Connect with us


Rejoice Abutsa: Some Film Lovers Live Outside Lagos! Please Give Us Proper Cinemas in Jos



dreamstime_m_367890“I desperately want us to own a proper cinema structure, where popcorns are actually sold and we can watch new films as they come…here in Jos”. I once told a friend.

The unfunny reply I got was “go build one, and stock it with a lot of popcorn, we would patronise you.” I had forgotten that in Nigeria, when you don’t agree with the way things are done, the easiest suggestion is for you to do it yourself.

I love this quote, “if you can’t find it, make it.” Right now, I cannot make it, so I would plead once more, we need a proper cinema structure in Jos. We love movies too and it may shock you to know that we love movies as much as the other states that enjoy a proper cinematic experience. I mean, Jos has the best weather in the whole world, and you can take that from a girl that has never been elsewhere but Jos.

We don’t lack a cinema in Jos. That’s why I insist on “proper”. I have been told to stop calling what we have here a cinema, instead, I should say a viewing centre, but I insist on calling it a cinema while we wait for a “proper cinema” structure. There are two film cinemas in the city of Jos; while one containing less than twenty seats, delights in screening Indian films first and screening Nollywood films at least more than a month when it has been released, the second finds pleasure in football games more than it finds in films.

Most of my classmates (film students) did not know about the existence of a cinema here. I only found out while trying to gather information for my final year project. I understand what a shame it is. Four years in the university as a film student! No, five, thanks to ASUU. And I didn’t know of a cinema, well shame on me. The way the cinema here function does not offer any experience. It is a timetable, they tell you which day to come and what time they would be open, you pay and you don’t enjoy the Popcorn because they couldn’t get Popcorn in the market. Yea right! Just buy your popcorn from home if you really love films that much.

My final year thesis was on film piracy, the best part of the research process was that I narrowed my research to the pirate activities in Jos market and the findings are unbelievable, well they are believable just that we think that these things happen only in Lagos. Instead of having a 45 paged undergraduate thesis, I ended up with eighty pages of frightening information. One of them is that, Jos residents love films so much. They only problem with the love is, if they are not getting the films as they come, they would take a bootleg copy and this bootleg copies are sent in by those that know we don’t have a proper film cinema. While film producers are in Lagos being happy that their films are not being pirated, they just don’t know what is going on here.

The problem with our film industry is that it is treated like a “Lagos Only Business” when there is a lot of money to gain from other states, there is a lot of ground-breaking records to make by expanding focus and giving attention to other states. We would love to have a grand premiere here too. Most films I watch share the same location. Let’s travel and shoot in other places. Let’s explore Nigeria. I have a special love for Izu Ojukwu’s film because anytime I watch a new release it offers a special visual experience, he explores Nigeria with every new release and it is beautiful to see film capture other places rather than the usual places we see.

I can’t help but think of what triggered my love for the arts. When I was a child, my father filled the house with only Nigerian films. I was eighteen when I watched a proper Hollywood film and that was as recent as three years ago. We did not just watch Nigerian films in my house; we had proper information on them. Most of them were made in Jos. From TV shows like Wetin Dey to parts of Ije (my all-time favourite film, if I may add) were shot in Jos. By now, we should have joined the top entertainment states, but a lot has happened here and it seems like now that I am grown and ready to join the industry, nothing is going on here.

When piracy is spoken about, it is referred to as a Lagos only problem. When you speak of piracy, speak to all of us and not just to those in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja. Piracy is freely explored here and it is important to note that films that you think are not even pirated are all over the market and vendors of pirated movies are living large, just because we don’t have a PROPER CINEMA where we can watch new films as they are released. We get them when they are old enough to be discarded from the cinema and then you start playing them here for whom to pay N1500? See the problem!

Piracy seems like a problem that is inevitable no matter how many cinema structures get provided, but we can reduce the menace of piracy. We can offer Nigeria’s economy a solution by making more money from films, and more money will not be made if we ignore some of the buoyant places that provide a lot of hope for the future of our film industry.

At the end of the day, I am not writing because I want to sit in a cinema every day. I am writing this because I believe in the industry and I believe it is time to look at more places. I see Filmhouse is doing a lot right now; it is time to look here and take back the business from pirates. This is not a terror zone and you will make as much as you have invested. We love recreational activities here, most times, we just can’t find where to. So Filmhouse cinema see you soon! I can serve the popcorn for the opening launch.

Photo Credit: Isaiahlove |


  1. Moniker

    August 15, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Jos is a perfect location for a correct cinema abeg. We need it too. Peace has gradually crawled back. Guys, come invest in Jos. We promise you won’t regret it(like my father is COAS) Nice write up dear.

