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A love letter to Nollywood; Nigeria’s Diamond Jubilee

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Its Nigeria’s Diamond Jubilee today, the big Six-Zero. Even though there might not have been so much progress in the country this year economically, we can be thankful for the amazing year it’s been in our film industry. Every week a new blockbuster movie topping charts. A few notable movies were released in the last year; Living in Bondage; Breaking free, Sugar Rush, Who’s The Boss, Your excellency and many more.

As we celebrate today, in the little ways each of us can, I have decided to use this opportunity to thank all the filmmakers and many other important members of Nollywood. It’s been over 60 years of film making in Nigeria and Nollywood has easily become the biggest film industries in the world. Our limited resources but expressive storytelling methods have risen us to where we are as an industry today. Day after day talented Nigerians work tirelessly to visualize their creative ideas to entertain and educate other Nigerians. 

Nollywood has served Nigeria and Nigerians for decades, providing jobs for the unemployed, giving opportunities to the youth and skyrocketing entertainment careers. As of 2018, Nollywood contributed nearly N270 billion to Nigeria’s GDP. 

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To all our directors, thank you for your creative visions and directions. Directing is not an easy task; requires certain leadership skills alongside management skills. Thank you for your sleepless nights blocking shots, creating storyboards, studying scripts and learning technicals just to ensure your vision is brought to reality. For coaching actors, creating a conducive and creative space for all cast and crew, your work is irreplaceable.

To all our writers, thank you for creating characters that we can connect to. For allowing many of us to see ourselves in other characters, for creating situations we could relate to, for creating stories that made us laugh our hearts out, or sob uncontrollably. Writing is not an easy task, the creative blocks, mumble writing, and lack of direction sometimes, it can be entirely frustrating. The improvement in the writing scene over the years has been inspirational. Your work is the backbone of the industry.

To all our cinematographers, thank you for your undervalued work. Cinematography is not just being a ‘cameraman’. It takes a crucial amount of technical knowledge about the relationship between cameras and light. Without a cinematographer, it might be overwhelming and pretty hard for a director to actualize the shots and movements he has in his head. Thank you for your strength, bravery, innovativeness and ability to work around circumstances. 

To all our producers, thank you for your management skills and financial wisdom. Your work is important in ensuring the cast and crew are sourced for, resources provided and managed properly, budgets aren’t overspent and ensuring projects are launched successfully. Being a producer is not easy, managing a large team in Nigeria isn’t easy, providing resources for the said team isn’t easy, but you do you it all anyway and your work is truly appreciated in the industry.

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To all our crew members, you’re not unseen. To our Location Managers, Costume Designers, Makeup Artists, Editors, Lighting & Sound engineers, Focus Pullers, Boom Operators, Set Designers, Script Supervisors, Art Department, Special Effect Department, Drivers and the many other important roles that help create the magic Nollywood is known for.

One important thing Nigerians are known for is vibes. So on this special day for all Nigerians, thank you all for surviving and creating a life for yourselves in a country that doesn’t exactly give to its citizens. To all our old and new filmmakers, thank you and continue creating magic. 

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