I made a podcast recording yesterday about how Nollywood has not evolved from Ojuju and dark magic to realities like piggyvest, farmcrowdy and other innovations going on.
Last year I wrote about Jumoke Olowookere and her startup that’s turning waste to wealth. A Nigerian here in SA from that story hired me to create content for her brand. This is how stories can facilitate collaborative systems and build the nation.
Ogunbowale Olugbenga Olufadewa Isaac Iyinoluwa Akeyewale Rilwan have some of the most amazing stories of transformation and change. In areas of Technology, Health, Youth and Capacity development, these guys rock.
Gbenga leads Epower; a capacity development and IT development startup. He is a Mandela Washington Fellow and winner of Tony Elumelu Grant. Iyinoluwa pitched his health chat bot and app for the 2019 Tony Elumelu Grant and got selected. He is also a One Young World Ambassador. Rilwan, a TEF alumnus and contributor at the World Economic Forum is also a change maker who has quite a remarkable growth story as a financial and business planner.
Yet, how many of their stories have been adapted into movies to represent what we are as a people? These are the everyday Nigerians, not Idibias, Witches and Wizards or flying monkeys.
But you know what’s happening?
People flick on African Magic and all they see are Nigerians in animal skin. Investors are still struggling to know how to enter Nigeria. The biggest stories they see are those magnifying archaic or nonexisting realities.
There’s a lot going on with everyday Nigerians; migration, coalitions, political and social change agents. Tech hubs are working despite our epileptic electric power grid.
But you know what Nollywood is more concerned about? Stories that are supposed to enhance culture and tourism. Yet they are not even doing this at all!
When you ask foreigners in SA if they would visit Nigeria, you hear a fat NO. Is it not time to rethink the stories we peddle as everyday Nigerian realities?
I’m not saying Nollywood should not have naked people dancing around the egungun. I am not saying we should rule out our culture but is there a meeting point where these things actually facilitate goodwill and business development for ordinary people? I don’t think any of those evil forest guardians will lose revenue if we shifted to talking about real people in this present time.
Or we can keep investing in making Nigeria the nightmare of little children worldwide.