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Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Research Papers

Graduate School


Nollywood: A Case Study of the Rising Nigerian
Film Industry- Content & Production
Elizabeth T. Giwa
Southern Illinois University Carbondale,

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Toyin Elizabeth Giwa
B.S., Southern Illinois University, 2010

A Research Paper
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Master of Science

Department of Mass Communication and Media Arts in the Graduate School
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
August 2014

Copyright by ELIZABETH TOYIN GIWA, 2014
All Rights Reserved


Elizabeth Toyin Giwa

A Research Paper Submitted in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Science in the field of Professional Media and Media Management

Approved by:
Dr. Kavita Karan, Chair

Graduate School
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
March 28, 2014

ELIZABETH GIWA, for the Master of Science degree in PROFESSIONAL MEDIA AND
MEDIA MANAGEMENT, presented on MARCH 28, 2014, at Southern Illinois University
The purpose of this study is to examine the changing trends of the Nollywood film industry. It aims to study the rising success of the industry; characters that are portrayed in films, the production process, viewership of films and its impact on audiences.
Nollywood movies have held a stigma of obsessive and repetitive thematic themes, yet their popularity is increasing with over a thousand Nollywood films being made each year. With a detailed literature review, content analysis of selected films, a survey on audiences this study focused on the various elements that are significant to the rise of the Nigerian film industry. Although the films have been known to be unrealistic,
Nollywood has been a staple in many African homes. It was found that people within the country love Nollywood films and the growing diaspora of Nigerians has led Nollywood to be accessible on multiple platforms. Also, the content and quality of films is noticeably improving. The findings of the study determined the factors that have led to a steady rise of content, production, and accessibility to the films that have kept the
Nollywood audience faithful to the industry. For many diasporas Nollywood represents a piece of home, the films serve as education about their culture, and teach valuable life lessons. i

This research is dedicated to my parents Wasiu and Ronke Giwa. This is a token of my appreciation for all you’ve done in my life. You have encouraged, motivated, and most importantly prayed for me. You both were a huge reason I pursued my Master’s and you cheered for me even when I felt like giving up. On the days I thought I wanted to give up I could hear my dad telling me, “keep your eye on the prize”, I did. Thank you for believing in me and pushing me to be the best that I can be and reminding me to never settle.


I would like to begin by thanking God for all he has done in my life. I would like to thank Dr. Kavita Karan for guiding and assisting me as the chairperson of my research.
Dr. Karan played a huge role in my graduate studies and I truly appreciate her efforts in helping me. I would also like to acknowledge the faculty and staff from the College of
Mass Communication and Media Arts who have been instrumental to my academic career as well as career goals.
I would also like to dedicate this paper to my support system, my siblings, Yinka,
Larry, Victoria and Hannah. You all are my motivation to keep striving. To Zainab Raji,
Toun Adeyemo, Jide Lawal, Rasheedat Adelekan, Tokunbo Adeniyi and Tashena
Briggs thank you for walking with me through this journey. I appreciate you all for your words of encouragement and support.




ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... i
DEDICATION .................................................................................................................. ii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................................................. iii
LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ iv
LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... v
CHAPTER 1 – Introduction ................................................................................... 1
CHAPTER 2 – Literature Review.......................................................................... 4
CHAPTER 3 – Research Questions and Methodology....................................... 14
CHAPTER 4 – Data Presentation and Content Analysis .................................... 19
CHAPTER 5 – Discussion .................................................................................. 37
CHAPTER 6 – Conclusion .................................................................................. 40
REFERENCES .............................................................................................................. 42
Appendix A – Coding Manual ............................................................................. 44
Appendix B – Questionnaire ............................................................................... 46

........................................................................................................................... 51




Table 1 .......................................................................................................................... 19
Table 2 .......................................................................................................................... 20
Table 3 .......................................................................................................................... 20
Table 4 .......................................................................................................................... 21
Table 5 .......................................................................................................................... 22
Table 6 .......................................................................................................................... 22
Table 7 .......................................................................................................................... 23




Figure 1 ......................................................................................................................... 24
Figure 2 ......................................................................................................................... 25
Figure 3 ......................................................................................................................... 26
Figure 4 ......................................................................................................................... 26
Figure 5 ......................................................................................................................... 27
Figure 6 ......................................................................................................................... 27
Figure 7 ......................................................................................................................... 28
Figure 8 ......................................................................................................................... 28
Figure 9 ......................................................................................................................... 29
Figure 10 ....................................................................................................................... 29
Figure 11 ....................................................................................................................... 30
Figure 12 ....................................................................................................................... 30
Figure 13 ....................................................................................................................... 31
Figure 14 ....................................................................................................................... 32
Figure 15 ....................................................................................................................... 32
Figure 16 ....................................................................................................................... 33
Figure 17 ....................................................................................................................... 34



Nigeria is known as one of the most populous countries in Africa with a population of 166.2 million people in 2012 from the 45.2 million in 1960. (Trading
Economics). As one of the fastest growing African countries, Nigeria is located in the western part of Africa and the nation’s capital is Abuja. There are more than 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria with over 400 dialects. The Cinema of Nigeria dates back to the late
1960s as the business of filmmaking expanded with increased investments in production and intense distribution networks. It was in the 1990s when Nollywood began its rise to recognition across the world. Although the Nigerian cinema culture cannot be compared to Hollywood, it is constantly improving with great potential of being more widely recognized. With the United States being home to Hollywood, which is one of the oldest film industries and the largest in terms of revenue, it is known to use various strategies when it comes to production and content of films. There is a great deal of inspiration from Hollywood that can be seen in Nollywood films, from the production, distribution, storylines, and characterizations. India is home for the
Bollywood film industry, which is known as the largest producer of films in the world.
The Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, is Africa’s most prevalent movie activity in both the number of productions and value, roughly producing between 1,000 and 1,500 movies annually. Nollywood is making its mark in the film business.
According to the article, “Nigeria’s Film Industry: A Potential Gold Mine”, Rebecca
Moudio (2013) states, “The Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, produces
50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood- more than Hollywood in the

United States. Although its revenues are not on par with Bollywood’s and Hollywood’s,
Nollywood still generates an impressive $590 million annually” (Moudio, 2013). This in turn assists the government with creating employment growth for the country by providing job opportunities. According to the article, “About Nollywood”, the average production of Nollywood films costs approximately $15,000 and takes only 10 days to make a movie (Sacchi, 2006). Nollywood films last between an hour to two hours and they are occasionally broken up into multiple parts. Some films are split into parts on one disc or up to three discs, which may include advertisements and promotional content in-between the films.
Although Nigerian films have been dated back to the 1960s, it was the advancements in digital filming, producing, and editing that boosted the countries film industry. This research will help collect and present aspects of Nollywood, defining the content and production of films within the industry. It will study the rising success of the industry, the way characters are portrayed, and the production process. Through a
Case Study approach we will study the production and distribution networks of
Nollywood movies. Additionally, through a Content Analysis of five top grossing
Nollywood movies, we will examine the variety of content, storylines, language, quality of production and the levels of modernization on the cultural variables. The storylines range from romance, religious inspiration, and deception. The levels of modernization will study the changes in the variety of clothes worn, representation of religious symbols, the language used and the background settings among others. As women are known to personify an evil or inferior demeanor in Nigerian movies, they play a major

