Nollywood, female audience, and the negotiating of pleasure

Authored by: Ikechukwu Obiaya

The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138924956
eBook ISBN: 9781315684062
Adobe ISBN: 9781317408055


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The Nigerian film industry has witnessed tremendous growth, and its products have received a wide welcome across Africa and beyond (for example, see Cartelli 2007; Ugochukwu 2009; Kerr 2011; Waliaula 2014). (The industry is widely referred to as Nollywood. However, the term is used here with the understanding that it is restrictive in its scope of reference since, properly speaking, it only refers to that aspect of the Nigerian film production that has its main center in Lagos.) It is widely accepted that the Nigerian filmmakers have captured the popular imagination of peoples across Africa, thereby succeeding where so many others have failed (for a broader discussion of African cinema and the discourses around “pioneers” and “firsts,” see Anne Ciecko’s essay in this volume). The reasons for this welcome development can be traced largely to the fact that the audience involved feels identified with characters and narratives they encounter in the video films. Thanks to the “proximity of Nollywood to everyday stories” (Green-Simms 2012: 60), the consumers see the stories of the Nollywood-produced films as theirs. And this popularity has been an essential factor for the growth and success of the industry.

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