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MAKING SENSE OF NOLLYWOOD MOVIES:
           A Qualitative Study among
 Nigerian and Non-Nigerian Viewers in the USA



 Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for degree of
      Master of Arts at the University of Hamburg



Submitted to:

Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink

And

Dr. Monika Pater


Submitted by:

Austen Uche Uwosomah

Born in:
Boji Boji Agbor, Nigeria



Hamburg, March 2011


                                                              i
ACKNOWLEDGMENT


I am grateful for the helpful tips from Dr. Kathrin Voss, Prof. Uwe Hasbrink and Dr.
Monika Pater which has enabled the resourceful planning and writing of this project.
Furthermore, my appreciation goes to Roseirene Uwosomah, Doris Onakpoma, Jude
Onakpoma, Felix Abah, Charmiane Vanhorn and all the participants that were interviewed
for their various support and useful contributions that enable the fruition of the project.


My profound gratitude also goes to the European Union centre for Education and Culture
for providing the opportunity of scholarship to study in the Erasmus Mundus Journalism
Master Degree programme. I also appreciate the efforts of the coordinators of the Erasmus
Mundus programme especially Bettina Anderson at the University of Arhus.                 I also
forthwith express my gratitude to all others who one way or other contributed to the
development and completion of this project




                                                                                              ii
TABLE OF CONTENT
Title page……………………………………………………………..………………….i
Acknowledgement…………………………………………………………………….…ii
Table of content………………………………………………………………………….iii
Chapter One…………………………………………………………………………….…1
Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….….1
1.1 What is Nollywood? …………………………………………………………………..1
1.2 Background of Study…………………………………………………………………..2
1.3 Statement of the Problem ………………………………………………………..…….4
1.4 Purpose of the Study …………………………………………………………………...5
1.5 Relevance of Research……………………………………………………………….…6
1.6 Research Question(s) …………………………………………………………………..6
1.7 Theoretical Framework…………………………………………………………………7
1.8 Culture Theory …………………………………………………………………………7
1.9 Identity theory Approach ………………………………………………………………9
1.10 Transnational Film Theory…………………………………………………………..13
Chapter Two……………………………………………………………………………....17
Empirical Overview……………………………………………………………………….17
2.1 Literature Review ……………………………………………………………………17
2.2 The Black African Diaspora Audience……………………………………………….18
2.3 The Slavery Exodus Dimension………………………………………………………19
2.4 The Race Dimension………………………………………………………………….20
2.5 The Socio-Ethnic Dimension………………………………………………………….21
2.6 The Socio-political Dimension………………………………………………………..22
2.7 The Socio-Economic Dimension……………………………………………………...23
2.8 The Socio-Cultural Dimension…………………………………………………..……24
2.9 African Culture and Film……………………………………………………………...25
2.10 The Rise of Black African Film……………………………………………………..28
2.11 The Development of Nigerian Films………………………………………………...33
2.12 State of Modern-day Nollywood movies within Nigeria……………………………35
2.13 International Perspective of Nollywood Movies……………………………… ……37
2.14 Nollywood Movies in the United States…………………………………………….40

                                                                  iii
2.15 Extent and Popularity of Nollywood Movies in the USA…………………………..42
Chapter Three…………………………………………………………………………….45
Methodology……………………………………………………………………………..45
3.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………......................45
3.2 Study Design…………………………………………………………………………45
3.3 Method of Data Collection…………………………………………………………..46
3.4 Sample Size and Sampling Technique………………………………………………46
Chapter Four……………………………………………………………………………..50
Data presentation, discussion and analysis………………………………………….…..50
4.1 Interview Procedure………………………………………………………………...50
4.2 Interview Guide Schedule…………………………………………………………..50
4.3 Interview Method and Findings…………………………………………………….52
4.4 Interview with the Nigerian Respondents…………………………………………..53
4.5 Interview with the Kenyan Respondents…………………………………………….60
4.6 Interview with the Ghana Respondents………………………………………………63
4.7 Interview with the Respondent from Cameroon………………………………………65
4.8 Interview with the Respondents from Jamaica…………………………………….,…67
4.9 Interview with the Respondent from Bahamas………………………………………71
4.10 Interview with the Respondent from Barbados……………………………………..72
4.11 Overview of all the Interviewees’ Responses………………………………………..74
4.12 Summary of Comments made by the Nigerians ………………………………… .74
4.13 Summary of Comments made by other non-Nigerian Africans ………………….76
4.14 Summary of Comments made by the Afro Caribbeans …………………………..77
4.15 Comparing the Behavior of the three Groups……………………………………..80
Chapter Five…………………………………………………………………………….85
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation………………………………………….85
5.1 Summary……………………………………………………………………………85
5.2 Conclusion/Recommendation………………………………………………………87
References…………………………………………………………………………..….89
Further reading…………………………………………………………………….….92
Appendix…………………………………………………………………………..….93