3 role in the depiction of films. The depiction of women and their roles in Nollywood films will also be examined.
Distribution and screening of Nollywood films range from watching through
DVDs, in theatres, and the Internet. The Nollywood audience has access to Nigerian films through several platforms regardless of where they are in the world. The need for the expanding diaspora is due to the migration of over 400,000 Nigerians to other countries like the United States and the United Kingdom amongst others. With the widespread movement of Nigerians expanding, the need for access in multiple platforms is necessary and convenient. Through this research we will also examine how migration to other non-African countries has also improved the recognition of


The rising popularity of Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, is increasing the level of scholarship with several researchers investigating the genres, production, distribution and challenges faced by the films within the country, region and diaspora.
They also highlight the revenue generated annually, the number of films produced, as well as the themes and storylines of Nigerian films (Ebewo, 2007; Haynes & Okome,
1998, Obayiuwana, 2011).
Literature on Nollywood ranges from the historical aspects of the industry to the themes, plots, production and distribution of films for local and global audiences. The films have been a source of expressing and understanding the Nigerian culture as well as an influence on the lifestyles of Nigerian people. There has been an increase in the revenue generated through extensive distribution and an increase in overseas viewership as film festivals and other promotions are assisting in creating awareness of new films through noncommercial outlets that give additional access to Nollywood films.
For many years, Nigerian films have been based on storylines showing –constant tragedy, romance, drama and comedy that arouses the viewers mind. Whether the main character is going through constant tragedy to end up triumphant or the characters are caught in a love triangle, there are always high drama plots to keep the audience interested. Within these themes many of the films include multiple storylines combined into one film.

With several studies done in the past about the emerging Nollywood film industry, one in particular is “The Emerging Video Film Industry in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects”. In this study, Ebewo (2007) focuses on the challenges the industry has faced for the thematic obsession and repetitive themes for storylines. The Nigerian film industry is viewed in both positive and negative ways. Some find the plots to be highly repetitive and unrealistic, while others see them as expressions of the African culture.
Despite the many perceptions Nollywood carriers, the industry manages to defy the odds with new thought provoking films and high production quality.
Nollywood films are a staple in many African homes. (Haynes & Okome, 1998) in the article, “Evolving Popular Media: Nigerian Video Films”, the authors discuss the evolution of Nigerian film production and its rise to popular culture. It has become a necessity for many African families and has grown into popular media for the country. It is evident that films that include relatable scenarios and traditions of the country have influenced the lifestyle of many Africans. Filmmakers, for the most part, have been educated self-conscious artists who have social or political motivations that occasionally influence their films. There is a system for producing films and allocating funding for distribution. Haynes and Okome (1998) found that Nollywood films are extensively distributed at local and international levels through film festivals and other noncommercial outlets. This has led to what we now see as Nigerian film and video production that has been deeply rooted into the culture of professional competence.
The influence of Nigerian film production, both process and content have reached newer heights. The popularity of Nigerian video production has supported the distribution networks. Nollywood has often been compared to Hollywood in the artistic

6 quality of production, professionalism, and distribution. Chamley, (2012), explains the success of Nollywood movies competing against big-budget American films. Analyzing a few Nigerian films, Santorri Chamley found that Nollywood films like “Phone Swap”,
“Tango With Me”, and “Destitute” have all raised the artistic bar in recent years. These movies have all vividly shown western influences in terms of content and production.
Similar to the films reviewed for this research it was found that the ‘new cinema’ of
Nollywood is comprised of character portrayals that reflect the western culture, in terms of the characters style of dress, language and production quality. High quality films released theatrically begin to stand out amidst the wave of home-video movies that have dominated Nigerian filmmaking for the last 20 years (Chamley, 2012). The success of these films has brought a positive outlook on where Nollywood is heading in the years to come.
The country’s most talented directors have strived to reintroduce professionalism and quality to Nollywood. Improved scriptwriting, cinematography, and film direction are elevating the quality of the film business attracting audiences and increasing box office returns. The article, “Nollywood Goes to America” Goffe (2010), reports on the newer
Nigerian-themed films that focus on Nigerian immigrants in the United States. Femi
Agbayewa, a Nigerian-born and New York based filmmaker declared himself the creator of ‘Nollywood USA’. He explained, “there have never really been any films in America that in a popular, everyday Nollywood style, talk about the African experience” (Goffe,
2010, pg. 20). Filmmakers have combined the Nigerian and American film experience, forming Nollywood USA. It focuses on the Americanization of Nigerians in the U.S.
Nollywood USA was created to bring the Nigerian and American experience together,

7 providing film outlets for those who migrated from Nigeria and were unable to directly access authentic Nigerian films. As discussed in my film reviews further on, the director of the film “Ije” combined both the African lifestyle as well as an American lifestyle highlighting the struggles of women in both.
It is evident that the Nollywood industry is expanding rapidly in terms of number of films produced and distributed overseas, generating high revenues for the country.
The overseas viewership of Nollywood movies is expanding with the growing diaspora.
As the number of Nigerians spread throughout the world to places like the UK and US, the demand for films depicting their homeland is also growing.
Highet (2010) also exemplifies the reach and access of Nollywood films and access to them in African countries, the United States, United Kingdom and many other countries. Many Nigerians migrate to countries where they seek ways to be reminded of home through Nollywood films. Most people use outlets like YouTube and IrokoTV to stay in-tune and up-to-date with Nigerian films. These film outlets also provide the audience with an entertainment escape to keep up with the developments of the country, language, fashion, food, and the music amongst others. Through YouTube, viewers can access Nollywood channels to watch films that are in their entirety or split into parts. A viewer can easily access the films by simply searching for the film by name or a Nollywood channel of their choice where there will be an assortment of options to choose from. Channel holders upload a variety of movies, in some cases without legal rights. Through IrokoTV, viewers can access films according to genre of their choice such as action, family, and drama to name a few. This is a legal online platform that gives access to a wide range of films and also offers a small subscription fee to the site

