Nigeria, waiting on the God solution

    I could bore you and deaden my brain cells by reciting the monotonous storyline found from movie to movie to movie in Nollywood. Start watching a movie and provided it is a Nolleywood production you can very easily within seconds deduce the plot line, the twist (a word I grudgingly use) and of cause predict the movie’s outcome. If you’re at a lost for what I mean then you’re their target audience. Out of the goodness of my heart here is a hint of what to expect, right before the credits role you get an eyeful of Thanks be to God. Who five minutes before came through with a miraculous breakthrough. If art imitates life, then the moral sold by Nollywood is that God, will come through for you… eventually, sometime right before the very end!

    Even with tragedies Nigerians must have their happy ending. So the previously thwarted couple wind up together, while the wicked get punished. All this in the 5 minutes buildup to the third sequel’s end

    Sorry to make this my pulpit but does Nollywood know who God is. Nolly lacks the creativity and believability. Their miracles are all the same and therefore a trivial part to their formula. You suffer, you pray and pray, and pray and then a coincidental answer. Any god worth his salt, even the lesser sangos, oguns, oyas, osuns would not withhold a solution to the good and trade in prayers. By nature God is mysterious, “His ways are not our ways,” so why the heck would he do something as obvious to answer your prayer, when he has been ignoring you all along. If he wants to make a point, I bet he is a lot smoother than causing a guilty conscience confession or giving an inexplicable cure. We are talking about the dude who allowed Joseph to be taken into slavery in anticipation for a famine decades later.
    I appreciate that Nollywood has created a livelihood for thousands of Nigeria. But there is a difference between making money to get by and reinvesting thousands in the creation of further garbage. Come on, Nollywood is a billion dollar industry and they can’t put together one Cannes worthy movie each year? Really? Nigeria is the birthplace of Wole Soyinka, Chinu Achebe & that Purple Hibiscus chick. My point being that this country is not devoid of true writing talent. Our scripts suck because our writers suck period.

    Here is a thought FIRE all writers and hire real talent, don’t just rely on a good storyline, makes sure that the one on one conversations are true to life and for god sake when you give him credit, make it be of something he would do. When next I watch a miracle I want it to be so unbelievable that only God could have done it.

10 reasons to avoid Nollywood

Cause lets face it there is only so much ‘benefit of the doubt’ to go round!

  • 1. Quality: I’m just saying my phone shoots better movies; even youtube weeps because nollywood is yet to achieve youtube standards. For a $250 million industry you’d expect someone to own some real equipment. Is it so hard to avoid (unintentionally) shaky/grainy pictures and the bad sound OMg the white noise.
  • 2. Skill: An almost accent should not be the some total of anyone’s acting arsenal.
  • 3. View: No creative angles, no interesting scenery and the general compositions are not even considered before anything is shot. I know I did not go to film school and neither did anyone in Nollywood. The room composition adds nothing to the story. It is not a metaphor for internal torment, or a foreshadowing of impending doom. It is all just blah and circumstantial. That’s why we just get the stationary overview of the room where people are talking, one-sided close-ups, fade to black and my favourite focus on unrelated inanimate object in the room. Classy.
  • 4. Character development: What is this character development of which you speak? You see in Nolly all stereotypes hold true. All stepmothers are evil, stepfathers are rich, uncles are all molesters, the poor are uneducated and anyone who has travelled abroad is not only wealthy, but also smart and good-looking. That why the only motivation for a character is the story in spite of everything that happed before. Forget past experiences, education and just be good or evil.
  • 5. Names: I guess Jessica and Sylvia are exotic names at least on this end and we appreciate their use and abuse. But seriously Beyonce, Rihanna, what are the odds? Even the actresses seem startled to addressed by these names. Please! Ignore the Bard, a Funmi by any other name is … well, not quite the same. Return to Adas and Mariams and lets get on with it. BTW as an added bonus, if you want to butcher any pronunciation you can get help from Nolly. Do they even do takes?
  • 6. Child stars: Sorry child bleeps [‘b’ words are such fun] they are never age appropriate. Is casting that difficult? Freaking read the script and then try to not hire your child or the children of anyone you know unless they actually fit the bill and can ACT. It is revolting to watch an overgrown child speaking in a fake sulky baby voice. To avoid this simply ask the auditioning bleeps to say the line and gage by how much you want to slap them, how appropriate they are for the part. It is also not cute when a small child stumbles (badly) through words she/he has never heard in a way that is meant to come across as innocent insight. A child would never use the word granule to describe the specks in her toothpaste. Closeup toothpaste, I’m looking at you.
  • 7. Use of words: On the rear occasion where you come across a worthwhile script it falls down to the actors to destroy it. Every other day of the week destruction begins with writers who make George Lucas’ romantic scenes less robotic. Sometimes they write as if they are actually translating from another language. This explains the reoccurrence of words that aren’t common in everyday use and the tendency for kids to sprout words only popular in medical journals.
  • 8. Sets, costumes and other disasters: Since acting is out of the question, a character must rely on his props to explain to the audience, who he really is. Luckily, Nolly is yet to run out of houses to parade in order to depict a just how vast a person’s wealth is. This is also unfortunate as the subtle art of styling a person according to their status is magic to dark even for Africa Magic. Just look at the décor and the clothes. No one seems capable of dressing the part. If they are so smart /travelled /rich /etc why are they dressed like idiots. NOBODY wears fishnet tops anymore, (well except for your average cross dressing stripper who prostitutes) ehm! Here’s an idea maybe you should hire someone to consult with on clothing decisions. Someone not already in the industry.
  • 9. Time: Time is Nollywood movie is measured by hair. You have your standard old man/women with powdered hairs that change from scene to scene. You have you standard extra with unchanging attachment [so your hair has remained the same for the past 6 years]. Then you have your main character with her treasure-trove of wigs.
  • 10. Prayer: Finally prayer is the answer to everything from possession, to lost persons and property. It can make even liars and murders forthcoming and force the materialization of whatever is needed, but only at the very last moment. The only unanswered prayers are mine; for better movies.

The Nolly inner circle is more difficult to break into than Fort Knox and more pointless than a waterproof teabags. It’s the same set of people who write, star and direct. You can’t really fault them for making an easy living. Wait I guess I just did.