NIGERIAN MOVIES TAKE BOTSWANA BY STORM
The Nigerian movie industry or Nollywood as it is commonly known, is taking Botswana by storm. Nollywood is regarded as the third largest movie industry in the world after Hollywood (United States) and Bollywood (India). by Lekopanye Mooketsi
The Nigerian films, which are packaged in DVDs, have found a good market in Botswana. Despite the poorly produced quality of the movies they sell like fat cakes. Chinese traders mostly sell the Nigerian films.
Although it is clear that the DVDs are pirated, people still go for them. The films portray Nigerian social life, about juju, love life and, of course, the Naira (the Nigerian currency).
The Nigerians, who are very humorous people, have proved that they can be adept when it comes to acting. As a local film producer Ernest Engels puts it, "an actor or actress is somebody who can cry when ordered to do so by a director". The Nigerians have mastered this game so well that it makes the whole thing look real.
The other side of Nigerian life or rather culture that is portrayed in films is bribery. The police officers easily accept any fee to release suspects.
One of the most exciting movies is Mr Ibu 1 and 2 where the main actors John Okafor (Mr Ibu) and his mischievous son, Osita Iheme (Mmou).
Mr Ibu and his Mmou could be friends for a moment and the next minute they are be at each other's throats.
Mr Ibu I starts with the duo pushing a bicycle. One man confronts them, "why are you suffering yourself instead of riding the bicycle. "This is foolishness," he shouts at them.
Other people admonish the duo again when one of them rides the bicycle. Later they decide to dump the bicycle "because it brings trouble". Mr Ibu tells Mmou that people will stop talking only when you are dead. But his son wants him to die first so that he can bury him and take the bicycle."
But later Mr Ibu cannot handle his son's nonsense, so much, that he "donates" him to a newly wed couple.
However, they cannot also cope with the troublesome boy and they return him to his father. He steals meat in the house and claims a "big rat" grabbed it.
The naughty Mmou does not have mercy for his father as he convinces the poor Mr Ibu to put on a wet trousers because "it is wash and wear". Later Mr Ibu ventures out clad in a wet trousers, leaving people in stiches.
A friend who does not know whether "Mmou is a human being or a ghost" rescues Mr Ibu. His son will have to pay for this embarrassment.
Mr Ibu wallops Mmou but this lands him in trouble with the police as he is locked up.
But he manages to buy his freedom and Mmou is given his cut by the police.
Later on, Mr Ibu is shocked when his son, who looks like a 12 year-old, announces that he wants to get married. "Papa I want to marry".
But Mr Ibu tells his son that he cannot marry at the same time as he (Mr Ibu) also wants to get married. Mmou prefers to marry first because his father was once married.
Later on when his father acquires a new partner, Mmou does not give them peace of mind. Every time they want to share a moment of passion he is up to his tricks - revenging because his father refused to fulfil his wish to get married first.
Other renowned actors are twin brothers Osita and Chinedu Ikedieze. Both Osita and Ikedieze are small in physique, but as they say, dynamite comes in packages.
The two popular actors did not know each other until they met during auditions in 2002.
Ikedieze has graduated with a Mass Communications degree while Osita is pursuing a similar course.
Their best movie is Aki na Ukwa where they really proved to be troublesome kids, who terrorised people in the village. Everybody was cursing the two boys - even their parents.