8 for more exclusive titles. Jason Njoku who is the companies CEO, partnered with one of
Africa’s leading entertainment companies to provide free and paid-for Nigerian films on demand. IrokoTV gives instant access to thousands of Nollywood film titles, creating a way for Nigerians and Nollywood film viewers to have access to movies without actually being in Nigeria.
Another form of Nollywood film distribution is through film festivals. There are festivals held annually all over the world that give filmmakers the exposure they need to promote their creative works. Film Africa 2011 Celebrating African Cinema (Dovey,
2011) exemplifies the history of African films and the annual celebration of the industry, which takes place in London, a place known to be home to Nigerians who have relocated from their homeland. The festival screens over 50 films that are followed by discussions. Film Africa is a 10-day annual celebration of African cinema and it serves to help reduce the gap between African films and audiences. Nollywood films deserve an outlet that can provide a platform for broad exposure.
Serving as the main hub for African films, Nollywood films produced in one of the many Nigerian languages typically have subtitles or production in English eliminating barriers for those who don’t speak the native language. Olayiwola (2011) reflects on the arguments of Yoruba filmmakers being the pioneers of the video film industry in Nigeria and at present more films are produced in English. This illustrates how Nollywood continuously attempts to connect with the western culture. In areas like Lagos Island,
Nigerian natives and visitors have access to watch both Nigerian as well as American films at a prominent shopping mall that houses the Silverbird Theatre. Just a few years ago this was not possible. The movie theatre serves as the home for popular Nollywood

9 movie premieres. Other Nollywood viewing outlets in Nigeria are housed in movie rental shops in local markets.
From distribution to production, Nollywood film producers connected to the diaspora early and also had storylines that incorporated immigrant communities and films with subtitles in English, thereby increasing the viewership as well as the revenue for the films (Goffe 2010; Obayiuwana, 2011). The study, “Nollywood Pulls in the
Dollars” brings forth the revenue generated by the Nollywood industry. Similar to the films “Tango” and “Wife Swap”, “Ije” collected revenue of $60 million Naira, which is converted to roughly US $357,000. These films are created with small budgets and great returns. Over the years Nollywood has become the country’s main non-oil foreign exchange earner (Obayiuwana, 2011).
The president of Nigeria pledged a $150 million dollar loan fund for the creative industries. Since then, there have been improvements made in the entertainment industry creating employment opportunities in the country. It is evident that the Nigerian film business has progressed over the years. With financial backing and contribution from the president, there is great potential for growth in the years to come. The quality of production is evident, there has been an upgrade in camera equipment, film editing software, and the locations where films are shot have improved for the better with some films being shot in foreign locales. Nollywood films are now based on Nigerians telling their owns stories instead of us being told stories about Nigerians. This motivates storylines to truly reflect moral dilemmas Nigerians face including violence, religion, and family drama (Obayiuwana, 2011).

There are two distinct African cinemas. The article, Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-first Century: Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution, (Akinyemi,
2011), discusses them extensively giving both from the artistic and commercial perspectives. There is the traditional art film and the newer more commercial video films that are based on English-speaking Africa. Given this background, the films selected for this research were based on these criteria. There are films that are in a traditional art form and films that in a more commercial video form, which are based on the English speaking Africa. Location shifting to overseas viewing is another fundamental development of change in Nollywood films. Over the last 40 years movies have been filmed in an array of countries finding homes with people who have grown to love and appreciate the African culture through the detailed and engaging plots.
The forms of filmmaking, particularly contemporary have embraced digital technology as a form of popular distribution and screening of cinema. “Digital as the
New Popular in African Cinema? Case Studies from the Continent” is an article by
Lizelle Bisschoff. Bisschoff (2012) states, the appeal that media content has is because of its relevance to audiences in narratives, language, topics treated, characters portrayed, or style that has been framed theoretically (Bisschoff, 2012). It basically highlights the art of technology and how it feeds into popular media. Because of the relevant content, the audience is able to connect and relate to the story being told. The content we are exposed to is in some cases, inspired by the language, characters, and topics related to the African culture.
In light of reflecting on how much African cinema has progressed over the years,
David Murphy’s article, “Africans Filming Africa: Questioning Theories of An Authentic

African Cinema, mentions the colonial era that reinforced the western vision through cinematic images that portrayed Africa as a dark continent. When African filmmakers began to create films they were determined to counter negative perceptions and thoughts of their homeland. The article examines debates that have been done to discover whether film critics who are not of African decent, but actually come from a western background can give a true reading of an African film (Murphy, 2000). Within that I will argue that most Nollywood films show western influences through their cinematic images as well as content based on the African culture. The style of speech and the characters attire are often influenced by western culture. However, when storylines are based on the African culture, they manage to stay true and reflective of that. Nevertheless filmmakers still stress the overly dramatic and intense plots that have a combination of love, jealousy, deceit and triumph.
The transition of the motion picture industry in Nigeria from celluloid films to videos films is a topic that has been researched in the past. Olayiwola (2007) states this in the article, “From Celluloid to Video: The Tragedy of the Nigeria Film Industry”, video films were able to recapture the film audience with the new wave of dramatic television productions. According to Olayiwola, the convenience and affordability influenced the replacement of celluloid. Video films have really revolutionized entertainment on a cinematic level for many Nollywood film watchers. The rise of video films contributed to the continued advancements in the Nigerian film business. The convenience of conversion to DVD has made it easier for film viewers to have access to films where they can watch them in the convenience of their homes. The transition to video films also gave way for the online platform.

The success of the film “Living in Bondage” was due to the bold storytelling and easy distribution. It’s an Igbo film that includes English subtitles. “Nollywood Looks to the Future”, Oguine (2004) believes that the unique and rich storylines are thought provoking and in many cases relatable, allowing Nollywood films to be household necessities. Whether the audience can relate to situations or learn lessons before they encounter them, the strength of the plot holds the quality of Nollywood films.
While visiting in the summer of 2010 I had the pleasure of meeting a Nigerian filmmaker. Her name is Chineze Anyaene and she directed a Nigeria–American film titled “Ije: The Journey”. The film is based on the story of two sisters who are born and raised in Nigeria and the elder sister moves to Los Angeles, California. The lead actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, was named one of the world’s hardest working actresses with over 300 movie roles in the Nigerian film industry. The film depicts the
African and American lifestyles and how they come full circle when Africans migrate.
The film highlights how the American dream isn’t always as perfect as it seems. When one culture joins another, there are some things that may clash. Although “Ije” included
Americanized content, the structure of Nollywood was still very prevalent. The movie includes the strong family essence when a younger sister leaves Nigeria to rescue her older sister in America facing criminal charges for murder. The plot includes love, betrayal and family support. Betrayal, when the sister who moved to America is accused of murdering her husband. Love for her sister and love for her life. The film combined a traditional African upbringing that crosses paths with the American lifestyle. The sister on trial struggles with stigmas of women in Nigeria and it holds her back as a woman in
America. The movie premiered in Nigeria at the Silverbird Theatre in Lagos Island. It’s

13 also distributed through its direct movie site and other online platforms in the US,
Nigeria, and London.
Most Nigerian films are structured the same way. The plots consist of the moral dilemmas Africans face such as family, love, jealousy, and betrayal. The arrangement of
Nollywood movies has usually included unrealistic, dramatic, and unexpected twists. As the years have gone by we as non-resident residents of Nigeria living in the US have grown to appreciate Nollywood films and the artistic expression of the Nigerian culture.
Nollywood filmmakers strive to portray real life scenarios, as well as fabricated, to entertain the audience. As with many developing countries, the Nigerian culture has been heavily influenced by the Western culture in various ways, especially in regards to the film business. That has led filmmakers to cast actors and actresses to portray a certain persona, dress a particular way, and even speak a certain way when the film is in English.
Therefore, the Nollywood film industry has grown over the years. The storylines, production quality, and popularity has significantly changed for the better. Filmmakers are taking the creative efforts in telling stories from a Nigerian perspective seriously.
The amount of revenue the country pulls in and the international distribution and access to films is increasing its popularity. Studies have focused on the general shift of content, production, and distribution of the film industry. However, not many studies have focused on the actual level of cultural representations and modernization of films, and the impact of these on Nigerian diasporas, which this study aims to study.


