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The Inglorious Basterds of Nollywood

By Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi

Have you seen Quentin Tarantino's highest-grossing film Inglourious Basterds?

You have to know the "Inglourious Basterds", a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers led by the ruthless Lt. Aldo Raine during the Nazi occupation of France in World War 2 and the role they played to understand the following analysis of the fifth desperados posing and posturing as the leaders of Nollywood, but are actually exploiting and plundering the film industry.

Nollywood is no longer the second largest movie industry in the world as reported by UNESCO. The UNESCO report was based on statistics of the quantity of home videos produced in Nigeria when Nollywood was at its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s before rampant piracy and the economic downturn changed the fortunes of Nollywood and left most of the stakeholders in dire straits.

The worst hit have been the English speaking practitioners dominated by Igbos, but the more down-to-earth and better organized Yoruba practitioners have managed to weather the storm, while the other producers of videos in Edo, Hausa, Efik and Ibibio have been doing their best in spite of their own professional inadequacies.

There are those who are the Real McCoy of the Nigerian film industry like the foremost Nigerian filmmaker Dr. Ola Balogun, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, Francis Oladele, Brenda Shehu, Sadiq Balewa, Tunde Kelani, Femi Lasode, the Adesanya brothers, Ladi Ladebo, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Mildred Owoh,Tade Ogidan, Francis Onwuchie, the Amatas. Femi Odugbemi, Kunle Afolayan who is bearing the mantle of the legacy of his father Adeyemi Afolayan, aka “Ade Love”, Joe Brown, Didi Chika, Lucky Onyekachi Ejim, Gugu Michaels, Faruk Lasaki, Chike Ibekwe, Mark Kusare, Kenneth Gyang and the new kids on the block, Niyi Akinmolayan and Chineze Anyaene whose first features "Kajola" and "Ijé: The Journey" are outstanding indicators of the future of the Nigerian film industry. The other Real McCoy can be found in the heart and soul of Nollywood, such as the accomplished Lancelot Imasuen, Teco Benson, Kingsley Ogoro, the ambitious team of Emem Isong and Desmond Elliot and those in the same league with them.