rattlesnake amongst others were instant favourites. People bought the VHS tapes and watched the movies with their families. Kids will go to school and chat about their favourite characters from the movie. The films did something Hollywood movies COULD NOT do: it told the Nigerian story. The stories were original and even though some were far fetched, people could relate to them somehow.

Fast forward to now, some of the stories became overflogged. Some began to focus on a particular theme. Our brothers in Idumota and 51 Iweka Road started producing, directing and even naming most of the movies (Example: Blackberry Babes, Tear My Bra, Lady Gaga e.t.c), creating a decline in the quality of the films. Something had to be done.

Now, there is a new crop of filmmakers in Nigeria with the desire to change the face of Nollywood. Their goal is to make quality movies that people of all ages can see and enjoy. These movies are supposed to be at par with Hollywood movies but something is missing.

Something called originality.

In the quest to be like these Hollywood movies, we start a copy and paste mentality. Our characters start to speak with a mix of the American and British accent, making them sound ridiculous. We bring storylines that don’t apply to the system here, making the movies very unrealistic.

Let me give an example

A guy takes a girl out on a date. After the date, he drives her home. He then asks if he can come in for coffee. Really? Seriously? Coffee? At Night? In Nigeria?


Ije is an example of a new nollywood film that did well at the Nigerian Box Office. The Figurine is also another good example of another movie that has done well. Maami by Tunde Kelani is also another successful new Nollywood film. What do these three movies have in common?


These movies were made differently and by different people but the characters were very relatable. The way they spoke, the manner in which they reacted to situations. Their accent. Everything was Nigerian.

I feel filmmakers, especially the young ones who are eager to “make a change” should take their time and write stories the Nigerian public can relate to. I feel young filmmakers should go to the experienced filmmakers and tap from their wealth of knowledge. There is so much more that we can do churn out mediocre second grade films with recycled storylines.

Nollywood can do better. Nollywood can be better. We just need to work a bit harder




Image from www.cassavarepublic.biz

7 thoughts on “Random Thoughts On Nollywood: Originality

  1. Originality. Well, I won’t say that is the issue with Nollywood movies. Do these people even know what they want? I doubt originality is even an issue. I don’t think there is anything like an original movie in actual fact.

  2. FACT is that illegal duplication and dubbing of home based films in Nigeria has dampened the zeal and spirit of originality and creativity in our Movei Industyr- Nollywood!
    You dont want to come up with a nice concept, spend months of your life developing it, Spend another months writing a script and then spend your time, money, energy, sweat and blood pproducing a film only for some ragamuffins to sabotage all your efforts.
    Until Piracy is squashed or better Scrrening methods are implemented in Nigeria, Im afraid, we may not really see the best of our Movie Industry.
    The cheap movies you have mentioned do not take so much time or money to produce. These are films without scripts, shot in 1 week, with sub zero actors and actresses. Extremely low budgets and a hlaf-baked crew.

    Piracy will have to be quashed before real originality and creatitivty will take throne. Little wonder our best producers and directors take their movie out of the country for release and screening first before bringing it to Nigeria, or release them to cinemas first before DVDs.

  3. Most times looking into happenings in Nigeria movie industry, i wonder if truly most of the script writers and movie producers REALLY know what Movie Making is all about, and when they sit to write a script are they so driven by ‘money’ that they just want to produce not mind the “worth” of what they are producing or the message they are passing. impacting on the society should be top most…. True movies like Figurine, Ije…. When you look at the making and the story line you will agree with me its one of its kind…. TRULY we need CHANGE in our movies Industry… Maybe a board should be set up to look at scripts before its produced.

  4. Nollywood would be better if only the current producers and directors will step down for younger talented ones to step up their game. These current guys are just financially stable. They are not talented atall.

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