Nollywood: What Does Zuckerberg Really Want? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nollywood: What Does Zuckerberg Really Want?

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook; MainOne
Posted: Sep 4, 2016 at 4:54 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The last one week has seen the media flooded with interesting pictures and stories of the presence of the sixth richest man in the world in Nigeria.

To me I have a simple question, what really does Zuckerberg want because it is imperative we know what he wants from a nation like Nigeria before we begin to expect anything from this global figure who the world celebrates for his creation of the social media tool called the Facebook.

While I see the excitement expressed by most Nigerians as regards the young man’s visit, I shudder and hope they understand Mark Zuckerberg has a purpose for this visit to Nigeria as he is not one who will leave his base in the United States for a pleasure trip to Nigeria for Jollof Rice as the social media has been agog with;  Rather the Facebook founder has simply identified the huge population and the inherent potentials of the country Nigeria and he is here to expand his business, nothing more nothing less.

This of course takes me to Nollywood, an industry that has been driven primarily by the use of technology. The industry started with the use of video technology, and now affordable cum hi-tech digital equipment which in effect has translated to the production of more than 2000 films per year and currently ranked as the second-largest film industry in the world in terms of output after India’s Bollywood.

Of course Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged this known fact during his interaction with a section of industry practitioners in Lagos last week. However, before we continue to bask in the euphoria of this figures and global status we must realise that Nollywood as of today is struggling to grapple with challenges at the level of organisation and resources required to meet its maximum potentials and there is need for an in-depth knowledge and implementation of technology in its operations.

This will go a long way in rescuing the industry from its present challenges and that is where I hope the industry will tap from Zuck’s meeting with Nollywood. It is also a known fact that as an industry Nollywood has not started providing Studio-based Production Infrastructures and Services, the issue of Piracy and inadequate Cinemas for Movie Distribution is still in the front burner of many teething challenges bedeviling the industry and only a concerted effort by practitioners to embrace technological solutions that can bring succor to the industry.

As I lay emphasis on the use of technology, it has become important for Nollywood to start that synergy with those in the ICT sector in Nigeria. Any serious industry poised for growth and development knows that ICT remains the future of the world and so Nollywood should not be behind.  In this I see two immediate opportunities for Nollywood which will require that one we embrace technology and establish viable Mobile phone Distribution of Movies platforms to complement the expansion currently going on in the Cinema arena.

The second opportunity is that we must fine tune our content production business model to accommodate technological changes that we see today among the different audience format.  In the past it used to be Cinema, TV and DVDs but we now have a huge Digital audience that use Mobile phones and Portable Devices like iPad to watch movies and other contents.

In conclusion, For Nollywood to be seen as a serious industry it must adjust to the new audience by redefining content production to include very short content materials that can be easily accessed and viewed for audiences. Such contents could be short films, animations, mini-series and mini-documentaries amongst other formats.
Next week, I will address some areas of the Industry where technology has continued to drive its growth and where I see Nollywood in 5 years if the industry takes the digital revolution serious.