Nollywood as an Agent of African Culture and Identity
The African literary expression, which can be regarded as the distant ancestor of Nollywood motion pictures, like Nigerian/African culture and identity, has been subjected to varying degrees of misinterpretations for different cultural and historical reasons. If concepts like “tribe”, “traditional African religion”, “orature”, “African history” or “essentialism” have problematized African literature in general, certain cultural signifiers and practices have also emerged as the bane of Nollywood motion pictures’ cultural dilemma. This chapter examines the different ways Nollywood has been uniting a disparate continent, and dividing it, too. Nollywood has been engaged, simultaneously, in both acts of knowing and being known, with varying degrees of success. The study looks at how Nollywood camera lens gaze at African culture and society, and thereby, helps the society examine its image and identity through language, symbols and performance.