Buhari hails Nollywood, wants filmmakers to promote unity

FOR all it has done and continues to do for the nation, President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed the Nigerian film industry, otherwise known as Nollywood.

In a foreword he personally signed  in a brochure on the film industry entitled  ‘Nollywood: Nigerian Film Industry at a Glance’ published by the Africa Film Academy (AFA) and presented at the recently concluded Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)  in Canada, President Buhari acknowledged  Nollywood’s growth from humble beginnings.

He also noted how it has “metamorphosed into a big industry employing thousands of people, contributing to the national Gross Domestic Product and empowering a new generation of creative entrepreneurs.”

The President who also hailed legendary filmmakers including the late Hubert Ogunde, Duro Ladipo and Adeyemi Afolayan, charged the current crop of filmmakers to continue to use their works to promote values that unite Nigeria.

He pledged his administration’s support for the industry, noting that “our government will continue to support the creative sectors of its economy so as to encourage our teeming youths while we enjoin our filmmakers to continue to project the image of Nigeria and the continent of Africa in a positive way through their story lines. Filmmakers should not make films for art sake. Films should be functional and socially relevant.

“I want to see more films that celebrate our diversity, films that celebrate the achievements of our people, films that promote social causes of right to education, films that tells us the evil of domestic violence against men and women, films that inspire hope and faith in our country and humanity in general.”

In the brochure’s introduction, AFA founder, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, described it as a reference material on the Nigerian film industry.  She said, “This is a compendium on the motion picture industry in Nigeria that emerged post 1990 and that is popularly called Nollywood. It was conceived by the Africa Film Academy (AFA) to be a quick guide and reference material to help anyone understand the story of Nollywood, how it evolved, the staying power and the roles that stakeholders across the value chain play.”