I am proudly Nigerian, and I believe that no matter what, no other country will ever be like ours. We are essentially happy people. Where else do people smile at a camera when their homes have just been flooded? Where do people live in empty cartons and under bridges and still have huge-ass grins?

Back to the topic. You see, there is this little issue that’s gotten me frustrated. Nollywood. I remember the era of Liz Benson, Norbert Young, Sandra Achums, Regina Askia, Richard Mofe Damijo, Patrick Doyle, Gloria Anozie, Bimbo Akintola, Grace Amah,et al. Those glorious days of Glamour Girls, Out of Bounds, Broken Wings, Domitilla, Sakobi, Scores to Settle, The Gardener……

How do these actors, and the people who were lucky enough to watch these old movies, feel when they see the rubbish we call movies nowadays? I thank God I have neither the right nor the energy to do so, or I would probably tie our “actors”and “actresses” upside down on trees and whip the dumbness out of them!

These days, I wince when I watch Nigerian movies. Just yesterday, I saw a poster for a Nigerian movie titled “Legend of the Seeker”. I really hope it’s a joke. Now, you see people who proudly call themselves actresses, strutting around in tasteless clothes and spouting pseudo-English. It’s appalling, it’s sickening, and it’s very very annoying!

It’s a shame that the old movies that didn’t have very good quality, still have better content than what we have now. Where have all the good Nigerian scriptwriters gone to? Are they extinct because the jobs that should have been given to them were given to “Brother Chike”, “Sister Nkechi” and “Uncle Seun”?

Producers seem to be giving movie roles to members of their extended family’s extended families, instead of giving them to people who can actually act. I watched Boys’Cot a while ago, and was stunned when I heard the girl who  acted as Jim Iyke’s girlfriend, comfortably say “…you could no longer afford my basic needs. What did you expect me to do? To lavish in poverty with you?”.

When will our movie industry change positively? Is it when we have to announce, like the smokers’warning ,”watching this movie will probably give you nightmares for a week”?

When I watch a movie with Ini Edo crying and licking mucus from her nose, or when I see Oge Okoye doling out good measures of poor grammar, or Tonto Dike being oh-so-aggressive, or the “sexy” Mercy Johnson being slutty, I just want to scream SAVE NOLLYWOOD- KILL YOURSELF!I wonder if they are actually acting out what’s in the script or if they are just free-styling.

Having a nice body ora pretty face does not translate into having talent.

I’ve not checked to see the new entrants into the acting world but from what I know, Kate Henshaw, Yemi Blaq, Genevieve Nnaji, Kalu Ikeagwu, Monalisa Chinda, and Stella Damasus, are some of the few reasonable actors/actresses we have in Nollywood.

We really should encourage more people to study Theatre Arts or take acting courses. OFF WITH THE AMATEURS HEADS, I say! We need professionals. There are really talented people out there. AMBO is doing its bit, but there can be more talent hunts in the country. Hollywood didn’t get to where it is by recycling some particular stars. They found new talents and groomed them.

I’m not saying we should continue being imperialised, but let’s learn lessons from them and work on ourselves. Creativity and uniqueness are very important. Let’s do what we can, to improve the quality of our home videos, so we can be proud to show them to every and anyone, foreigners included, without hiding our faces in shame.


42 thoughts on “NOLLYWOOD: OLD vs NEW” by Miss Sarah (@tokuharash)

  1. I lost hope in the industry years ago. the substandard practice has spurred my dream of being a movie director. I hope when I achieve that dream,I will be able to influence some level of change. I cringe in disgust when I hear some movie names. Legend of the Seeker? don’t these directors have any shame. if i become a movie director,people that didn’t study theatre arts will have no business being near my movie set.

    in the nollywood of today,the cameraman taught himself,the director has no formal education and the artistes have no respect for the trade. God, please give me a chance!

    1. Please, do something about it when you get there. We really need help. And urgently! We are supposed to be the pride of Africa.In all things.

    2. @ekwe it is not by studying theater arts that you become a good actor my brother. it is by having the talent, skill, interest and mental acumen required. do you think Chief Zebrudaya ever entered a theater classroom?

      it goes beyond that.

      1. Hehehehehe. Lol @Zebrudaya. Still, some training will be required, no matter the amount of Raw Talent a person possesses.

        1. but that will not place an average theater art student over that. as a youth corper, i won the state drama and dance competition with my mass comm degree?!!

          where were the TA students?

          like you, you write well but you never did literature. i know some English graduates in my office whose work i edit.

          1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!

              1. I’ve noticed people always focus on students of mass comm when it comes to matters concerning English grammar, even when the people who studied the language are around. It baffles me

                1. we are the convergence of all the ideas they teach them Eng, Lit, Sociology and TA student

  2. Work hard man…God will give you a chance. Amen.

    Now its the title of the article that brought me here…with a particular mindset. I get your point…I see it clearly. But one thing I need to point out: there was/is no ‘old’ Nollywood. There’s just one Nollywood; its new, redundant…trashy…in fact it represents the worst Nigeria has to offer.
    The moniker ‘Nollywood’ is not as old as some if not all of those movies you mentioned.

    The article is good…this is the kind of stuff that belongs in our dailies.
    Well done.

    1. Thanks, you feel my pain. But, I think the title is better than writing “The old Nigerian movie industry vs. Nollywood”.Just saying.