It is evident that the Nollywood industry is expanding rapidly in terms of number of films produced, distributed overseas, and also generating high revenues for the country.
The overseas viewership of these movies is expanding with the growing diasporas. In this study we examine some of the shifts that are taking place in the Nollywood film industry in terms of content, production, and viewership. It will examine the following research questions.
1. To examine the types of content included in films: deceit, drama, religion, family, language, action, and comedy.
2. To find out the western and local cultural themes in Nigerian films: how they dress, character portrayals, language used and settings/location.
3. To determine if Nollywood influences filmmaking across the world?
4. To find out the viewership patterns and impact of Nollywood films on overseas
Nigerians living in the US?

A detailed content analysis and survey will be used to present this study. Content
Analysis (Wimmer and Dominick, 2009) is a method used to define the media agenda and surveys are a method of collecting data on the audience agenda (Wimmer and
Dominick, 2009). Popular Nollywood films from the last five years will be analyzed for content, production quality and the portrayal of characters. The survey will consist of

15 feedback on the cultural and social impact of Nollywood films from Nollywood viewers living all around the world.
Content Analysis – the content analysis was conducted by viewing five films.
Each of the films were broken down into five minute chapters where characters, genre, cultural representation, background settings, language, subtitle usage, clothing, motherland settings, violence, and portrayals of women were examined. During the course of each film it was paused at five-minute intervals/chapters to code the content as per the coding manual.
Sample of Films – the following five films were coded for this study.
1. The film “Leyin Igbeyawo”, which in Yoruba means ‘after the marriage’, is a two part film directed by Saheed Abolaji, based on the story of a woman who is engaged to the love of her life. Shortly after her engagement her fiancés business partner expresses his undying love for her and coaxes her to leave her fiancé to be with him. She takes his lead and leaves the love of her life behind for a man that is not only friends with her fiancé, but also his business partner. The film follows her as her fiancé tries to deal with a broken heart and she prepares to marry her new love. That quickly gets disrupted when her new love falls into a sickness of hallucinations. His family tries to uncover what made him turn for the worse. When the truth is revealed, under a spell, the woman admits that she is responsible for his psychotic behavior as there is black magic that was done to her new love. She sacrificed him because she didn’t want to sacrifice the true love of her life, with whom she really wanted to be with. She felt the business partner should learn a lesson for pursuing her knowing she was engaged.

2. “Iwa”, which is Yoruba for ‘your behavior’, is a film directed by Abiodun
Olanrewaju about a marriage that is tested for infidelity. The husband and wife are bombarded with accusations that the husband has been unfaithful in their marriage and has conceived a child with another woman. Things turn for the worst when the woman confides in another man and he introduces her to a pastor who then takes advantage of her vulnerability and begins to engage in inappropriate acts. The pastor dies at the hands of the woman he’s having the affair with and she’s accused of murdering him.
The tables turn when the man she confided in who introduced her to the pastor admits to putting black magic on the pastor in light of his jealousy that the woman and pastor were getting close.
3. “Last Flight to Abuja” was written, produced, and directed by Obi Emelonye. It’s based on events of a series of plane crashes in Nigeria back in 2009. The film is centered on a group of coworkers who are given a weekend getaway trip due to their company’s success after a good sales year. The film is based on their individual lives and the events that occurred leading up to the plane crash that changed many of their lives forever.
4. “Irin Ajo Eda”, which is Yoruba for ‘the journey of life ’, is a film directed by
Odunlade Adekola about a man who’s greed backfires. The main character runs into an old college classmate and is quickly swindled by the fact that her father is rich and can help him land a good paying job. They quickly fall ‘in love’ and he meets her family and they wed within months. This takes place as the woman he’s in a committed relationship is abroad taking care of family during a rough time. She returns to find no sign of him and later discovers he has made a new life without her. He impregnates his ex-girlfriend

17 and his wife overhears the revealing which leads to a scuffle. His wife ends up dying in his hands and he’s accused of her murder. Six years later he’s released when a man comes forward to police admitting he was in a quarrel with the woman’s father and paid a herbalists to perform black magic to kill the mans daughter.
5. The final film, “Ije: The Journey”, was directed and produced by Chineze
Anyaene. It’s a Nigerian American film that tells the story of two sisters who are born and raised in Nigeria. One of the sisters moves to America to pursue a career in singing where she meets her husband who ends up being fatally shot one night in their home while she’s present. She’s put on trial for his murder. Her younger sister travels from
Nigeria to aid her sister through this trying time. As the American and Nigerian lifestyles come full circle the main character must let the negative stigmas of life in Nigeria go in order to prove her innocence in the case.
Coding Manual – The classification of topics was as follows; characters, genre, cultural representation, background settings, language, subtitles, dress/clothing, settings in motherland, violence, portrayals of women. The operational definitions: the present study of characters refers to whether the persons shown in the scene were men, women or children; genre refers to drama, action, romance, traditional/historical, and comedy; cultural representation refers to African or modern; background settings refer to whether the scene was shot in Africa or elsewhere; violence refers to abusive language or physical abuse; and portrayals of women refer to women as very weak, weak, strong, or very strong.
The coding manual used for the study is attached in Appendix – A

Survey – the survey instrument was an online survey conducted through a questionnaire comprising of 23 questions. The questions included in the survey ranged from the access and frequency of watching films to their opinions on the cultural connections of the films and the future of the Nigerian film industry. The survey link was posted on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook with a request for Nigerians to respond to the survey. Survey respondents were greeted by a brief message stating the purpose and title of the research. Each respondent was anonymous and had the right to opt out of the survey at any time.
The questionnaire is in Appendix – B
Sample – the sample consisted of 101 respondents.

