African Voice



written by Ekine Stronghold.
What happens when there is erosion? Almost always there is a resultant gully. Wide and ever widening, unless something is done. The chasm expands whether in arithmetic or geometric proportions. Ordinarily, there is this misconception that a coin only has two sides. Not so I must say, there is a third side, that is the circumference and since it is continuous, it has many sides.  So is the gully I speak of, the nollywood gully

When it started (of course I count from “living in bondage”, if you don’t agree kiss the closest step-up transformer to you), it was guerrilla style and the practitioners of then are not really the movers of today. They were mostly those that I would refer to as the NTA immigrants or the hustlers (I don’t mean it in an insulting way). It was an era of “trial and error”. And whether by serendipity or articulated drive they trudged on not as completely sound film-makers but as hustlers with a genuine passion. We must respect that.

Overtime technology and new knowledge came to the rescue and some of the old lot had been too fixated, they could not adapt to new trends. Some were already too comfortable basking in the glory of yesterday; some were just frustrated out and searched for another means of survival. Some others just moved on. Others carved another niche for themselves, guild politics or should I say politricks.

 That was the nature of the erosion and the resultant effect? Many divides like the old school and the new school. The Alaba guys and the cinema guys. The filmmakers and the oga nollywood. The politicians and the practitioners. Just many divides that has given rise to many issues, guilds and associations tussle, government recognized practitioners and those not recognized. Those chopping the money and those hearing of the money. The big guilds and the small guilds. Accusations and counter-accusations, all doing one obvious thing; smearing the image of nollywood.

Should the question be the way forward or a critical look backward to understand the true nature of the erosion? Should there be a debate or an argument? In the first place do we agree there was an erosion or a simple transition from before to now? Is there a need to have things fixed or should we just let things fixed themselves? Is there a real need to re-address issues and create a central channel through which the government can genuinely deal with the industry or do we leave the industry's moi-moi to the highest yansh peddlers? Is there a need to prevail on emeruwa to re-awaken CONGA or do we just allow the individuality of the industry destroy everything that has been built by collective effort? Whatever the course of action, we must bear in mind that the chasm is already wide and ever widening, unless something is done, That is my honest opinion.

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