The "Home Videos" Leads The Way To NollywoodThe "Home Videos" Leads The Way To Nollywood
It seems that Nollywood as it is today came into existence by accident, or better still as a natural development from a working formula. Confused? More explanation below:
The theatre and television stations were the medium that was used by a lot of theatre artists. For some reason a comic actor, Mr.Okpuru Anyanwu, was finding it difficult to get his work shown on the TV stations in Anambra State of Nigeria, out of frustration, he shot his episodes on video and sold them on a weekly basis, to the Igbo speaking populace of the East. Anyanwu was actually onto something great here, as his video's became very popular and his growing audience eagerly waited with anticipation for the next video just as we can't wait for the next episode of our favourite soaps , dramas or comedies, be it "Dr Who", "Friends", "Ugly Betty" or "Desperate Housewives".
When Kenneth Nnebue saw the success of Anyanwu he took it a step futher and produced "Living In Bondage" which unlike Anyanwu's videos, was done in English. "Living In Bondage" went nationwide and was an instant hit. Others caught on to this model and as it caught fire Nollywood was born.
Nollywood actually refers to the movies made in English, which is the reason they have such an universal appeal in the first place. There are between 1000 to 2000 movies produced each year in Nigeria. A majority of these are in English but it is important to note that there are films made in the main Nigerian languages of Yoruba (which has a long standing history of television productions for decades), Igbo and Hausa (the Movie Industry of the North refering to its self as Kallywood, can't say that this has stuck for sure).