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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion editorial

EDITORIAL: Nollywood takes the stage

Sometimes it’s hard for Americans to imagine movies are made outside of Hollywood. You’ve probably heard of Bollywood, the Indian equivalent to Hollywood, known for its fantastic musicals with amazing dance scenes.

But there’s another film giant brewing in Africa.

In 2002, Nigeria’s film industry became the self-proclaimed Nollywood, with the name as an obvious homage to the film industries in the United States and India. Recently, Nigerian films have become more popular outside of the country and the continent, bringing more attention to Nollywood.

We, the Editorial Board, believe the Nigerian film industry demonstrates a 
triumph of African culture in light of Hollywood’s Western influence.

Although the name Nollywood connects Nigeria’s film industry to Hollywood, Nollywood is dedicated to telling African stories from throughout the continent. These are stories that we are desperately missing in Hollywood.

Besides telling stories of the African experience, the Nigerian film industry brings economic growth to the country as well as a new cultural identity. The Nigerian film industry employs more than one million people, making the film industry the second-largest employer in the country after farming .

Because the film industry produces about 2,500 films per year, the industry is flooding the Nigerian economy with $600 million annually, as reported by the U.S. International Trade Commission in 2014.

The industry has an incredibly positive effect on Nigeria and the African continent with the content of its films and its economic input.

The popularity of this film industry gives a boost not only to the Nigerian economy, but also to the global understanding of Nigerian life. Zimbabwean hair-braider Patience Moyo told the New York Times, “Nigerian movies express how we live as Africans, what we experience in our everyday lives, things like witchcraft, things like fighting between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws.”

While the Editorial Board is glad the Nigerian film industry is making films that tell African stories, we find the name Nollywood to be diminishing to the Nigerian film industry’s distinctiveness.

The film industry in Nigeria should be able to stand on its own and shouldn’t require a link to Hollywood to make Nigerian films legitimate. The films in Nigeria are less about what Hollywood does and more about exploring the past and present African identity while reshaping the African experience.

Taking into account the current struggle in Hollywood to accurately represent the dynamics of the U.S. experience, the Editorial Board is glad to see a film industry representing its country 
positively.

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