1.1 Background of the study
The Nigerian film industry, also known as “Nollywood,” produces about 50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood and ahead of Hollywood. Although its revenues trail those of Bollywood or Hollywood at the global box office ($1.6 billion and $9.8 billion in 2012, respectively), officially Nollywood still generates, on average, $600 million annually for the Nigerian economy, with most of these receipts coming from the African in diaspora. It is estimated that over one million people are currently employed in the industry (excluding pirates), which makes it Nigeria’s largest employer after agriculture. Although Nollywood’s long-standing “informal” structure and rampant piracy initially helped to establish the country’s film industry, these same factors now inhibit future domestic and international growth. The industry relies on cash transactions and oral agreements (rather than written contracts) between local filmmakers, producers, and the marketers who finance and sell their works. As a result, competing claims on intellectual property rights are common, but with little to no documentation, few avenues for legal redress are available. However, foreign observers believe that if the industry was more actively regulated, particularly in the case of copyright enforcement, a million more jobs could be created within the sector. Consequently, the World Bank and private investors are helping the Nigerian government and local film producers to combat piracy and better legitimize its entertainment industry.
Nollywood is adjudged the second largest film industry in the world, with an economic worth of about N853.9billion (US$5.1billion) (Liston, 2014). Only a few years ago, it ranked behind America’s Hollywood, India’s Bollywood and Hong Kong’s film industry (which produces for the teaming Chinese speaking viewers) (Alozie, 2010 cited in Alawode & Fatonji, 2013). Nollywood’s annual and weekly film output was put at over 1000 and 120 films respectively, less than 10 years ago (Osei-Hwere and Osei-Hwere, 2008). Records reveal that the history of film in Nigeria predates the emergence of Nollywood itself. This was the release of one of the earliest films in Nigeria, “Palaver”, in 1904, in addition to the newsreels put on film by the British Colonial Administration. The newsreels, as scholars argued, primarily served as a propaganda used by the British Colonial Administration to promote its political, economic and social policies in Nigeria through its Colonial Film Unit (CFU) (Anoliefo, 2008; Alawode & Fatonji, 2013). However, the production of “Kongi Harvest” in film format in 1972, an adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s play, and also of Chinua Achebe’s bestseller “Things Fall Apart” in 1987, marked the entry of indigenous players in film production in Nigeria. Between that period and 1992, when the first Nollywood hit, “Living in Bondage” by Kenneth Nnebue, was released, films and theatrical pieces in Nigeria were shown only by government owned television stations and theatres respectively (Ojukwu & Ezenandu, 2012). It was based on this local vacuum for Nigeria’s need for a film industry that Nollywood was born. The initial target for the industry was to produce for local consumption, but shrewd producers and marketers seized the opportunity to ship out the films beyond the shores of Nigeria (ibid: 22). Nollywood and indeed, other films were made for the viewing pleasure of Nigerians initially, with messages to inspire, motivate, reprove and correct some anomalies particularly in the political, social and cultural sphere. The use of English Language as the main communication tool and marketing. facilitated its expansion beyond the shores of the African continent. Today, Nigeria’s Nollywood is counted among the major business centres of film making in the world. It suffices to say that since the early 1990s, the Nollywood film industry has churned out thousands of titles and has successfully brought to limelight many talented Nigerian actors and actresses. Like any other film industry, which functions as a national purveyor of culture and cinematic products, Nollywood sustains and challenges the myths and belief system of Nigeria and her people’s socio-cultural composition. Kunzler (2007:1), states that Nollywood is: …an industry that developed out of a context related to domestic and international cultural, economic, and political environments….It is heterogeneous in nature and can roughly be divided into Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo video films which designate their production centres in the South-West, North and South-East of Nigeria respectively. It is also important to note that economic interests have been the major driving force behind the industry’s growth and spread. In spite of its players’ economic objective, Nollywood tells the Nigerian story, using themes from local realities and the country’s cultural identity to address local social issues (Williams, 2002).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Film is a potent tool for portraying the culture and values of a people (UNESCO, 2009). Cultures and beliefs are learned through films just as they also serve as channels for social mobilization, and for showcasing the political and economic landscape of a nation. It is a tool for cultural diplomacy, responsible for branding the image of a country to give it a positive recognition in the international space (Kirsten, Rachel, John & Samuel, 2007). It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the challenges and prospect of the Nigeria movie industry.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to ascertain the challenges and prospects of the Nigeria Nollywood industry, but for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub objectives;
i) To ascertain the challenges and prospect of Nollywood
ii) To ascertain the impact of Nollywood in the growth of Nigeria economy
iii) To ascertain the relationship between Nollywood and cultural values of Nigeria.
iv) To ascertain the role of Nollywood in marketing Nigeria culture in the global seen.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses are formulated by the researcher;
H0: Nollywood does not have any impact on the growth of Nigeria economy
H1: Nollywood have a significant impact on the growth of Nigeria economy.
H02: Nollywood does not play any role in marketing Nigeria culture in the global seen.
H2: Nollywood plays a significant role in marketing Nigeria culture in the global seen.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
At the completion of the study, it is believed that the findings will be of great importance to the Nigeria movie and video census board who are in charge of regulating the activity of the industry, as the study will help them to understand the role the industry play in selling Nigeria heritage in the global seen. It is also believed that the study will be beneficial to the federal ministry of culture and tourism as the study highlight the importance of the movie industry in marketing the cultural values and heritage of the country. the study will also be beneficial to researchers who intends to embark on study in similar topic as the study will serve as a guide to their study. Finally the study will be beneficial to academia’s students and the general public.