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How The Evolution Of Nigerian Storytelling Showed Me A Different Side To Nollywood

My relationship with Nollywood is a complex one. Childhood memories take me back to Saturday afternoons in the front room of my aunty’s house; dramatic shrieks and mystical incantations would sporadically escape from the television set for at least two hours. My Mum enjoyed nothing more than to immerse herself in the latest Nigerian drama. As a kid, she would coax me to cover my eyes whenever the juju man would pop up on the screen, face stained with conspicuous white powder, body etched with odd tribal markings, red eyes bulging profusely. That stuff gave me nightmares. 

Nollywood represented a part of everyday life growing up, but it wasn’t something I felt any deep connection to. Overtime, I attempted to become more invested in the Naija movies adored by so many, but it just wasn’t for me. The dramatic nature of the scripts felt wholly unrealistic, a factor further exemplified by overacting and the use of some horrifically poor CGI, I struggled to follow the Yoruba films as a result of to my inability to understand the language and the predictable storylines were recycled within an inch of their lives.