Nollywood actress and filmmaker, Kemi Lala Akindoju has said the Nigerian movie industry widely known as Nollywood was birthed by some Igbo traders.
The co-producer of the upcoming Netflix’s First Nigerian Original Series made this known while speaking at a panel session about the evolution of the Nigerian movie industry at the just concluded Social Media Week held at Landmark Event Centre, Lagos.
She joined other panelists like Isioma Idigbe, Bugo Arinze, Jim Donnett and Edi Lawani to discuss entertainment and its impact on Nigeria’s economy.
According to the actress, the traders from the eastern part of the country started the industry in order to sell VHS cassettes that were imported into the country from Asian countries in the 90s. She added that the people did not invest in Nollywood because of love for art but to do business.
“It is not because of their love for creative art but to make money. That is why they put a lot of money into it. Now that there is a shift in the industry to digital, those people no longer fund the industry,” she said.
Lala also urged Nigerians to stop comparing Nollywood with other advanced movie industries in the world because Nollywood lacks funding since the money bags have pulled out of the business because they are not making money from anymore.
She also lamented that despite the contribution of the Nollywood to the country’s economy, the actors are still not making money from their efforts.
“It is because we don’t have the right channel like Isioma said, the money is not getting into the hands of the right people.
“Two years ago, I made up my mind that I’m longer doing a play and be in debt, if the money is not making sense I’m not doing, no more acting for act’s sake. I am not going to be a poor person, she added.
She, however, commended Netflix for coming to Nigeria, describing it has a huge milestone for not just Nigeria but Africa as well.