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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 10:41 GMT
Why are Nigerian movies popular?
Nigerian video cover
As the home video industry continues to grow, film-hungry viewers beg for more, but what is being served up?

Such is the reputation of Nigeria's film industry that it is known as Nollywood, Nigeria's version of the legendary American home of cinema, Hollywood.

But with money to be made - over $200m in the last decade - critics say quality has been overlooked. The movies are popular and in terms of plotlines, they have everything - history, folklore, romance, betrayal, revenge and murder.

But are these shoestring productions compromising too much on quality? Do you regularly visit the video kiosk to see if the next release has arrived? Or do they annoy you? What do you feel about the subject matter? Would you let young members of the family watch?

This debate has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

It helps me feel at home
Iyk Akaji Uzoh, Japan
As a good citizen of Nigeria living in Japan, watching our home movies is something that I love doing alot, because it helps me feel at home. Keep it up.
Iyk Akaji Uzoh, Kanagawa, Japan

For me I always prefer quality to quantity. Any Nigerian just wakes up one day and decides to make a movie! Movies are a passion, dedicate yourself to it and invest in it and you will get good returns.
Ike Okwuraiwe, Budapest Hungary

Nigerian movies are ok in their story lines, but their production qualities are bellow zero point, noisy and the pictures are not clear.
Chief Kanu, South Africa

Even though they aim to educate lets not forget producers are in it to make money too!
Concilia Niyibitanga, Tanzania

I do watch Nigerian movies and I love them because I learn so much from them. I think we have to watch them bearing two things in mind; first, nothing is without fault. And secondly, even though they aim to educate, lets not forget producers are in it to make money too!
Concilia Niyibitanga, Tanzania

People should understand that Hollywood was not built in a day hence the Nigerian film industry has to start from somewhere. It is interesting to note how with time Nollywood has become a force to be reckoned with. As an African, I am proud of the development of the Nigerian film industry.
Musa, Venatius David, Bauchi, Nigeria

I can hardly recall a good Nigerian movie. Some of these movies spit on creativity not to mention the poor story lines, acting and camera shots. Surely, we in the art world should invest more for all round quality, and no excuses of shoe-string budgets!
Enos, Nairobi, Kenya

I come to work early every day just to have enough time to watch a Nigerian movie before starting work
Mariama Badji Touray, The Gambia
I only watch Nigerian movies and I love them. I also learn so many things from them like love and care for husband, daughters and how to be careful of bad friends. I come to work early every day just to have enough time to watch a Nigerian movie before starting work. I am praying to God that one day Nigerian movies will be more.
Mariama Badji Touray, The Gambia

I don't watch them nor do I recommend them, because the producers and directors do not have well laid out storylines. They tend to glorify the social decadence in the upper class in Nigeria.
Tunde Odejayi, England

We have to begin somewhere. Comparing what started decades ago with what has just started is a mismatch. Nollywood films will also come of age and beat foreign movies. Just wait and see!
Adebowale Adebukola, Nigeria

Nigerian films are horrible, the scripts are empty and poor. They always copy and remix the title of western hits. And, most of all, they are too artificial.
Billy Di Angelo, Nigeria

They show too much witchcraft activities and black magic
Martin Mangenda, Zambia
The main problem with Nigerian movies is that they show too much witchcraft and black magic. I do not think that Africans are like that. Mind you, these films are watched by children. Their minds get affected. I have stopped my family from watching them.
Martin Mangenda, Zambia

I think because they relate to our lives we are more prone to love them compared to western movies. We love reality and they are real to us, irrespective of their shortcomings.
Osaigbovo Igbinosa, Nigeria

I understand the fact that most people say that Nigerian movies show too much witchcraft. Well guess what? The last century of most African societies dwelled on the belief and as a Christian I also relate it as one of the aspects we deal with.
Michael Joseph, UK

The Nigerian movie industry is another example of the resilience of the private sector in Nigeria
Kingsley Ezenekwe, Nigeria
The Nigerian movie industry is another example of the resilience of the private sector in Nigeria. The producers are also working at such a frenetic pace that there is something in it for everyone. Those that compare them to Hollywood should be fair, and realise that these are people that shoot movies on very tight budgets, in very short periods, and have very little equipment to support them.
Kingsley Ezenekwe, Lagos, Nigeria

