Stride Radio

Why are Nollywood films so bad?:A quick look at what isn’t generally talked about [Pulse Contributor’s Opinion]

The abundance of unfavorable remarks about Nollywood would have led it to commit suicide if it were a person.


People quickly dismiss movies made by this massive industry. Even some Nigerian filmmakers believe it’s acceptable to publicly admit that they don’t “do” Nollywood films, perhaps because they view the industry as a deadbeat and an unfixable farce.

Although I can relate to these individuals, I find it difficult to accept the fact that they are also quick to criticize the industry. This annoys me because criticism always stems from a place of knowledge and love.

Contrary to popular belief, I firmly believe that criticism should only come from a place of love and not from any other motivation.

As someone who has studied—and continues to study—the film industry for a few years, I’ve learned that, aside from the minor technological challenges that the industry may still face, the fundamental cause of the industry’s backward or seemingly frozen movement is its storytelling.

I understood it wasn’t about how well we could carve a shot or how well the production design team could construct a beautiful and imaginative filming setting; it was always about the tales and how they are told; storytelling

This thought came to me when I was invited to participate in a Jungle Filmworks development workshop led by creative development executive Oliver Aleogena. I learned here that, while the execution in our films may not be as neat, the story remains the basis of our troubles.

The social and cultural practice of recounting stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics, or exaggeration, is known as storytelling. Every culture has its own set of stories or narratives that are passed down as a form of amusement, education, cultural preservation, or moral instillation.

Plot, characters, and narrative point of view are essential parts of stories and storytelling. The word “storytelling” can apply to both oral storytelling and techniques used in various media to reveal or unfold a story’s narrative.

In the case of Nollywood, there is an ongoing debate to define what types of tales we should tell. Backward mobility is caused by a lack of this realization. So far, we’ve managed to wing it.

However, the public is awakening and the degree of movie literacy is rising, which is why there is a backlash against “poor” films.

Oral storytelling is where our storytelling methods originated in Nigeria, and so across Africa. Many civilizations have oral storytelling traditions that precede the printed and internet press. Natural occurrences were explained via storytelling.

The genesis tales and pantheon of gods were created by bards. Oral stories were passed down from one generation to the next, and storytellers were revered as entertainers, healers, instructors, spiritual leaders, and guardians of cultural secrets.

Songs, poetry, chants, and dance were just a few of the many ways that oral storytelling was conveyed.

So, in order to tell stories convincingly as a Nigerian, it is enough that you achieve something called emotional manipulation and logical manipulation. So far, we have been able to achieve emotional manipulation, providing the audience with raw emotions and nothing more.

In a world where everything is conceivable, intense fulfillment is your sole aim, and the audience is your final return and reward, a writer is the master of emotions, the master of reason, and they have the power to make anything happen.

The narrative must be well-paced and rhythmic, alluring the senses and inspiring feelings that range from utter joy to utter terror. Additionally, (drum roll) they need to be supported by a human idea. one that doesn’t overpower the narrative.

If we start looking at these, we’ll see that, contrary to popular belief, the basis of our difficulties is not with the performers; many claim we have awful actors, bad writers, or bad directors. We have enough of all of them.

What we lack are stories and a good understanding of telling them. A look into that will result in significant growth for the sector.





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