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Twenty Years of “Nollywood”: Queries, Problems and Prospects


Obafemi Awolowo University

Ile-Ife, Osun State


Nigeria’s fast-growing film industry, otherwise known as, Nollywood, recently celebrated its twenty years of uninhibited production of video-films. Although the industry is presently rated as the second largest in the world, critics and close watchers of its development still describe it as an industry that is growing without developing, owing majorly to its lack of basic structures and poor production quality. This paper takes a holistic view of the industry within the last twenty years, examining lingering issues of nomenclature, developmental history and operational modes. It explores the economies and politics of Nigerian cinema in the light of its production, distribution and the attendant problems of piracy and finance. It concludes that, whereas the Nigerian cinema has become a major expression of popular culture, it is, nonetheless, an emerging field and needs to align with international best practice.


Abiodun Olayiwola holds a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Ibadan. He teaches Theatre and Media Arts (Broadcasting and Film) in the Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He has publications in reputable local and international outlets on Nigerian video film, film and culture, literature and globalization and educational drama and theatre. He is the Assistant Editor of the Nigeria Theatre Journal, published by Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA).