Thursday, 1st June 2023

Tinubu, Fayemi, others laud Nollywood, seek quality documentation

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
19 May 2023   |   4:04 am
President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has promised to take the creative sector to an enviable height, saying it has the potential to raise the Gross Domestic Product greater than the current figure.

Bola Tinubu

President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has promised to take the creative sector to an enviable height, saying it has the potential to raise the Gross Domestic Product greater than the current figure.

Experts believe that Nigeria’s creative industry sector is yet to live up to its full potential, even though it has the capacity to contribute $100 billion yearly.

Tinubu said his government would take the industry further by creating conditions necessary for its growth.

Speaking at the book launch of former Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, titled, “30: Three Decades of the New Nigerian Cinema”, Tinubu, who was represented by Kehinde Bamigbetan, said the future of Nigeria depends on what happens to the sector.

The President-elect said he would support the sector and make it easier for it to create the desired technical quality such that the rich industry is positively reflected.

Also speaking, the former Governor of Ekiti State, John Kayode Fayemi, who was chairman of the event, said not enough has been done to “keep us informed about what Nollywood has done to our GDP.”

Fayemi said the impact it has, however, made it immeasurable.

While commending the book writer, Ayorinde, for bearing witness to history, and ensuring that “we do not lose” focus in the production of quality and depth, which have grown the industry, he said, “we (politicians may not be doing fantastically in our vocation, when we see what is happening in the creative industry, we are happy.”

The Governor of Kogi State, Yahya Bello, who was represented, by Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Ayoade, said the book speaks to evolution of Nigerian cinema and how it has impacted the country positively.

He said cinema has the force of unity, as it brings together different peoples and cultures.

The Managing Director of Nigerian Films Corporation (NFC), Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, who was represented by his General Manager, Publicity, Brian Etuk, was full of praise for the book’s faithful and exemplary representation of events in Nollywood.

He called on Nollywood documentarists to engender accurate documentation of the industry.
He said, “the last 30 years has had challenges and bottlenecks, but we have overcome and what becomes of the next 30 years is by turning our challenges to opportunities.”

The Director General of Nigerian Copyright Commission, Dr John Asein, said, “there is so much strength that we have drawn from Nollywood and the creative sector.”

To Asein, “we haven’t arrived, however, if we give the right environment, we can turn it around.”
The launch event, which held in Ikoyi, Lagos, had an attraction of Nollywood movie: the cast, crew and paraphernalia of a good production.

The book takes a look at three decades of the Nigerian film industry, highlighting 30 outstanding films, directors, actors, actresses and departed Nollywood figures who deserve special recognition for their artistic achievements and impact on the industry’s growth.

The 184-page book with six intriguing chapters will be available in leading bookstores such as Roving Heights, Terra Kulture, Alliance Francaise, The Book Sellers, and the University of Ibadan bookshop, allowing readers to savour the captivating narratives and personalities that have propelled Nigerian cinema to its current heights.

Present at the event yesterday were ex-governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, the Alara of Ilara Kingdom, Epe; Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, Gregory Odutayo, Femi Odugbemi, Emeka Mba, Bilanle Austen-Peter, Jide Kosoko, Clarion Chukwurah, Opa Williams and many others, who have shaped the country’s creative sector.

For us at Africa No Filter, it is also a measure of the support and infrastructure provided to African storytellers to enable them to share their stories, grow audiences and build their own sustainability as artists.

“We were keen to understand how culturally vibrant the African creative sector is, so we know if African stories are being heard. This index will shine a much-needed spotlight on the state of the creative landscape in Africa and help us all advocate for more support for storytellers on the continent. We have started with just 12 cities, but our aim is to do this across all major cities on the continent.”

Managing Partner of the Creative Economy Practice at CcHUB, Ojoma Ochai, said: “The ranking of cities is not the main value add. What is more important is the use of the comparative measurement to showcase good practice, inspire dialogue and stimulate more support for the sector.”