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HI, I’M NOLLYWOOD, NICE TO MEET YOU

I don’t watch Nollywood movies, I make it a point not to watch Nollywood movies, like there is nothing you can tell me to make me pay 1000 Naira at a cinema to watch a Nollywood movie. I think I have a problem, you see for the past week, all I can think about, is watching Nollywood movies.

So, to start at the beginning, I am one of those people that when I want to see a movie, I go online and check what IMDB rates it, what Rotten Tomatoes scored it and what all the critiques are saying. Then I decide if that movie deserves any of my time, and sometimes, my money.  I’m guessing you are beginning to realize why I don’t watch Nollywood movies. Not because I think they are trash and don’t deserve any of my time and money but because no matter how much I look, I can’t find Nollywood movies on Rotten Tomatoes.

Some weeks ago, I was out with some friends and we decided to go out and see a movie, after much deliberation, we agreed on The Wedding Party by Kemi Adetiba. Since The wedding party is the highest grossing movie in Nollywood history, I immediately assumed that I could find reviews of the movie on my favorite movie review sites. So I started at Rotten Tomatoes, and found nothing, then I decided to go crazy and look up the movie on every foreign movie review website I know of, Roger Ebert, nothing,  Guardian Movies, still nothing Yahoo Movies, you would think I would at least find it on Yahoo but no, it wasn’t there. The only website I could find Nollywood entries was a public entry data base where all you have to do is create an account, log in and at your fingertips, you have the power to create or edit already created reviews. You may have heard of it, it is called the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB)

While I searched for one and didn’t find, I decided that I would take any Nollywood movie I find, so I type searched Nollywood, nothing, no entry. When I searched for Nigeria, the Seventh most populous country on a the planet earth, I found over three thousand entries on IMDB, which told me that some Nigerians have discovered the secret, I mean, the synopsis for Kunle Afolayan’s The Figurine read ‘synopsis written by Kunle Afolayan’ I mean not only did the guy write, produce, direct and star in the movie, he also created an IMDB page for the movie where he also reviewed his own movie all by himself (side note to Kunle, I think the idea is to be anonymous, you should really go back and edit that). While I found over three thousand on IMDB, it seemed that other websites don’t even know where Nigeria is on the map. On rotten tomatoes I found three entries,

  • JOSHUA: A Nigerian portrait (1963) by Wole Soyinka, I clicked on it and the result, NOT FOUND
  • BEATS OF THE HEART – Kokombole: The Nigerian Pop Music Scene (1991) (Fela Anikulapo Kuti, IK Dairo, King Sunny Ade) directed by Jeremy Marre
  • My personal favorite, BOKO HARAM: Terror in Nigeria by SCHULEN (2015) I clicked on it but it but it was written in german, so I can’t tell you if it was good or not.

That was all I could find on Nigeria on Rotten tomatoes, so I moved on to Roger Ebert, I found two entries that were not listed Hollywood,

  • Alex Gibney’s Finding Fela
  • Jeff .F. Lieberman’s Re-emerging:  The Jews of Nigeria (2013)

I found it disturbing, that the only entries I could find on the second largest movie industry in the world, which is a 99.9% black industry, were movies and documentaries made by Caucasians  (dear white people, really?!) At least they know where Nigeria is.

In the end I gave up on trying to find the wedding party on movie review sites and got my ass to the cinema, I watched the movie and it was one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen, I kind of felt bad for the movie review sites that didn’t think to write on the movie. I mean it was so good, it has converted me, I am now a believer of Nollywood, bringing me back to the beginning of my story of why all I can think about this week is watching Nollywood movies.

While we can sit all day, talking about how nobody cares about Nollywood, I think the bulk of the blame goes to Nigerian Filmmakers. That’s why I have decided that on my next article, I’m going to tell you why Hollywood movies make more money than Nollywood movies in Nigeria, only for a dollar and fifty cents. (see what I did there?) I know, I should have said five hundred and fifty Naira, I couldn’t help it. I’m just kidding, it’s for free.