Nollywood Movies, Negatively or Positively Influencing the Youths?

Did you know that Nollywood was given its name by a journalist, Norimtsu Onishi, which means “nothing wood” or rather, “creating something out of nothing”. This was because the movies created in the 1960’s were said to be created under volatile and unpredictable circumstances, with near impossible production environments.

The first Nollywood movies which were then created in the1960’s were being created by historical filmmakers like Hubert Ogunde, Ola Balogun, Eddie Ugboma, Jab Adu, Moses Olaiya, Chief Amata and a few others. They are considered the first generation of Nigerian filmmakers.

As a child growing up in the eastern part of Nigeria, we were united to early stories of Nollywood which had themes such as love, betrayal, conflicts, marriage, deception, conflicts with mothers-in-law, greed for money and occultism. We all watched Nollywood movies together as a family.

Thus, movies like “Living in Bondage”, “Rattlesnake”, “Violated”, “Nneka the pretty serpent” and so many others had striking storylines. They were movies that brought chills to our skins (precisely the young while watching. They were movies that taught you very important life lessons you could relate to. They were movies that had mutual suspense from the viewers, it encouraged African traditions, habits, culture and way of life across the globe.

However, after production of movies like “30 days in Atlanta”, “Wedding Party”, ” Trip to Jamaica”, “10 days in Suncity” and so many other international based movies, many new filmmakers started seeking validation and acceptance from the mainstream global film industry. Some of them go out of their way to make movies outside Nigeria and end up losing the sole reason to produce such movies. The movies could have little or no theme and the storyline most times never connect, thereby making viewers cringe while watching some of these movies.

Plus, after production of movies like “Shakira”, “Heart of men”, “Grand player” “Fifty”, “Battleground” and so many others, the filmmakers felt it reached out more and had massive views thereby making nudity in movies so common. While doing this they’re sacrificing the foundation of Nollywood and what made it so great and third most popular film industry in the world. Parents can longer watch Nollywood movies with comfort together with their kids as before, they’re always anxious on what next the actors could do which will be provocative. This therefore makes them to resort to not watching it at all.

Conclusively, great movies are still made. Examples are “Citation”, “Lion heart”, “Ije”, “Dry”, “Isoken”, “Wives on strike” “Omo ghetto” and so many others. These movies tell African stories, Nigerian stories specifically while still modernising it. The themes and uniqueness are still not lost. I believe that Nollywood movies while empacting negativity with their movies also prove to be vital in positivity and improvement across the globe. They no longer just tell stories, they create a movement to fight the social and political ills in the society through films. The positive impacts outweighs it’s negative impacts on the youths.

Thank you for reading. You can reach us @brewstarz

Undergraduate student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
2018 winner of scriptwriting in Anambra Talent Show.
Writer, model, stylist and content creator.