Feature

COLLABORATION IS THE NEXT PHASE OF NOLLYWOOD’S EVOLUTION

RECENTLY, Nollywood has become better and improved. With stronger and better written stories, along with the influx of high quality production equipments as well as better paid actors and marketed movies, the overall quality of Nollywood has become improved. However, collaboration seems an area Nollywood stakeholders are severely lacking in.

Over the years, we have seen Nigerian music industry maximize strategic collaborations to grow artiste, labels and brands. This has been so popular, Nigerian skit makers a have now begun to employ the technique.

While other sectors of the Nigerian entertainment sphere, such as the music industry, have thrived through strategic partnerships and collaborations, Nollywood has been slower to embrace this trend.

For decades, Nollywood has operated within a predominantly independent framework, with filmmakers often working in isolation or within small, close-knit circles. While this approach has yielded remarkable results and propelled the industry to prominence, it has also limited its growth potential and hindered its ability to reach new heights. In contrast, the Nigerian music industry has flourished by fostering a culture of collaboration, where artists, labels, and brands come together to create synergistic partnerships that amplify their collective impact.

One need only glance at the success stories within the music industry to grasp the transformative power of collaboration. From groundbreaking musical collaborations that transcend genres and boundaries to strategic partnerships between artists and corporate brands, collaboration has become the lifeblood of the Nigerian music scene. Artists like Davido, Wizkid, and Burna Boy have leveraged the power of collaboration to expand their reach, penetrate new markets, and solidify their status as global icons. By joining forces with fellow artists, producers, and influencers, they have created a ripple effect that has propelled Nigerian music to the forefront of the global stage.

Similarly, the rise of Nigerian skit makers provides a compelling case study in the potential of collaboration to drive growth and innovation. These digital content creators have embraced collaboration as a core strategy, forming alliances with fellow creators, comedians, and brands to create viral content that resonates with audiences across social media platforms. Through strategic partnerships and cross-promotional efforts, they have expanded their reach, diversified their content offerings, and cultivated loyal fan bases.

Despite these successes in other sectors of the entertainment industry, Nollywood has been slower to adopt a collaborative mindset. While there have been instances of partnerships between filmmakers, actors, and production houses, they have often been sporadic and ad-hoc rather than strategic and intentional. As a result, Nollywood has often missed out on opportunities to pool resources, share expertise, and co-create content that resonates with diverse audiences.

However, there are signs that this is beginning to change. In recent years, we have witnessed a growing willingness among Nollywood stakeholders to embrace collaboration as a means of driving growth and innovation. Filmmakers are increasingly exploring co-production opportunities with international partners, tapping into new markets, and diversifying their revenue streams. Actors are forming alliances with fellow performers and industry professionals to leverage their collective influence and amplify their voices.

Moreover, the emergence of streaming platforms and digital distribution channels has created new avenues for collaboration within the Nollywood ecosystem. Filmmakers are partnering with streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and iROKOtv to reach global audiences and tell stories that resonate across cultures. This shift towards digital platforms has democratized access to content creation and distribution, opening doors for emerging filmmakers and storytellers to collaborate on projects that would have been impossible a decade ago.

Yet, for Nollywood to truly unlock the full potential of collaboration, a cultural shift is needed within the industry. This entails moving away from a siloed mindset towards a more collaborative and inclusive approach to filmmaking. It requires stakeholders to embrace openness, transparency, and mutual respect in their interactions and transactions. It also requires investment in capacity building initiatives, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities that empower aspiring filmmakers and creatives to collaborate and innovate.

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Authors

  • Abu Onyiani

    Abu Onyiani is the Senior Writer, Events and Lifestyle at insidenollywood.ng and he's passionate about capturing the underreported areas of the Nollywood industry, and aspire to deliver quality masterpieces that shine a spotlight on its hidden gems. With a background in Library and Information Science, he have honed skills as a dedicated writer and administrator.

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