From the 1957 “Fincho,” 1980 Kadara, 1992 Living in Bondage, 2002 ‘Keeping in Faith’ to the 2014 October 1, the Nigerian film industry has come a longway. There is a winsome era of film making which most Nigerians are oblivious to. An era that has nothing to do with the classic 1992 movie, “Living in Bondage or recent ‘Trip to Jamaica.’
This captivating era dates as far back as 1926 when the earliest feature film was made in Nigeria and featured Nigerian actors in a speaking role. In 1957 Fincho became the first Nigerian film to be shot in colour. Following Nigeria’s Independence in 1960, more cinema houses were established in 1972, the Indigenisation Decree by General Yakubu Gowon made possible the transfer of ownership of abut 300 cinemas from their foreign owners to Nigerians, resulting in more Nigerians actively participating in the Nigerian film growth.
In 1984, ‘Papa Ajasco’ by Wale Adenuga became the first blockbuster, grossing an estimate of 61,000 naira in three days. In 1985, “Mosebolatan” by Moses Olaiya grossed 107,000 naira in five days. Also in the 80s film makers like Adeyemi Afolayan produced classics such as ‘Kadara’ (Destiny), ‘Taxi Driver’ among others.
In 2016, during Ade Love’s 20th Remembrance Celebration his movie Kadara was screened to a number of Nigerians. Watching the classic movie, it is impossible to forget the artist imagery created by Afolayan as far back as 1980 more than the narrative structure, it was the images shots and the production quality that took the older generation through an enlightening journey.
The theatrical and cinematic efforts of the likes of Hubert Ogunde, Taiwo Ajayi Lycett, Olu Jacobs, Tunde Kelani, Adeyemi Afolayan, Ladi Ladebo, Moses Olaiya, Adebayo Salami, Sadiq Daba, Jide Kosoko, Afolabi Adesanya among others played a pivotal role in shaping the film industry which is now popularly called Nollywood.
In 1992, the release of the classic movie living in Bondage kicked off a new era in the Nigerian film industry. This era produced movies that were still referred to as classics, it produced actors that were and are still household names in Nigeria. In the 1990s the Nigerian cinema culture faced a major decline as the home video market boomed. Alaba market became a vital commercial domain becoming the hub of video distribution and finally the centre of piracy in Nigeria.
The 90s birthed movies like Violated, Silent Night, Domitilla, Nneka the Pretty Serpent, Hostages, Blood Money, Out of Bounds and more. Nigerians were introduced to actors who made an impact and are still relevant in the industry such as Genevieve Nnaji, Bimbo Manuel, Eucharia Anunobi, Tony Umez, Saint Obi, Ramsey Noah, Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw, Emeka Ike, Stephanie Linus, Liz Benson, Pete Edochie, Kenneth Okonkwo, Kanayo O Kanayo, Richard Mofe Damijo, OmotolA Jolade Ekeinde, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Funke Akindele, Bimbo Akintola, Joke Silva and Francis Duru among others.
In the mid 2000s, the home video era experienced a major decline with factors such as piracy and rental shops playing a major role. However in 2004 a new cinema era began with the launch of a series of modern cinema houses by the Silverbird group. The first new wave film to be shown at a modern cinema was Kunle Afolayan’s 2006 “Irapada” which were screened at the Silverbird Gallery Lagos. Ever since then high and small budget movies like Ije, Surulere, The Figurine, The CEO, 93 days, Half of a Yellow Sun, the Meeting, October 1, The Arbitration, etc were screened at various cinemas in Nigeria.
Since the launch of Silverbird Cinemas, new Cinemas like Ozone, Film House and Genesis Deluxe have been launched and are playing important roles in the evolution of the Nigerian film industry. In the 2000s, the industry started witnessing the arrival of new actors, including Nse Ikpe Etim, Majid Michel, Yvonne Nelson, Sudan Peters, Ini Edo, Mike Ezuruonye, Uche Jumbo, Toyin Aimakhu, Mercy Johnson, Jim Iyke, Grace Amah, Desmond Elliot, Chike Ike, Chioma Chukwuka, Queen Nwokoye, Omoni Oboli, among others.
