Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Things Nigerians Are Fond Of (Part 3)

9.       Nollywood; 
The Nigerian movie industry, also known as Nollywood, is the 2nd largest film industry in the world. They have produced unforgettable classics such as ‘Osuofia in London’ (1 and 2), One Dollar, and The Master, to name a few. Though this is a $250 million industry that is rapidly expanding and renowned, the quality of these movies, for the most part, has remained the same. Despite the VCD format (not DVD, but VCD, which is basically a CD with video files on it), over-exaggerative acting, and predictable plots, we can’t get enough of “Naija home videos”. If you’ve never watched one before, the following will show you what you should expect.

 You go to your local African Food Mart, (or if you’re in Nigeria, any market, salon, street corner, cyber cafe, etc.) to purchase home videos. How do you decide which one to get? Do you rely on the synopsis of the movie on the back cover? Yeah right! The title might help you, but all that you will find on the cover of a Nigerian movie are pictures of the major characters with their best (or worst) expressions from the movie. Anyway, you buy the VCD—but wait!! Make sure you inquire about parts 2 and 3. Nigerian movies CANNOT fit in 2 VCDs. Mind you; these are not sequels to Part 1. They are the same movie, just broken up into 6 VCDs. If you don’t ask for the other parts, you will be highly pissed when the movie ends in mid-sentence and a screen pops up saying “TO GOD BE THE GLORY”! Right when you pop in the VCD, you might just want to turn your volume way down for the first, say 15 minutes, of the video. Why? Previews. For some reason, the previews to other movies are the LOUDEST part of the VCD. Be prepared to hear the fastest-talking Nigerian in the world screaming over annoying 80s computer-generated sounds, fake guns and bombs blasting, car crashes, and other random scenes from the movies. Nigerian movies may not work on your DVD player. If you don't own a VCD player, try to play it on your laptop. When the previews are over, make sure you turn your volume up, no, WAY UP, because you won’t be able to hear any of the conversations in the movie if you don’t. Be prepared to adjust your volume accordingly THROUGHOUT the movie, too. If you get lost during the movie, don’t worry. All the lyrics to the background music explain what is going on: “She is in love with 2 men; Obinna and Mahmoud. She’s Torn Between Two Loves (this happens to be the title of the movie too); she doesn’t know what to do. If there is a main character, 9 times out of 10, he is always talking about shipping containers or going overseas for business. However, by the end of the movie, you still don’t know exactly what he did or what he was even shipping. If there is a hospital scene, you will only see one nurse, one doctor, and the person in a regular bed (no hospital bed with rails) and one IV (drip). The person could have been in a serious car wreck or shot up 50 times and will still manage to survive on that one drip! Nigerian movie makers fail to maintain a sense of consistency when it comes to the hair and make-up department.  As the movie begins, the main character “Ife” will have long, black, silky hair.  The next morning, however, Ife will have a full head of micro-braids.  Later that evening, her braids have magically disappeared and Ife is now sporting a short, maroon bob.


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Iweanya Victor is an Entrepreneur and a Blogger
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