Content Analysis of Nigerian Films
Table -1 Film Duration and Chapters
Name of Film

Duration of Film

Number of Chapters

Last Flight to Abuja

1hr 12min


Leyin Igbeyawo

1hr 45min



1hr 40min


Irin Ajo Eda

1hr 40min



1hr 35min


Total Chapters



Five films were analyzed focusing on the characters, genre, cultural representation, background settings, language, subtitle usage, dress, motherland settings, violence, and portrayals of women. The following films were analyzed, ”Last
Flight to Abuja”, “Leyin Igbeyawo”, “Ije”, “Iwa”, “Irin Ajo Eda”. Each of the movies ranged in content, filming locations, character portrayals, language, and cultural representation.
The timing of the films ranged from 72 minutes to 105 minutes (Table – 1)
Each film was divided into chapters of five minutes and the information was coded based on the criteria for the content analysis. A total of 95 chapters were coded for “Last Flight to Abuja”, “Leyin Igbeyawo”, “Ije”, “Iwa”, and “Irin Ajo Eda”.

Table – 2 Characters Portrayed in the Films




More than one

Last Flight to 10










Irin Ajo Eda










In each of the films how the characters were portrayed in different roles were coded. Although some of the characters portrayed western influenced characters, it was still evident that the films were true to the Nigerian culture. The creators of these films knew what content to include in order satisfying their audience. As seen in Table – 2, it was found that 45% of the characters in the films reviewed were females, 45% were males, and 10% were children.
Table – 3 Film Genres


1. Drama



2. Action



3. Romance



4. Traditional/Historical



5. Comedy



6. Total



The genres ranged throughout the films. Overall the films contained drama 50% of the time, action 13% and romance was not popular being shown 9% of the time in the five films. Historical or traditional themes were expressed 23% of the time while comedy was shown only 5% of the time. (Table – 3)
Table – 4 Cultural Representations
Cultural Representation















Cultural representation is an important dynamic in Nollywood films. It signifies the culture on multiple levels giving viewers a look into Nigeria through films. Analyzing the films I determined that 65% of the time films included African representation, 14% of the time it was a modern or westernized representation, and 21% of the time the films displayed both an African and modern cultural representation.
As far as background settings of the films analyzed in this study 82% of the time the films were set in Nigeria and 18% of the time they were set in an international country, that only being America, specifically Los Angeles, California.
It was important to determine the use of language in these films. As stated previously, with the rise of Nollywood films being screened overseas, many of them were made in English or were provided subtitles if produced in a native language. In the films reviewed 71% of them used English as a main language, 55% used Yoruba as

22 the primary language, 8% of the films used a mixture of English and Yoruba, and 5% used another African dialect beside Yoruba (Table – 5). For the films that were produced in Yoruba or another African dialect there were subtitles provided in English
66% of the time or if the film was in English there were Yoruba subtitles 34% of the time. Table – 5 Language use in films












Other (native dialect)



In each of the films the characters style of dress ranged. More than half of the time, 59%, the characters in all five films reviewed wore modern/westernized clothing.
During special occasions like wedding introductions and traditional gatherings, traditional clothing such as, iro ati buba, was worn 41% of the time. Nigerian films are generally shot on location, in natural or outdoor settings (Table – 6).
Table – 6 Dress/clothing worn in films



Traditional (iro ati buba)






Violence in films – While analyzing these films the topic of violence was also a focus, violence in terms of abusive language or physical abuse. After viewing all of the films it was found that 58% of the time there was some form of verbal abuse. Whether it was cursing someone or expressing anger on a situation. In terms of physical abuse there were instances in a few of the films were rape or death occurred due to someone’s actions and that occurred 42% of the time.
Last but not least, I examined the portrayal of women in films. The women who starred in these films were portrayed in a variety of ways. As wives and caretakers, businesswomen, deceivers, and so on, women were portrayed as very weak 28% of the time, weak 18% of the time, strong 28% of the time and very strong 26% of the time.
The way women were portrayed in these films varied depending on the life situation they were in. In some cases, women were held captive by ‘bad spirits’ or black magic that made them do bad things or they were women who were caught in bad situations and frowned upon for the very things that destroyed their life. This is what makes the content of Nollywood interesting, seeing the characters face unbearable trials and tribulations that can teach anyone a life lesson (Table – 6).
Table – 7 Portrayal of women in films
Portrayals of Women



Very Weak









Very Strong



Perceptions and Impact of Nollywood Films on Nigerians
A survey was conducted and distributed through email and link posting on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. There were a total of 101 respondents.
Survey respondents were greeted by a brief message stating the purpose and title of the research. Each respondent was anonymous and had the right to opt out of the survey at any time. The survey was geared toward film watchers, specifically Nollywood film watchers. The respondents were asked general questions to begin and were followed by questions on Nollywood.
Socio Economic Profile of the Respondents

Figure – 1 Location of the Respondents
The USA is home to more than half of the respondents at 55%, 24%, of the respondents live in Nigeria, and 21% of the respondents live in the United Kingdom.
This expresses the diversity of the respondents. Whether the respondents were born in
Nigeria and later migrated to the UK or US it’s evident that the exposure of Nollywood is on an international scale. There were more women than men that participated in the survey. Out of the 101 respondents 59% of them were female and 41% of them were male. This makes for an interesting dynamic as the responses are almost at an even balance between men and women.


Figure – 2 Age of Respondents
The age of the respondents varied. There were respondents between the ages of
18-25 at 27%. Most of the respondents were between the ages of 26-35 at 34%. The respondents between the ages of 36-45 were at 23%, those between the ages of 46-55 were at 11%, and the respondents that were 56 and over were at 5% of total survey respondents. The highest level of education the respondents had was a PhD, MD, or other doctoral degree at 11%. The lowest level of education was high school and that represented 5% of the respondents who had a high school diploma, 12% had an
Associates degree, 33% have Bachelors, 17% are presently in college, 16% have a
Masters degree, and 6% are currently in graduate school.

Media Exposure

Figure – 3 Media Exposure of Respondents
Most of the respondents said they spend nine or more hours on the Internet a week at 36%.

Viewership of Films

Figure – 4 Frequency of Film Watching
The respondents were asked how often they watched films, in general. 15% said everyday, 30% said very often, 28% often, 26% said sometimes and 1% responded that they never watched films.


Figure – 5 Access to Watching Nollywood Films
22% of the respondents generally watch films in theaters, 33% watch in their home entertainment center, 35% watch films on their computer or tablet, and 10% watch from their mobile device.

Figure – 6 Importance of quality in a film
Another question was asked to determine how important the quality of film is to the respondents. Out of the responses 71% said it is very important, 23% said the quality is somewhat important, and 6% said it is not important.


Figure – 7 Content and Production in Films
In terms of the content and production of films 85% of the respondents said they pay attention and 15% said they don’t pay attention.

Preference for Genre of Film

Figure – 8 Respondents preferred genre of film
It was found that, 30% of the respondents said comedy was their preferred genre of film, 11% said horror, 25% said drama, 18% said romance, 13% said action, and 3% said others.

