Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Virginty of the African Vintage

As a writer my place is simply at the spot of mental stimulation. I can't operate effectively without it. Music, painting, letters, movies, conversations, testimonies, failure, victories....many things stimulate me. However, I still respect the place of my undying love for the African movie industry in their role as one of my greatest inspirations. I grew up in Nigeria falling in love over and over again with how films such as Evil Passion and Rattle Snake instructed me on what the society is and could be. And movies such as Taboo, True Confession and Violated opened up my heart to the possibility of loving right and loving true here on earth. Some times I would find myself asking, 'What would RMD do?'

My love for Nollywood and their production greatly influenced my orientation on my role in my society as brother, son, teacher, lover, scholar, activist, writer and thinker. There is only so much that is possible. Nollywood spurred me ever so intensely with the likes of Ann Njemanze; Hilda Dokubo; Syndey Dialla; Ndidi Obi; Ngozi Ezeonu....I still have the VCR tapes in my living room.

However, soon the market was flooded with so many titles and so many themes that were not at all mentally stimulating. I found myself watching so much costume, screen play and money wasted on silly cliché stories that were neither well defined or articulated. The themes of university romance and cultism were issues that were truly over flogged- alongside a string of others.

I abandoned the movies as they no longer soothed me and sought another heart throb in places that
didn't offer much.

However, only a few years ago I began to notice a new generation of Nollywood movies. They were mostly Nollywood and Hollywood collaborations, but they told African stories in the beautiful scenes and forms which people of all generations and  races could identify with. The class and likes of movies like Ije, Doctor Bello, Tango With Me, Mirror Boy, Sitanda ....the list in endless.

I have fallen in love with Nollywood afresh!

I have in this light been equally stimulated in my writing, leading and living as an African in my society. This is the role of information and media: To spread the best orientation to the people, telling their stories in terms of how they are, should and should not be.

There is nothing that can replace the role of Nollywood in our society. I still do respect Nollywood vintage movies which seemingly are too old to remain on the shelves; those ones with great sound tracks and timeless acting like Ijele and Igodo. I wish the next generation would truly see Africa's journey through her movies from a time of slavery to the time of great liberation and revolution. I wish they would see the various beautiful themes that Africa had and the values
pure as they were. The virginity of the African Vintage. The purity of our soul and our writing, acting and living, immortalizing the wisdom that was misunderstood and the journey that we are still on today.

Truly there are still other themes that make up Africa besides the fight against human trafficking,  poverty and the abuse of the girl child. There is the future which we can instruct through our movies.

For instance I would appreciate a movie that intellectually appraises politics as it should be in Africa. Or a film that indiscriminately handles the themes of homosexuality, human rights and spirituality in Africa. I would love greater and more realistic African stories to be told in preservation of a place such as this and a time such as now.

I also do urge the actors and actresses of Nollywood  to lead good and exemplary lives as they are role models to me and other
upcoming Nigerians.

A world without Nollywood is a world without Africa.

 I do believe in all of you who put in your best to make Nollywood outstanding. You are all doing an amazing work. I still pray for you and I trust that the King of Excellence inspires you afresh everyday.