In case you have been living under a rock for so many years, Nollywood is simply a term for the Nigerian movie industry, just like Hollywood and Bollywood are terms for the American and Indian movie industries respectively. And it is common knowledge that a recent UNESCO survey revealed that Nollywood is the second largest film industry globally after Hollywood, proving its growth and development despite many years of challenges and drawbacks.
If you think you know everything you should know about your country’s movie industry, you might be wrong, because there are lots of things fans will be shocked to find out about an industry they have followed and loved for years.
Brace yourself as we take you on a journey of facts about Nollywood. You will absolutely love this article as it is very interesting.
1. “Nollywood” Originated From A New York Times Article:
Are you aware that even if movie production in Nigeria began more than 50 years ago, the name “Nollywood” as we have come to know it can actually be traced back to a previous usage of the word in a 2002 article by Matt Steinglass in the New York Times.
In this article many years back, Nollywood was used to refer to Nigerian cinema and Nigerian/African diaspora movies that were considered to be associated with the most populous African nation. The name has since stuck as the term for movies made for the Nigerian market.
2. The First Recorded Nollywood Movie Was Kongi’s Harvest:
You might want to research more on this to understand the history .
If you don’t know, know now, Latola Films was actually the first film production company in Nigeria.
“Living in Bondage” is a well scripted movie with good actors. The movie helped put the Nigerian movie industry in the spotlight with many believing Nollywood genuinely has something to offer.
Okechukwu (Okey) Ogunjiofor clearly nailed this project.
3. Nollywood Presently Employs Over 1 Million People:
The Nigerian government should be grateful to the Nigerian film industry for creating lots of job opportunities for several talented Nigerians who see entertainment as their route to accomplishment and success.
If you are not aware, Nollywood currently employs a lot of professionals, including actors, producers, directors, cameramen, lighting experts, costume makers, caterers, makeup artists, location managers, studio managers, copywriters, gaffers, photographers, beauticians, screenplay writers, language experts and so on.
Other professionals who have a job in the industry include sound engineers, voice-over characters, script agents, digital editors, songwriters, entertainers, musicians, interior decorators, marketers, drivers, screen printers, website designers, online technicias, accountants , legal practitioners, administrators and even animation engineers have important roles to play in the Nigerian movie industry. There are so many others but we just chose to highlight a few of them.
The list is quite endless, however, it might be hard to figure out accurately how many of these jobs are of utmost importance in the country’s movie industry. All in all though, the several professionals involved to make one film is the reason Nollywood is seen as one of the best employers of labour in Nigeria.
4. Nollywood Generates Over N10BN For The Nigerian Economy Yearly:
An IMF report released 4 years ago and the latest statistics by PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) have shown that Nollywood actually accounts for 2% of Nigeria’s GDP, whose total value is about $500BN. A breakdown of the stat even revealed that the industry makes $700M yearly, with filmmakers budgeting between $50,000 and $200,000 to make a standard movie.
5. Nollywood Is The 2nd Biggest Movie Industry In The World:
If you are not aware, Nollywood produces about 50 movies weekly, and this means an average figure of 2,500 movies gets released every year. Nigerian films are mostly produced within one month, and they are always profitable within 2 to 3 weeks of release.
Also note that most DVD movies easily sell more than 20,000 units, while the more successful movies are guaranteed to sell over 200,000 after a short period of time.
6. The Nigerian Cinema Sub-Sector Is Africa’s Biggest:
As you already know, Nollywood is known to be an expression of grassroots, popular culture and a true revolution in Africa’s relationship with cinema, therefore as new theatres get launched and production quality improves, Nigerian cinema has been growing in leaps and bounds.
For this reason, it is now estimated that box office revenue will only keep increasing and total cinema revenue is expected to be more profitable for many years to come.
7. More High Grossing Movies:
As you must already know, a lot of Nollywood movies have been hitting the box office’s all-time high earnings in recent times. Even if most Nollywood films only manage a few weeks of fame in the cinemas, we have had a few standout projects that have broken lots of records in domestic gross earnings and also set new ones.
The 5 Nollywood projects that were successful enough to make this list include “The Wedding Party 2 (#522 million),” “The Wedding Party (#453million),” “Chief Daddy (#387million),” “King of Boys (#245 million).” and Merry Men (230 million).