Exposure to Nollywood Films

Figure – 9 Familiarity with Nollywood Films
The fact that Nollywood is gaining more international recognition, it was important to determine if the respondents were familiar with Nollywood. 58% of the respondents said they are very familiar with Nollywood films, 40% said they were somewhat familiar, and 2% said they were not familiar.

Figure – 10 Frequency of Watching Nollywood films
With the convenience and accessibility of Nollywood films, 41% of the respondents watch them most frequently once a month or more. The other respondents watch Nollywood films once in two months at 21%, once in three months at 16%, and the remaining 22% of respondents chose others, indicating they may not watch them at all or less frequently than once in three months.


Figure – 11 Collection of Nollywood Films
Nollywood films are accessible on multiple platforms. When the respondents were asked if they own or collect Nollywood films 54% of the respondents replied no and 46% of the respondents said they do own or collect Nollywood films. This may indicate that they own online subscriptions to Nollywood films or they own or collect
Nollywood VHS/DVDs.

Figure – 12 Respondents Source of Viewing Nollywood Films
Being that Nollywood films are accessible through a variety of platforms we probed into asking where the respondents generally watched their favorite Nigerian films. Watching Nollywood movies at the theater is not very popular with only 7% of the respondents seeing them in the theaters, 36% say they generally watch Nollywood films in their home entertainment center, 44% say they watched on their computers or tablets, and 14% said they used their mobile device to watch Nollywood films.

In a more detailed short answer question the respondents were asked what are some of their reasons for watching Nigerian films. The respondents briefly stated their reasons for watching Nigerian films saying – “I love to see romantic stories and live vicariously through the films characters”, “I personally believe the plots are very amusing and creative”, “Although very lengthy, I enjoy watching the films while cooking, doing my hair, or homework”, “To laugh, cry, and just enjoy the movies my culture produces”, another respondent says, “Learning more about our culture”, “As an Nigerian
American, I feel it allows me to know more about my culture and to get acquainted with my Nigerian culture”, “Fashion of the day, culture and language”, someone said, “I enjoy them. Also research, I'm writing my own script”, and lastly, “They are a reflection of my culture and over the years I have seen the immense improvement in the storylines, acting, and production”. These responses indicated many things. Movie watchers watch films to invoke certain emotions or to escape from realistic situations they face on a dayto-day basis. Besides the need for entertainment, Nollywood films serve as an informative and educational tool. A number of the respondents felt that the movies help them to learn more about their culture.

Figure – 13 Satisfaction with Content of Nollywood

Overall a majority of the respondents were satisfied with the content of
Nollywood films. Of the 101 respondents 22% felt that the content is very good, 60% feel as though the content is good, 14% feel it isn’t good, and 4% feel the content in
Nollywood films is not good at all.
Cultural Impact of Nollywood Films on Nigerians

Figure – 14 Nollywood Films Help Nigerian Diaspora to Connect to Nigeria
Nigerian films serve as visual expressions of the culture as well as the lifestyle.
For those who live in Nigeria or migrate to another country, it serves to reinforce traditional and cultural values and as a reminder of home. When the respondents were asked whether Nollywood films help them to connect to Nigeria, if they lived overseas,
72% responded that it helps a lot, 24% said that it somewhat helps, and 4% stated that it doesn’t help at all.

Figure – 15 Nollywood Films Help Overseas Residents To See The Development Of
The Country

Nollywood films are primarily shot in Nigeria. Whether they are shot in an urban city setting or a rural village outside of Lagos, the films show many sites and locations that may be recognizable to the audience. Films made within the recent years explore many landmarks in the country. When the respondents were asked if Nollywood films help them to see the development of the county, if they live overseas, 69% of the respondents said that watching Nollywood films help them a lot to witness the development of the country. Within that, 30% of the respondents said that Nollywood films somewhat help them to see the development of the country while 1% of the respondents said that it does not help them at all.

Figure – 16 Enjoyment of Language in Nollywood Films
With a number of Nollywood films produced in a native language like Yoruba, the survey included a question about the language in films and whether they help the audience enjoy their native language. More than half of the respondents at 77% said that the films helps a lot, 20% said it somewhat helps, and 3% said it does not help at all. 34

Figure – 17 Keeping Up With Nollywood Through Other Media
The respondents were asked if they lived overseas, outside of Nigeria, how do they keep up with Nollywood films? Majority of the respondents, 32%, said they stay in tune through word of mouth from friends and relatives in Nigeria. Online newspapers and magazines also serve as a main source of keeping up with Nollywood films as stated by, 24% of the respondents.
Finally, we also asked the respondents to give their opinions on Nollywood films or their familiarity with them. There were some very interesting responses to the question, which also reflect on the changes that Nigerians are noticing in the films. They are more satisfied with the themes, languages used in the films and production quality.
At the same time there is a level of criticism about the westernization and imitation of
Hollywood in Nigerian films. One of them stated, “I believe the production of Nigerian films has improved greatly. I appreciate a good story so a lot of the films I watch are from suggestions or given great reviews. I enjoy Yoruba Nollywood films most because it is my native tongue and I enjoy the wisdom shared through the films and the triumph people experience in each story. I love the comedy as well. In order for me to really enjoy an English speaking Nollywood film, the story line has to be impeccable and there ought to be great production (acting, scenes, costume)”. Another respondent stated,

“The production in the last film (forgot the name) really showed the growth in Nollywood production. And I'm excited to see how scripts and storylines will grow as well”, “They are getting better as the years go on. They used to be really cheesy and cheap, but now they are advancing”, “Great plots occasionally, but what bothers me is actors claiming western accents”, “Writers could also try to maintain some originality in the titles. I have noticed a lot of copied titles from western movies. Overall, Nollywood should be applauded for its efforts in Africa”. Someone stated, “It looks low budget from few I've skimmed. For someone who is not living in country, may be hard to understand the storyline or cultural background”, “Nollywood films help me to understand and learn the language better, especially when there's subtitles”, “Nollywood films are entertaining and can help Africans living in the US as well as people outside of our Nigeria better understand our culture and diversity. I can also commend the Nollywood producers and directors with getting better and better over time with their production and technology.
It's definitely easier to view”. Another respondent stated, “Nollywood films have truly progressed in the past few years in quality, script, and acting. Recent films have been able to tackle basic issues pertaining to the general culture in Nigeria, and other interrelated issues that crosses national boundary as well”. All of these responses and the others not listed shared great insight on different matters and issues that the
Nollywood industry has tried to tackle and improve.
The respondents were also asked to list Nollywood films that they have watched and liked in the last two years. Most of them have seen many films and were unable to recall them as evidenced in their responses: “I usually don’t worry about the title”, “Best
Bride Pt. 1 & 2”, “Love Alone”, “I've seen too many! I can't remember all the names”,

“Tani Olorun Omo”, “Last Flight to Abuja”, “Gem of the Rainforest”, “The Nollywood films
I have watched and enjoyed the most will be “Eru Arugbo”, “Ebolo” and “Ewe Aje”. Quite a few of the respondents listed the film “Taxi Driver” as one of the movies they have seen in the last 2 years. Further on, respondents listed Yoruba titled films as well as
English titled Nigerian films. Someone said they like any film that includes their favorite
Nollywood stars stating, “Yoruba Movies with actors such as Funke Akindele and
Odunlade Adekola”.

