Opinion

ASABAWOOD, YOUTUBE: A MYTH OR A REALITY

Like every other industry, it seems to be that nollywood is subtly divided into 3, not obviously but quite present.  Asabawood, YouTube and actual Nollywood stars have the majority of us wondering which on this list are the actual stars and not. In this article, we will be exploring these three essential pillars of the Nollywood industry while pitching our tent on the major differences that exist amongst these terms.

Asabawood is used to denote Movies that were produced in South Eastern or Eastern Nigeria, and are characterised by melodramatic scenes, and poor storylines coupled with overly poor acting and low cinematographic Quality. They are majorly centred on African stories. Asabawood movies aren’t shot in Lagos, and at some point, we are led to believe that’s the reason for the nature of it, but when we zoom in, we find that it’s basically poor budgeting and arrangements. Asabawood movies are known to be underbudgetted and so invest limited money in the production process. Being characterised by Upcoming stars and sometimes, untalented stars makes it unentertaining for younger folks but relaxing for our parents.

They are seen as a Sub house in Nollywood, that is to say, they hold an essential part of the Nollywood industry and are sometimes regarded as Old Nollywood. Stars like Destiny Etiko, Uju Okoli, Chizzy Alichi, Jerry Williams amongst others are known for their acting prowess, and that’s almost about that. They are hardly known in the bigger screens.

Second on our list is the YouTube movie industry, or should we say stream site. YouTube has gradually become a major stream site or movie release hub for most Nollywood producers. Veterans like Ruth Kadiri set the pace and have since made it a norm. YouTube movies are often centred around love and relationships and this storyline is being played in almost all Nollywood centred movies.

YouTube movies have an  advantage over the asabawood movies because social media is properly utilised to promote the movie and hence the stars. Chidi Dike, Stefania Bassey,  Eronini, Eguike Sisters, etc are stars who got their big break from YouTube movies. The movies are diversified and tell Nigerian stories in quite a number of ways that interest Nigerians and Non-Nigerians while creating an avenue for fame and entertainment that suits everyone.

While Asabawood is considered a Sub hub of the Nollywood industry, it’s important to note that the Industry also has its own focused stars and movies. We use The term Nollywood movies to denote the highest quality production movies we have in the country. Movies that are considered Nollywood movies are simply those with great storylines and outstanding cinematography. They are not in any way boring and are strikingly always interesting and super relatable to everyone in every phase of the Nigerian society. We use it when we want to clearly tell  the quality and describe how interesting, reliable and different the latest nollywood movies have been. 

These three terms can also be used to describe the progression and evolution of the Nollywood industry, telling the story of how we moved from disconcerted and a predictable storyline, to interesting stories streamable on international platforms and worthy of international nominations and acceptance. They are the real stars in the industry, and the dream position of every actor. They earn the most from the industry and create the name and honour the movie industry enjoys from everywhere. Veteran stars like Funke Akindele, Timini Egbuson, Nancy Isime, RMD, amongst others are major people who make up this industry.

These terms are used to denote the progressions and are a glaring reminder that a drastic change is happening  in the industry.  The reduction of Asabawood movies also known as “Old Nollywood movies” and gradual increase in qualitative movies termed “New Nollywood” goes on to further prove this progression.

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