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HUMSS - Onookome Okome

Prof. Dr. Onookome Okome


African Studies, Literature and Cinema
University of Alberta

Nollywood: A Cinema of Stories
When Jul 11, 2022
from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM
Where Hybrid format: Onsite at FRIAS & online via Zoom
Contact Name
Attendees Universitätsoffen / open to university members
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Nollywood: A Cinema of Stories

Nollywood is a unique African cinema, the first of its kind to emerge on the continent after independence. It is popular in Nigeria and widely so on the continent. Its social origins are found in the epistemic world of the Nigerian street. It began as a low-budget video-making enterprise in the streets of Lagos, the commercial capital of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in less than twenty after years after the release of Living in Bondage (1992/93), it became a continental affair. Its affiliation to the city is palpable and it is from this base that stories are taken, re-narrativized and given back to enthusiastic audiences who already know the stories. It was Living in Bondage that ignited the popular aesthetics of this filmmaking. It also defined its peculiar mode of narrative address, the African melodrama, offering to its audiences descriptions of modernity in constant clash with remnants of tradition. Although I often resist any attempt to compare Nollywood to global cinemas such as Hollywood and continental European cinemas, I argue in this presentation that unlike these cinemas, the singularity of Nollywood as a filmmaking practice is in the story itself, not the opulence of the technology which it uses. It is the story rather than the technology of filmmaking that is at the heart of its practice.