Both the content analysis and survey presented valuable findings in this study.
Reviewing the five films produced more insight into Nollywood films and the structure of producing content that the viewers demand. The films had an even appearance of men and women with a minimal appearance of children. More than half of the time, each of the films were based on drama. The genres of the films varied within each film.
In general more than half of the respondents watch films often or very often.
Over half of the respondents were familiar with Nollywood and most attested to watching them once or more a month. Based on the level of satisfaction when it comes to the content of Nollywood films, more than half of the respondents felt the content to be simply ‘good’. Mostly all the respondents feel that Nollywood films help them to connect to their country in one way or another to keep up with the development of the country or to hear the native language. The survey was taken by people in the USA, the
UK, and Nigeria ranging between the ages of 18-56+. The majority of respondents were women and the overall highest level of education was a Bachelors degree. For the most part, all of the films were in English, but for the ones that were in Yoruba there were always subtitles displayed clearly on the screen for the audience. In the films women were either portrayed as very weak or very strong in their roles.
Through the content analysis of the films and the survey we were able to determine that: the content of Nollywood movies are intensified. The strong plots hold a realm of genres including high drama, romance, and traditional/historical rituals and traditions. The characters in the films analyzed prove to have strong western influences

38 by the style of dress many of the characters wore modern and westernized clothing, by the character portrayals, many of the characters carried personas that aren’t typical
African portrayals, language was also another western influence noted in the analysis.
The choice of language varied in the films, some of the characters showed signs that there is a significant amount of westernization in the Nollywood industry. The settings and locations stayed in urban and rural villages in Nigeria, with the exception of a film that was partially shot in the US. With the growing diaspora and feedback from the survey respondents it seems as though Nollywood is making an impression around the world. Closely following larger film industries like Hollywood and Bollywood, Nollywood has made an impressive statement in the film business. Nigerians have moved from
Africa to different parts of the world, with that comes the need of having access to films wherever they relocate to. Through online platforms like IrokoTV and YouTube the viewership patterns of Nollywood is constantly growing.
This research collected and presented aspects that contribute to Nollywood, defining the content and production of films within the industry. The focus of the rising film business, character portrayals, and the production process all play a significant role in the expansion and the growing popularity of the Nigerian film industry. The Nollywood industry gives filmmakers, actors, and actresses the opportunity to showcase their talents to a mass audience. It’s quite easy to draw similarities and knowledge from the valuable storylines in Nollywood films, where the content is always rich in its message.
Some of the popular locations to shoot these films are in cities like Abuja and Lagos. By on location, that’s referring to filming at hotels, homes, and offices that are often rented out by their owners who appear in the movie credits.

The content produced, style of shooting the film, choice of characters, and distribution outlets are a few of the things that contribute to the success of Nollywood.
Nigerian filmmakers have invested into Nollywood, though it did bring in great criticism, it allowed them a chance to build an empire that has received some great accomplishments. Some of the benefits include the government investing in film production and the exposure to not only other African countries, but to the world on a broader scale. This research has shown that there are other aspects of the Nollywood film business that many are not aware of. The rise of recognition and improvements noticed by the Nollywood audience will continue to help promote the positives the business has to offer.

To conclude, the Nollywood film industry is gaining recognition on an international scale. With Nigerians migrating to places like the UK and US the importance here is just as significant as it is in Nigeria. Nigerians have access to the
Nollywood films they know and love. Nollywood film distribution varies from place to place. Viewers can find them in the market on Lagos Island, YouTube, IrokoTV, and local African video shops to name a few. With the growing age of technology there have been more avenues that have allowed audiences to view Nollywood movies through new media platforms.
As found in the content analysis, filmmakers are developing themes and plots as well as language that will meet the needs of the local and overseas Nigerians. Some of these films like “Last Flight to Abuja” reflect the changing themes with local and foreign locales. Films like “Ije” have also used both English and Yoruba in films.
Seeing these movies connect overseas Nigerians to their home is amazing, it’s like having a little piece of home. A respondent stated, “Nollywood films are entertaining and can help Africans living in the US as well as people outside of our Nigeria better understand our culture and diversity.” This simply sums the advantages and positives of
The detailed storylines and plots make for rich content in Nigerian films. Culture is what defines us. It represents where we come from. Its our beliefs and values that shape we are. Nollywood films are films are an expression of the Nigerian culture.
Most of the respondents in the survey stated that they can see the improvements

41 in the films and that the films reminded them of their culture and encouraged them to learn more about their culture through the films. As stated by one of the respondents, ‘it represents our country to the world.’ It’s quite easy to draw similarities and knowledge from the valuable storylines in Nollywood films. The representation of the Nigerian culture is so rich in these films. With the rising recognition of Nollywood, filmmakers are taking advantage of telling stories from an African perspective verses the stories being told to Africans by someone else. This holds great significance in knowing that these films hold true traditions and the culture through the visuals, content, and production.
At the end of the day Nollywood has made its impact in the film business.
Serving as Africa’s most prevalent movie activity in the number of productions as well as value of returns. Although the Cinema of Nigeria dates back to the late 1960s the advancements to date have by far exceeded many expectations. Nigeria has seen great progress in the films produced annually. Each movie created holds significance in the storyline for people to relate to. It is hoped that as the years go on they continue to improve content, production, and distribution of movies.

Akinyemi, A. (2011). Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-first Century: Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution, ed. Mahir Saul and Ralph A. Austen. Research
In African Literatures, 42(4), 149-150. doi:10.2979/reseafrilite.42.4.149
Bisschoff, l., & Aced, a. (2012). Digital as the New Popular in African Cinema? Case
Studies from the Continent. Research In African Literatures, 43(4), 112-127.
Chamley, Santorri. (2012). New Nollywood Cinema. Cineaste, 37(3), pg 21-23.
Dovey, Lindiwe. (2011). Film Africa 2011 Celebrating African Cinema. New African,
Issue 510, pg 96-97.
Ebewo, Patrick J. (2007). The Emerging Video Film Industry in Nigeria: Challenges and
Prospects. Journal of Film and Video, 59. Issue 3, pg 46-57.
Goffe, Leslie. (2010). Nollywood goes to America. New African, 494, pg 20-21.
Haynes, Jonathan & Okome, Onookome. (1998). Evolving Popular Media: Nigerian
Video Films. Research in African Literatures, 29. Issue 3, pg 106.
Highet, Juliet. (2010). Inside Nollywood. New African, 494, pg 18-19.
Moudio, Rebecca. (2013). Nigeria’s Film Industry: a Potential Gold Mine? From Murphy, D. (2000). Africans filming Africa: questioning theories of an authentic African cinema. Journal







Obayiuwana, Osasu. (2011). Nollywood pulls in the dollars. New African, 510, pg 80-82.
Oguine, I. (2004). Nollywood looks to the future. New Internationalist, (372), 5.