Currently in the 2010s. The Nigerian film Industry has grown and seen the arrival of a new set of actors including Adesua Etomi, Chacha Eke, Kiki Omehi, O. C. Ukeje, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Somkele Idhalama, Beverly Naya, Daniel K. Daniel, Deyemi Okanlawon, Linda Ejiofor, Bayray McNwizu, Kunle Remi, Okey Uzoeshi, Uzor Osimkpa, Tomi Odunsi, Osas Ighodaro, Rahama Sadau and Kemi Lala Akindoju among others.
In recent years, the Nigerian film industry has gone from being just Nollywood to being divided along regional and ethnic line; thus the distinct film industries like Kannywood, Callywood and the Yoruba film industry. Through the years of the industry’s evolution, segregatory terms such as New Nollywood/Cinema movies, Asaba Movies Lactors and Old Nollywood became popular. One major difference between Asaba and new Nollywood movies is the art. Most cinema movies have the perfect blending of cinematic style, technicality, beauty and storytelling.
However the cinema is considered a luxury thus their availability to the mass audience is limited due to the limited availability of these cinema productions. The popularity of ‘Asaba movies’ is constantly on the rise and readily available for mass consumption at a cheaper rate. Its 2017 and the advancement in sound technology, storytelling, technological special effects are proofs that Nollywood have evolved.
The current era has seen the success of various genres including horror, comedy action, thriller and romantic drama.
From conventional movie plots, the Nigerian film industry has moved to experimental and innovative films. The Nigerian film industry has become an instrinsic part of the global film sector. Currently the largest film industry in Africa and producing more films than Hollywood, Nollywood has evolved into the industry with reputable film festivals such as African International Film Festival, Lights Camera Africa, Abuja International Film Festival, Eko International Film Festival, among others.
Nigerian films are also screened at International film festivals such as the Cannes film festival, Toronto film festival among others. The Industry has become more profitable with movies like “The Wedding Party” grossing over 405 million naira in just two months and a Trip to Jamaica” earning a Guinness Book of World record spot for its box office success. The industry has also created quality TV series such as ‘Hush,’ ‘Sons of Caliphate,’ ‘the Governor’ etc. Over the years web platforms like Iroko TV, Ibaka TV and CIX TV that provide paid for Nigeria films in demand have become affordable.
Pay TV entertainment platforms like Africa Magic have also invested in the Nigerian film industry, creating shows and award platforms that further projects the industry in good light.
There are days when disappointing movies like A Trip to Jamaica, Gold Digging, Bloggers Wife, Keeping my Man and Three Wise men find their ways to Nigerian Cinemas. There are days when film makers decide to create African adaptations of foreign series instead of our local stories in those days, Nollywood disappoints thousands of its followers. But despite all of its disappointing moments the Nigerian film industry is one that has evolved and is still evolving.
Reno Omokri Writes Open Letter To BBNaija Enthusiasts
Reno Omokri has written an open letter to BBNaija enthusiasts.
In his letter, the former presidential aide asked ardent followers of the reality TV show to campaign for their businesses as much as they campaign for housemates who do not know them.
His letter reads
‘’Dear #BBNaija enthusiasts,
You see how you campaign for that housemate? Good. Campaign for your success like that. Instead of selling a housemate you don’t know and who does not know you, to me, use that time and energy to sell a product you can profit from to me. Do not be afraid of business or think that it is wrong to make a profit. It is not wickedness for lions to kill and eat antelopes. It is life’s natural order. Don’t be sentimental in business. Set your price competitively. Make your profit. Don’t exploit customers. But dont cheat yourself. A lion that does not kill will itself be killed!’’
