NIGERIAN, GHANIAN OR AFRICAN MOVIES-WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
There is a big confusion over categorizing the Movie industry, Nollywood, which is based in Nigeria. This confusion is mainly amongst Africans at home and abroad. Some Africans say Nigerian movies or Ghanaian movies, but Nigerian movies is common because of the large production in Nigeria. Still other Africans say African movies. Within the media, it is very common and confusing. Some media carry both African movies and Nigerian movies at the same time in a given article. But outsiders say African movies or African movie industry. One barely hears of South African Movies, Egyptian movies, Ivorian movies, and so on.
Nigerian movies and Nigerian Films, African movies and African films: Nigerian movies. You can now buy African movies and entertainment online! Africanmoviesdirect.com gives the ability to buy videos from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, and Cameroun. An ad by africanmoviesdirect.com
During our research we found out the confusion is mainly within in the media and distributors of Nollywood movies. An online distributor is called Africvideos, but its advertisement is about Nigerian movies. Here it says, “Our commitment to support the actors/actresses and producers to improve your viewing pleasure is demonstrated by our reputation of distributing NIGERIAN MOVIES and offering the best customers service available.” Africvideos continues, “The African culture is very rich and our goal is to showcase the fantastic talent exhibited in these African Brothers & Sisters as well as to bring you movie entertainment in your home that is candid, pure, emotional, thrilling, down-right hilarious & real. So the question is why Africvideos doesn't talk about other African countries' movies if there are any and why it called itself Africvideos in the first place?
Furthermore, there are others who call Nollywood, West African movie industry. The Nollywood Project research initiative based at the Global Media Research Center, College of Mass Communications and Media Arts, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA, refers to the so-called Nigerian movies as West African video movie industry centered in Nigeria commonly known as "Nollywood."
Ninety percent of African viewers interviewed agreed that movies produced anywhere in Africa should be called African movies instead being named
Some African Movies
after an individual country. “This is a sign of division,” one interviewee said. “Although, it is Nigeria that is significantly benefiting from the industry now, let the entire continent share the credit,” another interviewee said. “In a nutshell, I would refer to all movies industries in different parts of Africa as African Movie industry,” Sampson Tajelleh, a construction worker in Jacksonville, Florida said. Hollywood, California is the primary nexus of the U.S. film industry; so is Nollywood in Nigeria as the primary nexus of African film industry. This comparison can only hold if we agreed that though Africa is politically and economically divided, but is culturally knotted and indeed the movies portray nothing but African way of life.
In November 2003 Steven Gray, Washington Post Staff Writer wrote: These English-language Nigerian movies are gaining popularity among the nation's fast-growing African immigrant population, offering their very Americanized children a glimpse of African life, particularly the clash of modernity and traditionalism and the battle between fundamentalist Christian, Islamic and tribal religions that is sweeping the African continent. Quoting Ziebono Nagabe, 26, originally of Ivory Coast, Steven wrote, “"They remind you of everyday life back home."
Alleged Ban on Nigerian Movies in Ghana: What's the rationale?
Reacting to speculations in an editorial posted in an online magazine,
africantheaterusa.com, Oliver O. Mbamara writes:
Recently, it was reported that Nigerian movies have been banned in Ghana. We have not been able to confirm the position with any of the authorities in Ghana. However, since there is a saying that “in every amount of rumor, there is an atom of truth,” we will leave some reminders for the attention of those who may be concerned.
He continues: In the spirit of African development, unity, and brotherhood as we so often profess under such bodies as ECOWAS, African Union, etc., we ought to realize that Governments should encourage the spread of such emerging industries as the film Industry rather than attempt to stifle them. Such a move will only come back to hurt the perpetrators sooner or later. The government agencies involved with films (movies) in African countries should also appreciate the fact that the movie industry could be such powerful instrument for economic sustenance as well as a viable means of exporting our culture to the world.
The industry must be encouraged and not discouraged. Countries should seek ways of working together and helping each other rather than seeing the growth of the film industry in another African country as a threat. Let us reiterate that we have not confirmed this news from any Ghana government official hence we cannot conclude. But assuming this is the truth, this piece must then appeal to the government of Ghana to review its position. It is not necessary for the government of Ghana to ban Nigerian movies when it has not banned movies from western countries. This raises the question; should we always strike against our kind in Africa instead of help one another.
Though this is a speculation, the saying goes that where there is a smoke there must be a fire. The speculation must have stemmed from the belief that other Africans are jealous of Nigeria's fame as the only or larger producer of movies in Africa. According to one African student studying at Norfolk State University in Virginia, “Other African countries don't have the capabilities as Nigeria to produce films, though they have numerous talented people,” noting that these talented artists are co-staring along with their Nigerian counterparts in Nigeria.