  2. Lailatu

    August 15, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    You are right, film makers need to explore and show different parts of Nigeria, not just for foreigners but even for the sake of Nigerians. Jos has such a beautiful scenery I wonder why it isn’t explored more. I guess it needs a Donald Duke.

  3. Jude

    August 15, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Rejoice, we hear you. We’re coming #Filmhouse.

    • Rejoice

      August 16, 2016 at 11:08 am

      We are waiting. *Arms crossed*

  4. Baby gurl

    August 15, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Oh my! We are in sync! Was just complaining moments ago about how businesses think all Nigerians live in Lagos. I get it, it’s the commercial capital. It has so so so and so million people blah blah blah. Ehen? Wotapun to Kano, Abuja, Aba, Damaturu, Uyo, Yenagoa, Plateau and the host of other places with people who have increasing income levels. Every company is in Lagos. Every workshop is in Lagos. Every networking sesh is in Lagos. All good events happen in Lagos. Ok o.

  5. onesensiblepersonwithcapital

    August 15, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    see how Rejoice just put my business idea on display. I wish I cold get the capital for this and my beauty city of Jo’s wld come alive

  6. ruby

    August 15, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Truly, people are opening their eyes. I sent a letter to a popular cinema and they blatantly said NO. If not for money eh, I would have started mine. There’s a huge gold mine in the entertainment industry in Jos.
    *Shwarma, pizza, ice cream, take note. (Cold Stone, Dominos, Debonair…. biko… we are tired of Shawarma and grills… they now increased that crappy* Shwarma to 1200. Karibajo has my heart till Debonair and Co comes in..

  7. De Duchess

    August 15, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Bring one To Nasarawa too

  8. Lyop

    August 15, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I love this tell them o… I have never entered a cinema before. I don’t even want to mention my state


    August 15, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    I guess it’s the location and economic viability in these states! Nice one Rejoice, more power to your elbows n ur write ups

  10. Mercy

    August 15, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you!!!!!! I love this article, serving truth. The want to leave us in the back but they want us to always support the industry.

    Every TV station is in Lagos. Companies Lagos. People will be telling you, move to Lagos now, as if your life will change immediately.

    I should also blame the people in our states that are not taking the bull by the horn.

    I love this article!

  11. isaobi

    August 15, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Jos, kaduna and Nasarawa (keffi) are over due

  12. hey!

    August 15, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Rejoice, there are setting up a huge cinema inside Mees palace by resort. Should start operatingg in October, fingers crossed.

  13. Nunulicious

    August 16, 2016 at 1:59 am

    Lol. Na real MINT economy…Talk about opportunities…in other climes, cinemas are going bust with competitors like netflix, irokotv and the likes.

    Peace brings propserity. I guess investors would want to know…is Jos safe now? And if yes, how long will the peace last? The same question applies for places outside lagos, Abuja, portharcourt. Nobody wants to burn money.

  14. Godfrey kinret

    August 16, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Nice piece dearie,,,we do need a proper cinema in Jos …..

  15. Daud

    August 16, 2016 at 8:08 am

    True. Some of us in the east have no cinemas today. I believe this presents a start to a conversation on how we can diversify and many people have the dreams with no capital to fund these dreams.

  16. Mercy

    August 16, 2016 at 8:12 am

    It is a bigger problem. Everything is happening in Lagos. You apply for a job opening, they ask you to move to Lagos.
    Auditions are in Lagos. All the great stations are in network. It is because this people have had the opportunity of building a big network for themselves.

    There Governors and past leaders have done them good. We still suffer from conservatives.

  17. fendu

    August 16, 2016 at 8:15 am

    How are we even coping with the ones in lagos? Some have very rude staff. After I had one bad experience, I chose to stay away sef. These celebrities will be blatantly rude and they will be saying suppory us. pls support our work. Abeg move.

  18. Stacey

    August 16, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Hy Rejoice! Bless you for writing about this, it is way overdue! I actually came into Jos a week ago, I was born and raised here but i school in the East. Just yesterday I had the same thoughts while chatting with a friend who stays in Lagos and he talked about a movie he had seen at the cinema. Am so excited you went a step further to write about it. Hopefully something good will come out of your article *fingers crossed*. Jos is due for such investments and even more. It pains me too that I can’t make such things happen. You write well. Keep it up girl!!

    • Rejoice

      August 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Thank you Stacey.

      I hope we get a proper cinema soon. We deserve it!!!!

  19. Rejoice

    August 16, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you!!

  20. franca joel

    August 16, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Tell them we really need it even due am am not

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tangerine Africa

Star Features