Nollywood has not only transformed to be an industry, but a brand and a selling brand at that. It has become an Identity of our African culture or, should I say, our ’Nigerianness’, which is our way of life and, above all, a metaphor of the unbreakable spirit of the Nigerian.

Structure and Organisation of Nollywood in the beginning
As mentioned earlier, the soul of filmmaking in Nigeria has primarily been individualistic in approach. It has always been fired by creative people with the passion for making films. With the advent of the video-film in 1990, it created a new set of financiers who were in the business for the profit they were able to rake in the shortest possible time. In this vein, therefore, it created its own structures of finance, production, marketing, etc.

devoid of government participation. At least, not until 1991 and 1993, when the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and the Nigerian Video and Film Censors Board were established, respectively. The Film Corporation had a film laboratory, ‘antiquated filming equipment’ (though much better now) and, later, a film training institute, which in the recent past produced a cream of very professional and talented filmmakers. While the Censors Board was charged with the responsibility of vetting films and thus, limiting the possibilities of making movies on certain themes like the Nigerian Civil War, etc.

Not too long ago, there have been confrontations between some filmmakers and the Censors Board due to this. But looking back at where we are coming from till date, it could be said that there has been remarkable progress with classification of films.

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A lot of the executive producers (whom we refer to as marketers) started out as traders who dealt in the importation and sales of video cassettes and electronics, like television, video players, radios, etc. They were frustrated by the poor patronage for blank video cassettes which they sold. The video film opened the floodgate for them to not only make films, but at the same time sell their tapes which were actually used to mass-dub these movies. The early successes of these traders encouraged others to join in. They became the ‘live-wire’ of the industry by providing the needed finance. They were not initially too bothered about the technical quality of these films, as long as the story was ‘sensational’ and had the capability of recouping the investment in about two weeks after the film hit the shelves. To them, this meant good business.

To the creative professionals, it was at least a welcome relief. Some that could not weather this unprofessional attitude withdrew from the business of making films. Those that remained stayed on because they discovered a conduit for their creative expression and prayed that with time, the attitude and approach to filmmaking would change.

Over two decades later, one would say that the changes have been slow and have come at a gradual pace. It could have been better, but there has been improvement since the beginning. Appreciable progress has been made in all areas of filmmaking in Nollywood that it is only apt to say, Nollywood is ready for the glorious future.
…to be continued