In 1992, the debut of Kenneth Nnebue’s movie ‘Living in Bondage’ brought a new twist to the then growing motion picture industry in Nigeria. Shot straight-to-video, it was the first Nollywood blockbuster hit movie that kicked off the Nigerian cinema industry. By the following year, more film makers tapped into this eye opening trend and so Nollywood was born.
Today, Nollywood’s growth has been stunted by piracy, lack of professionalism by some practitioners occasioned by poor funding. It has become an all-comers affair and avenue for people to attain cheap fame and make quick money. From Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya to Egypt, most of what is known about Nigeria as a country have been through Nollywood.
Before now, little or no attention has been paid to the money spinning industry that will have been a good source of revenue for the country. Efforts by current investors in the industry have been bedevilled by piracy.
But in November 2010, it came as a shock to many practitioners in Nollywood when President Goodluck Jonathan announced the Federal Government’s investment of $200 million (N30bn) into the development of the entertainment industry. In January this year, the president made good his promise when Olusegun Aganga, minister of trade and investment, announced that the Special Entertainment Fund would be disbursed by the Bank of Industry (BoI) as a single-digit interest rate loans.
It is the first time that the Federal Government will make such fund available for the Nigerian movie industry that has cross boundaries, and is currently uniting Africa.
Nigerian Export and Import Bank (NEXIM) has been disbursing the intervention fund of $200 million announced by President Goodluck Jonathan two years ago. The managing director of NEXIM, Roberts Orya believes that more film makers will benefit from the fund.
Tony Abulu, a Nigerian film maker based in