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DURUAKU, ABC

Nollywood Screen Drama for Tomorrow’s Marketplace: Issues for Engagement

ABC DURUAKU

Theatre Heritage Network

Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

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Abstract

The Nollywood screen drama industry has been acclaimed as a veritable revenue earner at the national, corporate and individual levels, making about 1.72 trillion naira (US$10 billion) in 2013. The Nigerian Ministry of Labour also admits that the industry is the second-largest employer of skilled and semi-skilled labour in the country, after agriculture. Arguably, it is the second largest film industry in the world, ahead of Hollywood and behind Bollywood (India), with an average of forty new movies every week and a fan base of more than one billion people across the world. This impressive statistic appears to have a deceptive worm. The hype of the industry could be cosmetic and temporary because of perceived structural weaknesses in artistic, design and commercial components that seem to have kept it literarily static, even if presently enjoying popularity. The industry must re-invent itself and find ways of sustaining its appeal in the global entertainment market. This paper investigates this perceived clay feet, looks into the future and proposes strategies that should be adopted if Nollywood is to take the leap into the future that promises fierce competition in the creative industries. Engagement schemes should include content digitalization, emerging media interactivity, creative adaptation, character animating, learning space application, folklore and history storage, design glitz, science fantasy, and dedicated scripting. These should ensure Nollywood’s competitiveness for tomorrow’s audience.

Key words: Content digitalization, creative adaptation, design glitz, dedicated scripting.

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