A review Of Tiwa Savage’s Water & Garri EP
Nigerian multiple award-winning artist Tiwa Savage returns with a brand new extended play “Water & Garri. This comes less than a year after the release of her critically acclaimed third studio album “Celia”.
Water & Garri, a five-track body of work features Grammy Awards winner and veteran rapper, Nas, singer Brandy, the Nigerian underground artist Rich King and Alte singer and soul music stunner, Tay Iwar.
Since her return to Nigeria in 2012, Tiwa Savage has raised the bar for female artists. She embodied the almost frowned on sex symbol attribute in the music industry, her music is filled with flirting words and expressions. No wonder when she called herself African bad gyal, no one disputed the assertion.
Garri is a staple food among Nigerians, water is used to take or make Garri. The title as used in this context refers to her mashed style and global collaboration. She sticks to her heartfelt style in the course of making this album.
Tiwa Savage infused Rnb/Soul with Afro-fusion. The end product is a 19 minutes run of music with themes detailing heartbreak, love, hard work, perseverance, etc.
Nas and Rich King were on the opening track “Work Fada”, the pensive and reflective song preaches hard work and perseverance with Nas almost going preachy in his thought-provoking verse.
The six minutes long track is the perfect opener to the avarde garde album, who opens an EP with this type of lengthy play? Only Tiwa Savage could do such, the theme is distinct and it’s a well-calculated risk.
In 2016, Tiwa Savage’s marriage with talent manager Teebliz hit the rock. Five years later, she seems set to speak her truth. She reveals a little on the Interlude on her last album—Celia. On Water & Garri, Tiwa Savage dedicates two tracks to that ugly incident.
Ade Ori is a soft-light take on past relationships/marriage. She is now independent while she is hopeful about future handling. The lyrics drip with pain and regretful lines.
Tale by Moonlight was a popular weekly storied program on national television. Tiwa Savage details her fairy tale love expectations on this soulful 90s house music. Even though she flirts and gushing about the guy, she is cautious. Amaarae’s whispery vocals compliment Tiwa Savage’s flirt takes.
Seven years ago, American artist Brandy visited Nigeria. At a press conference before her performance at Classic FM Valentine show, she revealed she loved Tiwa Savage’s vocals, she liked it to a 14-year-old. Unknown to her, Tiwa Savage considered the Grammy Winner her role model and one of the reasons she is into music.
When they finally collaborate on “Somebody’s Son”, it is a perfect blend of two songstresses.
They complement one another, Brandy even sings in Yoruba. This track is one of the up-tempo songs on the EP. Its production is filled with Drums and mellow strings. Somebody’s son retains the themes of Ade Ori: it pleads for reciprocal love.
Tay Iwar and Tiwa Savage jointly closed the EP with a rollercoaster of deep expressive expressions. The horn-filled disco makes it sounds like a potential track for a Friday night out.
Veteran producer Pharell Williams called this project a classic but the fans failed to realize his caveat of it not becoming commercially viable. Tiwa Savage is unbothered if her recent promotional talks are anything to go by.
Water & Garri explores Tiwa Savage Rnb/Soul forte with an infusion of Afro-fusion, the EP is a dart between hope and despair. The production is pristine, however, the songwriting is underwhelming.
The featured artists almost overshadowed her. Although it’s obvious that this project is destined for the international market, the collaborations could have been lesser.
Wizkid Makes History As ‘Essence’ BeComes Most Shazam Song In US
Nigerian singer, Wizkid has made history in the United States.
The Grammy award-winning superstar made the history with his hit single ‘Essence.’
The 31-year-old father of three registered his name on the book of musical history when ‘Essence’ was announced the most Shazam song in the United States of America.
Apple-owned Shazam, through its Instagram account, announced Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ as the most Shazamed song in the country.
The app, which is used to identify music and TV shows by listening to a short sample of their audio, posted a pictured Wizkid with the caption: ”Big Congrats to @wizkidayo!! #Essence is now the most Shazamed song in the United States.”
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