8. More Talented Movie Directors And Producers:
Since the era of Amaka Igwe, Zeb Ejiro, Baba Sala, Ade Love, Afolabi Adesanya, Wole Ogundele, and Ola Balogun, Nollywood has kept churning out creative movie directors and producers that have carried on with their legacies.
In recent times, the Nigerian movie industry has delivered brilliant movie directors who have directed top box office hit movies. Some of the names who are making the industry proud currently are Kemi Adetiba (The Wedding Party, King of Boys,) and Tope Oshin (We Don’t Live Here Anymore, Up North, and New Money.)
Other names to appreciate include Niyi Akinmolayan (The Wedding Party 2 and Chief Daddy), Kunle Afolayan (OCTOBER 1, The CEO, Mokalik, Figurine,) and Tade Ogidan (Gold Statue.)
9. More Nollywood Production Companies:
The list of production companies that keep making the Nigerian movie industry proud is quite long. These companies are known to deliver apt movie production, high-grossing and award-winning movies from time to time, and we cannot help but appreciate them for putting the country’s name on the map with movie making.
The rich list includes Ebony Life TV/Ebony Life Films: (Producers of “The Wedding Party,” “The Wedding Party 2,” “Chief Daddy,” “Fifty,”) Corporate World Entertainment Limited: (Producers of “Merry Men”.
The list also includes Play Entertainment Network: (Producers of “Breaking Free,”) Dioni Visions (Producers of “Wives on Strike,” “Moms at War,” “Okafor’s Law,) Film One: (Producers of Bling Lagosians,); Scene One TV: (Producers of “Jenifa’s Diary,” “Industreet,” “The Return of Jenifa,” “Ayetoro”), Kemi Adetiba Visuals: (Producers of “King of Boys,”) Golden Effects: (Producers of “The CEO,” “October 1,” “Mekaliki,” “Figurine”) among other several award-winning options.
10. More Big Earners:
As you already know, the average earnings per movie by popular Nollywood actors is so low compared to other movie industries, and only a select few can earn higher amounts after building a top-class reputation among their peers.
According to the recent Nigerian Box Office Yearbook released in partnership with ComScore, the official data reporting partner, the 10 huge earners are Falz (N51 million), RMD (N49 million), Osas Ighodaro (N46 million), Toni Tones (N33 million), Zainab Balogun (N31 million), Funke Akindele (N30 million), Ademola Adedoyin (N28 million), Jim Iyke (N27 million) and Ramsey Nouah (N25 million).
Be aware that these actors were selected based on the success of the Nollywood projects they all starred in.
11. Underpayment Issues:
Sadly, despite Nollywood being a very big industry, not many people know that the actors who give their all on screen in several Nigerian movies do not really get paid what they deserve for their acting and role interpretation skills.
This is the reason why most of the popular movie stars the country has to offer are not as rich as we expect them to be. In Hollywood, for example, a top shot like Will Smith can say he will not continue with a particular movie franchise, if he is not paid the right amount, such cannot be done in Nollywood, else you will be easily replaced by directors and producers who consider you responsible.
In fact, actors get scared to charge a million naira per movie in Nollywood because it could signal the end of their career in the industry and ban from several movie locations. If you are not aware, popular Nigerian actor, Pa James recently said that the reason he no longer gets Nollywood roles is because he increased his pay per role.
12. Nollywood Was Once Africa’s Most Searched Name On Google:
In recent times, Nollywood movies have attracted a commendable number of searches on popular search engine platform, Google. The numbers actually grew to about 165,000 searches every month at some point, and it is proof that the interest in the Nigerian film industry is indeed growing.
13. Nollywood P iracy Is Lucrative:
Sadly, there really should be an award given to the corrupt pirate minds who keep duplicating the hard work of Nollywood producers and actors and selling for cheap profit. It is not really a good thing to see these movie stars spend years writing a script, planning a movie, searching for funds, and slaving on locations, only for heartless pirate minds to reap the fruit of their hard labour.
These Nollywood projects simply get combined with other 20 films on a DVD disk and sold for as low as N200 to Nigerians on the street. It is pretty much a devilish act when you find out that most of the pirate groups in Nigeria are richer than pirate groups in any other movie industry across the globe.
Do you know more facts about Nollywood and even how the Nigerian movie industry can be improved?
Also, let us know if Nollywood can reach the level of Hollywood in the years to come.