Is there a problem with the name “Nollywood”?Ghanaian Filmmaker Leila Djansi thinks there is, Stella Damasus Totally Disagrees

My headline is unusually long today. In fact, I think I have broken all the rules of writing a headline… but I digress. This is not about headlines.

It is about the name “Nollywood” and its reputation in ” some quarters “.

I woke up this morning to a video by Nollywood superstar  Stella Damasus, where she was tackling some negative comment made by Ghanaian filmmaker Leila Djansi about the Nigerian film industry.

Leila Djansi said that new producers should not be put under the blanket of Nollywood as that would not help their reputation. She had also said that the new producers aligning themselves with Nollywood was as bad as a mother calling her son Hitler.

In addressing Leila’s comment, Stella passionately argues that Nollywood is a name we should all be proud of and I agree with her. She goes on to state how many of the stars we know today have invested so much of their time, money and resources to see that this giant  called Nollywood gets on its feet. Watch the video


Liela has responded to Stella’s video HERE

According to her “ I am asked whether the new “Nollywood” films should also be called nollywood and I said no. Def Not! They are like oil and water. They are too different. It’s kinda like calling your child ‘hitler’. What I meant here was history. If you name your child Judas, you raise eyebrows. History. 

New Nollywood films are made with lots of money and resilience. A number of the filmmakers reached out to me asking about wider distribution.  A good number are my friends and we talk about challenges of filmmaking whiles black and African. Many of the roadblocks to wider distribution lay in the identity of films that have emerged from Nollywood in the very recent past. For the most part, Hollywood does not buy films because they have watched it. They buy films based on precedence. That’s why you hear phrases like “in the vein of “Cast Away. Meaning, my film is kinda like the Tom Hanks film Cast Away. Now that, is a pitch. Cast Away made so so and so amount of money, right. lets see your film. That’s how films are sold. Precedence. Not sentiments”. 

Does the name Nollywood really hurt a movie’s reputation? or a filmmakers credibility?What are your thoughts?



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