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Nollywood in Nigeria is booming, but losing big to online streaming pirates

Bruce Whitfield chats with ‘Africa Bounces Back’ author Victor Kgomoeswana about the state of the Nigerian film industry.

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The Nigerian film industry or _Nollywood_ is a phenomenon.

In terms of production per year, it is the largest in the world, according to Victor Kgomoeswana (author of “Africa Bounces Back: Case Studies from a Resilient Continent”).

Back home, DStv’s Africa Magic platform features a huge amount of Nigerian content.

South Africans will laugh in their shirt pockets because they watch these movies in secret.

Victor Kgomoeswana, author of Africa Bounces Back

It’s definitely bigger than Bollywood and by far bigger than Hollywood. That just makes movies for much, much less than what we know the average movie costs.

Victor Kgomoeswana, author of Africa Bounces Back

However, the booming industry is losing some of the pirated video material and online piracy.

He cites the example of the recent hit ‘Blood Sisters’.

The film became a hit after premiering on Netflix in May, ranking ninth in terms of global views.

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According to Nigeria’s Business Day, “Blood Sisters” is one of the movies uploaded on NetNaija, a free streaming platform “notorious for movie piracy.”

The advantage of Nollywood’s huge output is that there seems to be enough for everyone, says Kgomoeswana.

The beauty of having a parallel market in a country of so many people is that you will get points from both sides… Whoever sells pirated copies will make money, but you will still make money from streaming that Netflix can generate for you and build the industry…

Victor Kgomoeswana, author of Africa Bounces Back

…because Nigeria has over 200 million people and they tell stories with their one-camera movies that sometimes cost $12,000 to make… I found that even though the budget could be of $12,000 or $20,000, more than 80% of this budget goes to the local population… who does the editing, the photography, the supply of the scenography, etc.

Victor Kgomoeswana, author of Africa Bounces Back

That’s why it has created more jobs than Hollywood, than Bollywood, than the film industry in South Africa…

Victor Kgomoeswana, author of Africa Bounces Back

Listen to the Africa business report below (Nollywood chat at 3:57):


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