I regularly watch Nigerian video films because they are very good as it brings the African lifestyle to memory. It helps to educate some African children born outside Africa about their origin. My children watch some of the films under my guidance. It also helps to educate foreigners about the lifestyle in Nigeria and Africa without bias, presenting it as it is.
Bernard, Kent, England

I am an Englishman of Nigerian ancestry and love to watch Nollywood films as it helps me to understand my parents culture and what my life would have been like, had they not moved to England.
Kasim Badru, London, UK

What I have observed watching Nigerian Movies is that the actors and producers are not concerned about how the story impacts on the lives of the viewers, but how much the production impacts on their pockets, so quality is compromised.
Fidel Okaba Adie, Bekwarra, Nigeria

Every Nigerian movie has a part two. No story can ever be told completely in two hours. I think they'll make more money if they concentrated more on film quality than making a second part to the story.
Lape, New York City

People crave Nigerian movies, particularly in Ghana, because of the excellent production work. Unlike Ghana, where movies are made only for financial gain, our Nigerian counterparts no doubt blend the African-Nigerian culture with contemporary technology to produce movies that appeal to the public both home and abroad.
Sylvester Yawson, Accra, Ghana

Nollywood mirrors our African way of life
John Odey Okache, Nigeria
Many good stories from Nollywood are used in African homes to correct family ills. Nollywood mirrors our African way of life. The industry has the capacity to improve the quality of the movies. The actors and producers have tried their best thus far, but they can do better.
John Odey Okache, Abuja, Nigeria

Nigerian movies or EkiNigeria are quite popular. They are watched day and night in homes, cinema halls, even in churches. Songs have been composed from these movies like the Common Man in the Bottle. 90% of the subject matter portray wickedness. Nigerian movies are creepy.
Prossy Nannyombi, Entebbe, Uganda

Personally I do not watch Nigerian movies because many a time they clash with my Christian beliefs. How do I stand to benefit from such soap operas that depict witchcraft and other evils? Our own local production Kabanana is free of spirits and so I watch that one.
Shuttie FN Libuta, Kitwe, Zambia

Although not of the best quality yet, nevertheless they are entertaining. I really think they are good, otherwise, they would not be so popular.
L Osagie, Greenbelt, Maryland USA

Nigerian movies are popular in Africa because they identify with African themes, such as poverty, witchcraft etc. The way a Nigerian woman behaves in a movie is exactly how a Malawian woman conducts herself in real life. The movies make it look real.
Pacharo Kayira, Lund, Sweden

The Nigeria movie industry started with good quality, but now because of the quest for money some producers and directors have started putting movies on the market that lack that initial quality.
Asonganyi Defang Akuakem, Yaounde, Cameroon

The movies are popular because in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
Anthony Okosun, USA
Nigerian movies are over glorified amateur drama sessions poorly captured in celluloid. The movies are seriously lacking in technical depth. The sound and picture qualities are of less than average quality. The movies are popular because in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Nollywood producers and directors must do all it takes to acquire cutting edge technical expertise from Hollywood.
Anthony Okosun, Baltimore, USA

As a Nigerian, I love our movies. Our actors and actresses have come a long way and they are improving by the day. What I really like about the movies is that they relate to real life experience. I always crave for new ones to come out. If the title is ideal for the young ones, I would not hesitate to allow them to watch it. It is good for the young ones to have an idea of what is going on in the society. Although some of them might not be of great quality, but they still get the message across. I would like to encourage our actors and actresses to keep the flag flying.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

I work in a university town. The students and faculty crave for foreign movies and social events. One of the theatres on campus specializes in shooting movies from Asia, Europe and the Americas. I would love to introduce some Nigerian movies to them. The trouble I deal with is that of quality. I think these movies would make much more money if quality becomes central to the production.
Daniel , Oxford, USA

I grew up watching Nigerian movies and I think the industry should be congratulated for successfully developing itself without big government or corporate funding. The movies are popular because they all follow the same theme - salvation from corruption and evil - which many Africans wish for and can relate to.
Azeez Ade, London

I don't watch Nigeria movies because it is an every Tom, Dick and Harry affair. Anybody can come out of nowhere and be a movie producer.
Jacob Shaibu Ekele, Kogi, Nigeria


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