Lights, Camera…Naija: Nollywood Stars Speak On Netflix’s Presence In Nigeria
The Lights, Camera…Naija event may have come and gone but ripples from the event held at the Monarch event centre in Lekki, Lagos remains. It was a night Netflix chose to recognise and celebrate the very best of Nollywood at the glamorous event hosted by ace comedian and entertainer, Basketmouth, and featured captivating performances by the rave-making Chike, and the Nigerian Queen of Afro, Niniola, with even more music provided by Superstar DJ Sose.
In their exclusive chats with Brand Communicator, these stars spoke about Netflix and the impact on the streaming platform on the Nigerian filmmaking industry.
Star actor, Odunlade Adekola hailed Netflix’s strides in Nigeria over the years, noting that it has contributed significant to the growth of the film industry. “Netflix is doing really great, and that’s why a lot of us have come out in full force to promote our culture and projects, showcasing them to the entire world.”
Saheed Mohammed known by his moniker, Funky Mallam, also weighed in: “Initially, we were kind of backward in our movies, not because we lack talent, ideas, or creativity. It was because we lacked the capital, the software, and the connections to link us with the rest of the world. But now, Netflix is here to take us on a global journey.”
Gregory Ojefua, another talented actor, added his perspective, “Being the first major streaming platform to come to this country, it’s safe to say they will thrive. I’m elated about the impact they’ve had on actors like us.”
Actress, Bisola Aiyeola in her contribution, said, “Netflix has given a lot of Nigerian Filmmakers the room to explore their creativity even better, it has also given a lot of Nigerian actors a wider reach across the globe.”
Lateef Adedimeji, the star of the blockbuster ‘Jagun Jagun’ and rave of the moment echoed, “They are a motivation to every Nigerian Filmmaker; they motivate us to keep doing what is good, giving the best of us to the outside world. It’s a good one.”
Also sharing her thoughts was Bolanle Austen-Peters, who emphasized the need for accelerated national and international cooperation in movie-making. “The industry is growing, and we’re on the right track. What Netflix is doing is commendable.”
“I feel as black people, we just want to criticise and because you think everybody must celebrate you, you want to stand out with your criticism; I feel it will be nice if we celebrate everything about us,” said Nancy Isime.
Femi Adebayo said: “I see this as an acknowledgment of the good work of the creative industry. Netflix is acknowledging that we have worked so hard to be recognised and celebrated. Things have improved, but I know that we can do better. So, for streaming platforms, I appeal that they should try to encourage us more, as much as the Nigerian economy is not as friendly as it should be, we are appealing to the streaming platforms to be more friendly in terms of figure, we have been doing it with passion before their arrival, and this is the time our passion should turn to something good for us.”
“I think Netflix is doing amazing for Nigerian films. We have a larger platform, which means more people can see our work across the country and the world,” remarked Omotunde Adebowale, another actress.
Actor, musician and comedian Otolorin Kehinde also known by his stage name as Kenny Black, added his voice: “I think what Netflix is doing is amazing. Our movies are beginning to get better…our movies are already getting better but with Netflix coming onboard, we are on our way to competing with the bests in the world.”
On his part, Gabriel Afolayan, said: “It’s a good feeling when you are being appreciated for your art. One thing is to put in the work, another thing is to be celebrated for it; Netflix has come of age with Nollywood, and I am happy to be part of what they are doing. Netflix is our bedrock; they are the first on the block, rocking with us for years so, I give it to them.”
Bucci Franklin in his remarks said: “Netflix is a big plus to the Nigerian movie industry, it has helped move the industry forward. Other platforms are coming on board because Netflix has set the pace. The advent of Netflix in Nigeria has done well for us, the stars are shining because of our language, culture, and the differences that we have formed into films. Netflix has done a lot for me and my colleagues.
Netflix is one of the world’s leading entertainment services with over 238 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, films, and games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can play, pause and resume watching, as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, and can change their plans at any time.