Time to get out of the “Woods” – Marketing of Nigerian Media & Entertainment

Time to get out of the “Woods” – Marketing of Nigerian Media & Entertainment

Prior to my paper on the Nigerian Movie industry in 2010, I drew inspiration from an interesting article entitled “Step Aside, L.A. and Bombay, for Nollywood” by Norimitsu Onishi published in the New York Times in 2002. Now the stepping aside has returned with more calls for further stepping asides. For example, the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission in conjunction with the South African Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs have brought “Dollywood” to global spotlight in a recent article entitled Stepaside Hollywood, enter KZN’s Dollywood.

Furthermore, an article had previously described African Cinema as a “schizophrenic industry.” But that might have been rather judgmental and recent trends have opened up newer opportunities for creativity, innovation and marketing.

Reflecting on my 2010 article I pointed out that Nollywood, with a production capacity of about 2,000 movies a year, and based on July 2009 estimates, ranked third globally only behind the behemoths such as “Hollywood” and “Bollywood”. Since then, numerous other “woods” have sprung up mimicking Hollywood – for example, DollywoodGhallywoodKollywood (Tamil cinema), and even Kannywood from the northern fringes of Nigeria. Three things need to happen going forward, and perhaps daringly in the following order.

First, there is the need for a name change. Nollywood needs to rebrand if it wishes to get out of the “woods” that it is currently shackled to.

Second, and the reiterate the urgent need to get out of the woods, there are numerous other emerging “woods” that only serve to perpetuate the marginalisation of the African media and entertainment sector.

Third, and rather instructive, the entertainment sector in Nigeria has now extended beyond film/ movies with a resurgence of the music sub-sector leading theAfrobeats revolution that that not only dominated the African music scene, but also the global radio airwaves. Why can’t there be a synergy between the Nigerian movie and music sector?

The Oscars have shown that movie soundtracks are also award-winning categories, so what are “Nollywood” and “Afrobeats” doing for relevance.

Further Reading:

Madichie, N. O., Ajakaiye, B. O., & Ratten, V. (2019). The Impact of New Media (Digital) and Globalisation on Nollywood. In Digital Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa (pp. 89-121). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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