‘Nollywood’ is Nigerian cinema.
Nigerian cinema dates back as early as the 19th century in the form of the kinetoscope and has developed over the years. The first Nigerian cinema was the work of Geoffrey Barkas with his 1926 film ‘Palaver‘.
More recent examples of Nigerian film include the 2013 drama film ‘Half of A Yellow Sun‘ by Biyi Bandele, and the 2009 thriller ‘The Figurine‘ by Kunle Afolayan.
In the late 1960’s to 1970’s the world of film expanded in Nigeria, therefore resulting in an increase in Nigerian content in theatres.
The Nigerian film culture and industry experienced two major booms – one in 1973 through to 1978due to the oil boom, and another in the 1990’s after the decline of the Golden Era. With a continuing growth in Nigerian cinema, it quickly became “the second largest film industry in the world in terms of the number of annual film productions” in the 2000’s.
It is argued that the term ‘Nollywood’ is overly used and that there is no clear definition of how Nigerian a film must be in order to fit under the ‘Nollywood’ category. This argument arose after the term was also being used for Nigerian/African diaspora films.
With such growth in the Nigerian film industry, an impressive $590 million is generated annually, therefore placing Nollywood just second to India’s Bollywood; and with such growth continuing, it is expected that up to one million jobs could be created in the near future.