    2. @seun i want to agree with her that there is a new and old nollywood. the old was quite better. i watched an old yoruba movie ‘ti oluwa nile’ and i nearly wept because the quality of the acting and directing was far better than most recent movies.

      what we have now are expensive clothes and finery, cars and useless excuses for actors/actresses with the exclusion of a very few.

      1. They don’t do any acting again.

        1. they collect money and stand in front of the camera..that is all

          1. Abi! It’s not lyk the director begged them to “show face”o! You know dat kyn forming when you know the person is desperate 4 ur help…………

              1. You missed the point.

                Anyways…we all agree that Nollywood as it is now is trashy and what not…I think we all can do our own little quota to change things.

                Somebody should direct one of those ‘directors’ to this site…so that he can understand what stories/plots really are.

  3. Hard truth, pal. I guess your point about ‘old’ Nollywood and ‘new’ Nollywood is in relation to the pros who started the industry in the early 1990s and the dimwits who came on board in recent times. While I know we will get to the promised land the road the practitioners are taking leads to artistic perdition. Now you do not to have a degree in Theater Arts to get on the screen-some of our best do not have it-but some training is necessary. Last word: do our sexy babes and hunks of Nollywood know there are basic stuff like elocution, poise and characterization? God help us.

    1. I seriously doubt they do.

    2. @henry, you have summed it up. our so called nollywood stars dont know anything about acting. they only know how to collect money and stand before the camera to do trash.

      characterization is like Greek to them…

  4. Nice article. True talk.

  5. My heart almost broke when U mentioned the old movies: The Gardener was a particular favourite of mine. I remember those days when I used to stay glued to the TV just to watch the Nollywood Top 10 movies of the week every Sunday, as a kid. Now, we can’t even try Top 500.
    And then I saw ‘Legend of the seeker’, and i screamed out in laughter. KAI!!! Nollywood!!!! Be ORIGINAL for once in Ur life!!! @Ekwe, please hurry up and do something oh!!! At least people like me can write for U then.

    Thanks for this, Oh Painted Lady *wink*.

    1. very soon we will see I Robbot with Jim iyke jumping around with plastic robots and Avatar that will be shot in an Ondo forest within two days. you will see one yeye acting.

      i can only cry

      1. As in eh!!! Kai! I stopped watching Nollywood crap over a decade ago na!

        1. me too. its not worth the effort

          1. Came across this article quite late, I joined naija stories this year March but I agree with all what has been said.

            Have you all seen “Avater and Ben 10” poster? it’s hilarious.

            Between ‘poor scripting, bad characterization and poor direction, we have the problem of inadequate research, casting and maybe funding.’ and the family business issue, Nollyhood is lost.
            And the movie titles! Isn’t there copyright infringement or something?

            Talk about- Rhihana, Beyoncy, Lady gaga – what in the world would those movies be about?

  6. apart from the poor scripting, bad characterization and poor direction, we have the problem of inadequate research, casting and maybe funding.

    in 2006, while doing my practical for a certificate in Dramatic Film making at the National Film Institute Jos, i and my crew spent a whole day researching and two days shooting with a further one day editing a 10 minutes film.
    just ten minutes and we used over 3 hours tape and a full 24 hours to edit…Nollywoood movies do not have quality because of the absence of precision in any aspect…

    until we do it the proper way, things will go worse. in Hollywood, they may use a year researching, another shooting and another editing

    1. It’s only in 9ja that they shoot a movie in 1 week.

  7. I remember Glamour Girls and co back in the day in High school. A whole lot of these movies these days are plain trashy and lack substance. Most of the actor/resses cant even act and it has nothing with majoring in Theatre arts…just like writing, you dont have to be an English or Literature major to write well.
    These days when i get the time, i just do the comedies; at least, you can excuse the foolishness all in the name of comedy.

    1. @chetachi, TAKE FIVE abeg…me too. if you catch me watching a Nigerian film, it will be the silly so-called comedies

      1. I don’t even watch the comedies. When the ‘Aki and Pawpaw’ craze started, after the first 2 movies they did, I stopped watching them. Our comedies are nothing but a collection of Childish Pranks from beginning to end. No direction.

  8. This post spoiled my day, as most woes in Nigeria do. But the comments were so hilarious.

  9. Until the day Nollywood accepts the fact Nigerian novelists exist, they will keep on telling the same stories… Nice article here… Well done!

    1. Abi oh, @julemyles. Let them come and meet me oh!!!

      1. Let them come to me for Some kain things, U know, hehehe…And then Strong people dey here too!!! Kai! No worry, we go soon do our own film…

  10. Your piece is on point, I don’t even like to find myself watching Africa magic Yoruba it just makes me critical of the acting, set, location. I saw one yesterday, a duplex was claimed to be located in Lekki, only for it to look like it was a Mainland setting.

    …and someone please tell the girls that roughnecking does not make them good actresses either.

  11. Thank you all for your comments.

  12. I have to say there are better movies coming out now. Most usually go through the cinema while some go straight to vcd or dvd. So let’s support those good ones by watching them. Very good article. Spot on.

  13. Amor (@iykewifey)

    I like to watch Nollywood film but never finish it sadly because of their improper habit of killing the suspense before you get to the end! always predictable!

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