Cinema Globalization and Nation Branding: An Exploration of the Impact of Nollywood on the Nigerian Image Crisis


Author: Endong, Floribert Patrick
Journal: Journal of Globalization Studies. Volume 9, Number 1 / May 2018

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30884/jogs/2018.01.06

The Nollywood phenomenon has remarkably become a transnational cinematic culture, serving as one of the cardinal vectors of the exportation of Nigerian cultures to other African countries and the world at large. Though it may be presumptuous to claim that this cinematic industry is known everywhere in the world, one thing remains certain: Nollywood films are avidly consumed in many African countries, in African Diasporas and in some Caribbean climes. The phenomenal globalization of the Nollywood industry has raised a serious debate around its potential to serve as Nigeria's image maker in the international scene. This debate has essentially opposed two schools of thought: critics who count Nollywood films among the factors that contribute to the Nigeria's image crisis on one hand and those who instead laud Nollywood for having done very much (in terms of projecting the diverse cultural heritage of the country) in just a very brief period of time, on the other hand. This paper revisits this debate, arguing that most of the criticisms which draw a parallel between Nollywood films and the Nigeria's image crisis are not emanating from empirical, scientific and logical understandings. Usually, they are mere subjective and speculative statements which tend to overlook or lose sight of the real sources of Nigeria's image dilemma. Some of these criticisms – from national and international audiences – tend to be subtly influenced by the negative stereotypes Nigeria and the Nigerian peoples have over the years, been associated with, in the international scene. This index in itself tends to rationalize the thesis stating that Nigeria's image crisis equally affects international audiences' perception, review and consumption of Nollywood films.

Keywords: Nollywood films, Nigeria's image crisis, Nollywood criticism, na-tion branding, national brand identity.