As a kid, I had 3 major peeves:
1. The unexplained disappearance of Sunny Delight
2. “It’ll be good for you!” family bike rides
3. Low budget, self-styled Nigerian films
Number three spurred a particularly bad rash. As a young black girl, I’d frequently visit a Nigerian hairdresser’s to have my hair plaited. Wedged between a thick pair of thighs, I’d routinely wince at eight–hour, back-to-back Nollywood marathons (plus the tight, alopecia-inducing braids).
For those who don’t know, Nollywood is Nigeria’s film industry. Recently, the term has also been used to cover Nigerian diaspora films affiliated with the home nation. Nollywood is the second-largest film industry in the world. In terms of output, it trumps the formidable Hollywood, and bows only to India’s Bollywood. What I’m saying is, Nigeria’s movie trade is massive.
Why then, aren’t we Brits watching? Nollywood is popular among African-Britons and Africans back home, but ask your non-African friends about the industry and you’ll probably draw a blank stare. “Nollywhat?!”