Olayiwola, A. (2007). From Celluloid to Video: The Tragedy of the Nigerian Film
Industry. Journal Of Film & Video, 59(3), 58-61.
This is Nollywood. (2006). About Nollywood.


APPENDIX A – Coding Manual for the Content Analysis
Coding Manual
1. Serial Number/Case Number
2. Name of movie
1. Leyin Igbeyawo
2. Iwa
3. Last Flight to Abuja
4. Irin Ajo Eda
5. Ije: The Journey
3. Time
1. 5 minute chapters
4. Year of Production
1. 2009
2. 2010
3. 2011
4. 2012
5. 2013
5. Characters
1. Female
2. Male
3. Children
4. All the above
6. Genres
1. Drama
2. Action
3. Romance
4. Traditional/historical
5. Comedy
7. Cultural Representation
1. African
2. Modern
3. Both
8. Background Settings
1. Motherland Nigeria
2. Diaspora/International Name of Country
3. Others
9. Language
1. English
2. Yoruba
3. Both
4. Others
10. Titles
1. Only in language
2. In subtitles

3. Both
11. Dress/Clothing
1. Traditional (iru ati buba)
2. Modern/Western
12. Settings in the Motherland
1. Urban-city
2. Rural-village
13. Violence
1. Abusive language
2. Physical abuse
14. Portrayals of women
1. Very weak
2. Weak
3. Strong
4. Very strong
15. Cultural Representation (Africa, Modern/Western, Both)
1. Music
2. Dance
3. Artifacts
4. Tools used
5. Religion (church, mosque, temple)

APPENDIX B – Questionnaire for the Survey
Nollywood: A Case Study of the Rising Nigerian Film Industry Content and Production
Dear participant,
I am a graduate student in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at
Southern Illinois University Carbondale and working on my master’s thesis.
The purpose of this study, Nollywood: The Rising Nigerian Film Industry Content and
Production, is to discover the changing trends of the Nollywood film industry. This research will help collect and present aspects of Nollywood, defining the content, production and viewership of films within the industry. It will uncover the rising success of the industry, the way characters are portrayed, and the production process.
Your email address was obtained from personal contacts. You were selected to participate in this study because you fit the age group as an individual who is familiar with Nollywood films. The survey will take 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
Participation in the study is voluntary and each participate is free to withdraw from the survey at any time. Information gathered in the process will be treated with utmost confidence and used only for academic and research purposes. We will take all reasonable steps to protect your identity. No personal information will be used and only cumulative data will be used for the analysis. If you do not respond to the survey or opt out of the survey, you will not be sent any future emails.
Thank you for taking time to assist me. Further questions about this survey should be directed to Elizabeth Toyin Giwa ( or Dr. Kavita Karan
( from School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
Mailcode, 6601, 1100 Lincoln Drive, Carbondale, IL USA, 62901. Tel. 618-967-5894.
This project has been reviewed and approved by the SIUC Human Subjects Committee.
Questions concerning your rights as a participant in this research may be addressed to the Committee Chairperson, Office of Sponsored Projects Administration, SIUC,
Carbondale, IL 62901-4709. Phone (618) 453-4533. Email:

Please complete the questionnaire by marking the answer closet to your opinion.
Part 1: Interest in Films
1. How often do you watch films?
1. Everyday
2. Very often
3. Often
4. Sometimes
5. Never
2. What is your preferred genre of film?
1. Comedy
2. Horror
3. Drama
4. Romance
5. Action
6. Other: ___________
3. What are some of your reasons for watching films?
4. Where do you generally watch movies? (Mark all that apply)
Home Entertainment Center
Mobile device

5. Do you pay attention to the content and production of the film?
1. Yes
2. No
6. How important is the quality of a film?
1. Very import
2. Somewhat important
3. Not important
7. Do you prefer to watch previews or read reviews before watching a movie?
1. Always
2. Sometimes
3. Never

8. How many hours a week do you spend using on the following media?
1-3 hours 3-5 hours
5-7 hours
7-9 hours

Part 2: Knowledge of Nollywood Films
9. How familiar are you with Nollywood films?
1. Very familiar
2. Somewhat familiar
3. Not familiar
10. Do you have or collect Nollywood films? If yes, how many?
1. Yes: _______
2. No
11. Where do you generally watch Nollywood films?
12. How frequently do you watch Nollywood films?
1. One month
2. Once in two months
3. Once in three months
4. Any other
13. In the past two years, which Nollywood films have you watched and liked?
14. Are you satisfied with the content of Nollywood films?
1. Very good
2. Good
3. Not bad
4. Bad
15. How would you rate the quality of Nollywood films?


1. Very good
2. Good
3. Not bad
4. Bad
16. If you are living overseas do you also try to keep up with Nollywood films through other media? (Check all that apply)
1. Radio
2. TV shows
3. Online newspapers and magazines
4. Overseas magazines for residents
5. Word of mouth from friends and relatives from Nigeria
6. Other: __________________________
17. If you are living overseas, do Nollywood films help you to:

A lot

Somewhat Not at all

1. Connect to your country
2. Enjoy the language of your country
3. Keep up with the fashions of the country
4. Get to see the development of the country 5. Sing songs and enjoy the music of the county 6. Any other, specify:

Please provide us with any additional comments about Nollywood films or your familiarity with them.

Socio Economic Profile of Respondents
Part 3: General Information
18. Gender

1. Male
2. Female
19. Location
1. USA
2. Nigeria
3. UK
4. Other country (specify):________________________
20. Age:
1. 18-25
2. 26-35
3. 36-45
4. 46-55
5. 55+
21. Highest level of education:
1. High school
2. Associate degree
3. Bachelors degree
4. Presently in college
5. Masters degree
6. Presently in graduate school
7. PhD, MD or other doctoral degree
22. Marital status:
1. Single
2. In a relationship
3. Married
4. Divorced
5. Widowed/Widower
23. What is your monthly income?
1. Less than $1000
2. $1000-$2000
3. $2001-$3000
4. $3001-$4000
5. More than $4000
Thank you for your participation. For further information, please feel free to contact me.
Elizabeth Giwa

Graduate School
Southern Illinois University
Elizabeth Toyin Giwa
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor of Science, Marketing, August 2010
Special Honors and Awards:
Arthur Wiese Scholarship Recipient
Research Paper Title:
Nollywood: The Rising Nigerian Film Industry Content and Production
Major Professor: Dr. Kavita Karan

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