Dance as Vehicle for Promoting Nigeria’s Cultural Diplomacy: The Nollywood Experience
Josephine Awele ODUNZE
Delta State Council for Arts and Culture
Asaba, Delta State
Nollywood as a Nigerian film industry features various Nigerian cultures and beliefs in a more concise way. The industry has come to stay since it is now internationally recognized and can run side by side with the likes of Hollywood and Bollywood. Having exploded into a booming industry in the late '90s, pushed foreign media off the shelves, it is now an industry that is marketed all over Africa and the rest of the world. The use of English, rather than the local languages, expanded the market; and aggressive marketing through the use of posters, trailers, and television advertising also played a vital role in Nollywood's success. Thus, this work aims at exploring the possible role dance has played in Nollywood in promoting the cultural diplomacy objectives of the countryand this will inspire renewed efforts and greater commitment amongst relevant institutions and individuals saddled with the business of Nollywood as well as the implementation of Nigeria’s cultural diplomacy objectives. Dance in its entirety also shows the actual life of a community, and thus projects Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage to the world. The work will employ historical and literary methodologies, review relevant literatures and videos. It concludes that dance is a veritable instrument in propagating Nigeria’s cultural diplomacy on the platform of Nollywood.
Josephine Awele DIAI read Theatre Arts at the Delta State University, Abraka, graduating with a second class honours (upper) division. This was followed with a Masters degree from the same department and University, specialising in choreography. A member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Dance Guild of Nigeria (GOND), and Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU), she has been the official choreographer of the Delta State Council for Arts and Culture, Asaba, from 2011 till date and has worked with some renowned choreographers and theatre directors in Nigeria.