Nigerian Music Videos & the Nollywood Curse

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Whats the most annoying thing about Nollywood?

Ask any Africa-magic addict and be sure to get ‘nothing’ as your answer but ask any rational, forward thinking, Hollywood loving folk and the most likely answer would be this: Nollywood story lines are too predictable!
From highly suggestive/cliché titles like ‘BlackBerry Babes’ to highly annoying titles like ‘Tear my Bra’, the poverty of story depth -heralded by nonsensical time wasting tactics (including using over 30mins at one scene and splitting a Movie without any meaningful storyline into 3-4 parts) and unbelievably unbecoming errors so much that so that someone somewhere dedicated a website aptly named to it including subtitles that are so horribly comical, they send you reeling to the floor in chronic laughter  – is made worse by the predictability of the story lines.
1.      Why would a ghost have to look “left and right” before crossing the road?
2.      Why is it that Nollywood characters die or run mad immediately after their confessions?
3.      How come a legendary Village Movie, set in the 70s, still find Brazilian hair on Mercy Johnson?
4.      Will a Yoruba movie ever be complete without a visit to the ‘Baba’?
You need not be T.B Joshua, from the first five minutes of any nollywood movie, you can almost predict the rest of the movie with high accuracy.
I’m in no way suggesting that nollywood is totally lost in the woods. There are still exceptional directors like Kunle Afolayan & Tunde Kelani who regularly spin our heads round with classics like Saworoide & Figurineand fast rising dudes like Ikechukwu Onyeka whose ‘Mr & Mrs’ is still favorably talked about 1 year on but truth be told, with emphasis on producing cheaply and selling quickly (with 50+ movies mostly shot within  few days/weeks produced weekly), Nollywood is largely an industry of the mediocre by the mediocre & for the mediocre which is why I am so concerned about recent trends in the Nigerian Music Video Scene.
On the average, 9 out of 10 chart-topping Nigerian music videos on TV are about a girl or girls (better known as video vixens) as the case maybe while 10 out of 10 songs are party tracks.
Though it is true that Nigerians love to party and therefore require an endless supply of party songs, the industry is gradually becoming saturated with more of the same.
From a chart topping, industry shaking star like Wiz-Kid to famous names like Saucekid & K-switch, an endless search for Caro is on (and good luck with their search). Typically, the video starts with the singer following the vixen, singling about her body (never about her behavior or intelligence) which is usually revealed in depth leaving next to nothing to the imagination (and this largely portrays ladies as cheap commodities only as valuable as their boob or booty painting a grossly misleading and sexually destructive picture to young minds). The girl might initially frown but she eventually smiles at the end of the video; end-of-story.
Truth be told, the Nigerian Music Industry has grown with fantastic videos from the likes of P-Square dropping the super-hot video of Personally (with the usual sexually explicit content typical of the industry but highly creative lyrical composition) & quality directing from Clarence Peters et al but seriously, even Nollywood is waking up.
As Mafoya Dossoumon observes in his brilliant piece on Video Vixens, Nigerian Pop, and Nollywood, “Though they are beginning to all sound the same, Nigerian Pop artists have been very creative for the most part when it comes to beats. I tip my hat to the beat-makers and producers. The creative energy so apparent in the music needs to be extended to the visuals that go with the music. There are many aspects of Nigeria’s rich and varied cultures that can hold the attention of a global audience. Nollywood filmmakers have started innovating with their production techniques and storytelling. This is the time for Pop artists to start collaborations with Nollywood film directors to produce music videos that are different from American Hip Hop videos. As things stand now, we are dangerously approaching an overdose of half naked eye candy. It is time for Nigerian Pop artists to start producing short films to go with their chart topping singles”
As the second largest film industry in the world (second only to Bollywood), Nollywood is carrying its cross by doing away with its curse. It’s time for Nigerian Music Videos to pursue this cause.

Published by Ogunbowale Olugbenga

Ogunbowale Olugbenga is a multiple award winning social entrepreneur & digital skills expert. An alumnus of the Leadership in Business Institute of Kellogg School of Management (USA), He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria). Inspired by the plight of millions of unemployed youths, Olugbenga founded, a digital agency passionately growing businesses & accelerating the application of digital skills for economic prosperity across Africa. To help institutions prevent scandals & promote performance, Gbenga founded Polivoice.Work, an anonymous employee feedback tool that captures & analyses feedback anonymously in real time to detect, predict & improve work place conditions. A Mandela Washington Fellow, Tony Elumelu Fellow, Royal Common wealth society fellow, YALI star of business & YALI network influencer, Olugbenga is the founder of Africa’s biggest orphanage outreach, The Orphan Empowerment Society, with a 5,000 strong volunteer force and a presence in 19 African countries empowering thousands of orphans with free vocational skills, medical care, & food. He is also the co-founder of the communication & leadership organization, Pacesetters Leadership Club.

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