Showcasing African talents, Arts and Culture to the world

By Kevin Onuma

InformAfrica – This article talks about showcasing African talents, arts and culture to the world – from a Nigerian perspective. Including the importance of Nollywood helping to grow the African economy; creating an avenue for African youths to sell their talents – becoming successful.

Stronger Than Pain Nigerian traditional movie

A snapshot from a popular Nigerian traditional movie, “Stronger Than Pain” starring Nkem Owoh, Kate Henshaw, Ebube Nwagbo. Directed by award-winning director, Tchidi Chikere.

Many would agree that Nollywood is helping to discover and showcase many African talents to the world and also contributing to the growth of the African economy. Nigeria, which is the most populous country in Africa (the 7th most populous in the world); is the home of Nollywood – Africa’s leading film industry.

Africans are migrating to Nigeria in search of opportunities, they know the country has high potentials and their chances of being successful are promising. But Nigeria is not the only land of opportunity in Africa; Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and the likes, also presents equal opportunity depending on the business environment one has interest.

As far as Nigeria is concerned, the country is the home of non-stop African entertainment, and any artistic African talent can become a star actor through the country’s mega film industry which is Nollywood.  In a 2010 report, UNESCO declared that Nollywood has the largest production of films in the world; valuating the industry at N522 billion Naira (2.75bn USD) as of 2008. As at this 2012 year, the movie industry should be well worth over 5 billion USD.

No doubt, the world is hungry for African entertainment, they want to explore our diverse culture, arts, and economy, and Nollywood has been capable of meeting those demand by delivering an exceptional pure dramatic African entertainment that is putting the international community at awe – they get to see the beautiful sides of Africa like never before.

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  • Watch “All Sorts of Trouble”, a short Nigerian film about a young man’s search for redemption which plunges him and his shady neighbor into all sorts of trouble.

Most Africans would agree that western media outlets such as CNN, BBC and the likes, hardly showcase the beautiful sides of Africa to the world; they tend to give people the impression that Africa is a continent filled with genocide, disease, and starvation – but all that has changed over the years – thanks to Nollywood showcasing our arts and culture, uplifting Africa and helping to build the economy.

New World Nigeria recently held an event in UK on the 15th of July titled “Nigeria showcase the best in fashion, art, theatre and music to the rest of the world“, where Nollywood legendary actors Olu Jacobs, Segun Arinze, and Justus Esiri were present on stage with other artists and they all showcased the best of Nigerian talents to the world like never seen before.

According to Factory78′s video report, Bank of Industry Nigeria sponsored a New world Nigeria event at the G-Live centre in Surrey, UK on Sunday the 15th of July. This event sees Nigeria showcase the best in fashion, art, theatre and music to the rest of the world. On the day, Nollywood legends Olu Jacob and Justice Esiri put on a stage play with other Nollywood stars Joke Silva, Segun Arinze,Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey and Bimbo Akintola doing the same over the month long festivities. To round off an eventful night, Nigerian music superstars like Tiwa Savage, Neato C and Tuface were joined on stage by The Nigerian Diasporama All Star Band, featuring Asa, Dele Sosimi, Tony Allen & Keziah Jones. Performing some of their hits to an excited audience.

Legendary actor Segun Arinze in the video interview with Factory78′s Adesope mentioned that Nollywood has grown to become a major contributor to the Nigerian economy, it is the largest employer of labor in the country – today, and youth empowerment.

In 2006, Nollywood surpassed Hollywood as the world’s second largest movie industry in the world; now growing to surpass India’s Bollywood to become the world’s largest film industry in a matter of time.

The United States Hollywood, which is the world’s most rated film industry, is worth about $92 billion (N1.45 trillion), producing 2,000 films per year. Meanwhile, India’s Bolllywood which produces roughly 1,000 films per year; is worth around $3.6 billion (N568 billion). Nigeria’s Nollywood, which was previously valued at N522 billion Naira (2.75bn USD) and produces way over 2,000 films per year – is on the rise to claim the biggest film industry in the world.

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Nollywood can serve as the gateway to success for any talented African with deep passion for acting. Take Ghana’s Van Vicker and Liberia’s Frank Artus for example, the two African actors are gaining international recognition by capitalizing on the vast opportunity Nollywood provides for the African continent.

I believe their are many young potential African actors on the continent that are yet to be discovered and Nollywood is the best avenue to showcase those raw dramatic African talents to the world through film. Africans from other countries that have what it takes to become a successful actor should not hesitate to visit Nigeria and make their way into Nollywood.

Africans in diaspora can also showcase their (acting) talents through Nollywood, which is everywhere. Take Nollywood-UK and Nollywood-USA for instance, many African movies are being produced in diaspora Africa, and the DVD’s are selling fast in several African communities around the world. Therefore, you can become a successful Nollywood actor, director, producer, etc., not only in Nigeria; but in the U.S, UK, and other potential countries where Nollywood is loved.

To conclude, it is important to note that people love drama; it’s one of the reasons people love Nigerian movies that much. Therefore, potential African actors should build up their dramatic skills and also be capable to perform live on stage. Study drama if you must, because through drama you can become anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Let us continue in unity – to show the world the best of African talents, arts and culture; while building a more promising future for the next generation to come.

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Kevin Onuma is a frequent contributor on InformAfrica. He likes to write about Nollywood and all things African – encouraging unity and contributing to Africa’s online presence. View all contributions by Kevin Onuma

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