Am I the only one who wants to see a movie by Clarence Peters so bad? Okay, not just Clarence, but also from other music video directors/producers like Soso Soberokon, Mex, Unlimited L.A, Aje films, Akin Alabi, Patrick Ellis and of course Sesan. Music videos in Nigeria have really evolved from the days of Mike Okri deluged with excited kids almost feeding the camera Rice and Dodo in that popular song, Dodo ati Rice. Remember King Sunny Ade sitting enthroned in a make-shift village square surrounded by three wives and dancers from different parts of Nigeria going back and forth in visuals to the then hit song, Nigeria Yi Ti Gbogbo Wa Ni? Yeah, that one! I laughed like crazy when I recently stumbled upon the video for Omode Meta Shere by Tony Tetuila featuring Plantashun boiz and Rugged ‘n’ Raw. Okay, I won’t lie, a giraffe-necked TuFace screaming “Sherey oh! Sherey ah-yo!” in falsetto really did it for me.
Fast forward to the present and you would give thanks to the gods of technology. Music videos today juxtaposed with those from the past will make you slaughter rams and offer thanksgiving sacrifices. Their rambunctious themes, picture clarity, camera angles, locations, costumes and the zeal to make their current jobs better than their previous ones are few of the things that keep eyes glued to the screen.
Nollywood on the other hand is struggling to reach artistic puberty. Perhaps, the sing-songy anecdotes music video directors have spoiled me with, has sort of piqued my interest in Nollywood. But hey, I remember Suicide Mission, Diamond ring, Ti Oluwa Ni Le and Eran Iya Osogbo because of their story lines. In my head they still appear blurry or black and white probably because their picture quality was pretty much blurry too. Only reason I sat glued to watch a Nollywood flick like last 4 years ago was because the popular Aki ‘n’ Pawpaw were in it.
Current Nollywood movies have sort of improved in picture clarity and cast but deteriorated in story lines. It’s like they’ve sacrificed amazing scripts for sub-par picture clarity. It’s always as if some archaic guy behind the affairs on set is always forcing the movie to appear urban or funny. It’s like Nollywood is refusing the change that is sweeping through entertainment. Our movie industry can be likened to slaves who have fallen in love with their chains.
You see, I’ve always been a fan of indigenousness but Nollywood has failed in making me a fan. The scripts, the shoots, the unprofessionalism, thespian favoritism, the way the stories are depicted? Fail, fail, and fail. I have heard stories of how the old generation film makers snub ideas and inputs from the young or new generation film makers, like old men irritated by the impudence of talkative kids.
Nollywood is indeed a big industry. But big doesn’t always translate to awesome. Although movies like Araromire, Two Brides and a baby, Phone swap et al. are taking a swipe at Nigerian movie industry critics. Still, it is not yet Uhuru. I recently saw the trailer of ‘Last Flight to Abuja’ and shook my head at the set and graphics. Maybe because I had just seen Hollywood’s ‘Flight’ that starred Denzel Washington. Oh yes, Nollywood still copies Hollywood like a younger one feeling a need to walk like an older sibling. Not bad, not bad at all.
My ideal Nollywood flick will have Tunde Kelani, Clarence Peters, Kunle Afolayan, a movie critic, a fan and a blogger behind the set blending ideas to create something that will awe the world.
Oluwatosin Adesanya is a young Nigerian fascinated by words and often view them as entities that can be paired to form a terrible or an awesome community. His telekinetic ability to bend words and make them submit to his will is fuelled by a selfish desire to influence the way humans think. His eeally old pieces can be found at www.puffpuffmonster.com which is currently under repair.