                                                                      iv

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Making sense of nollywood Movies (Part 1, Preliminary pages)

  • 1. MAKING SENSE OF NOLLYWOOD MOVIES: A Qualitative Study among Nigerian and Non-Nigerian Viewers in the USA Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for degree of Master of Arts at the University of Hamburg Submitted to: Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink And Dr. Monika Pater Submitted by: Austen Uche Uwosomah Born in: Boji Boji Agbor, Nigeria Hamburg, March 2011 i
  • 2. ACKNOWLEDGMENT I am grateful for the helpful tips from Dr. Kathrin Voss, Prof. Uwe Hasbrink and Dr. Monika Pater which has enabled the resourceful planning and writing of this project. Furthermore, my appreciation goes to Roseirene Uwosomah, Doris Onakpoma, Jude Onakpoma, Felix Abah, Charmiane Vanhorn and all the participants that were interviewed for their various support and useful contributions that enable the fruition of the project. My profound gratitude also goes to the European Union centre for Education and Culture for providing the opportunity of scholarship to study in the Erasmus Mundus Journalism Master Degree programme. I also appreciate the efforts of the coordinators of the Erasmus Mundus programme especially Bettina Anderson at the University of Arhus. I also forthwith express my gratitude to all others who one way or other contributed to the development and completion of this project ii
  • 3. TABLE OF CONTENT Title page……………………………………………………………..………………….i Acknowledgement…………………………………………………………………….…ii Table of content………………………………………………………………………….iii Chapter One…………………………………………………………………………….…1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….….1 1.1 What is Nollywood? …………………………………………………………………..1 1.2 Background of Study…………………………………………………………………..2 1.3 Statement of the Problem ………………………………………………………..…….4 1.4 Purpose of the Study …………………………………………………………………...5 1.5 Relevance of Research……………………………………………………………….…6 1.6 Research Question(s) …………………………………………………………………..6 1.7 Theoretical Framework…………………………………………………………………7 1.8 Culture Theory …………………………………………………………………………7 1.9 Identity theory Approach ………………………………………………………………9 1.10 Transnational Film Theory…………………………………………………………..13 Chapter Two……………………………………………………………………………....17 Empirical Overview……………………………………………………………………….17 2.1 Literature Review ……………………………………………………………………17 2.2 The Black African Diaspora Audience……………………………………………….18 2.3 The Slavery Exodus Dimension………………………………………………………19 2.4 The Race Dimension………………………………………………………………….20 2.5 The Socio-Ethnic Dimension………………………………………………………….21 2.6 The Socio-political Dimension………………………………………………………..22 2.7 The Socio-Economic Dimension……………………………………………………...23 2.8 The Socio-Cultural Dimension…………………………………………………..……24 2.9 African Culture and Film……………………………………………………………...25 2.10 The Rise of Black African Film……………………………………………………..28 2.11 The Development of Nigerian Films………………………………………………...33 2.12 State of Modern-day Nollywood movies within Nigeria……………………………35 2.13 International Perspective of Nollywood Movies……………………………… ……37 2.14 Nollywood Movies in the United States…………………………………………….40 iii
  • 4. 2.15 Extent and Popularity of Nollywood Movies in the USA…………………………..42 Chapter Three…………………………………………………………………………….45 Methodology……………………………………………………………………………..45 3.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………......................45 3.2 Study Design…………………………………………………………………………45 3.3 Method of Data Collection…………………………………………………………..46 3.4 Sample Size and Sampling Technique………………………………………………46 Chapter Four……………………………………………………………………………..50 Data presentation, discussion and analysis………………………………………….…..50 4.1 Interview Procedure………………………………………………………………...50 4.2 Interview Guide Schedule…………………………………………………………..50 4.3 Interview Method and Findings…………………………………………………….52 4.4 Interview with the Nigerian Respondents…………………………………………..53 4.5 Interview with the Kenyan Respondents…………………………………………….60 4.6 Interview with the Ghana Respondents………………………………………………63 4.7 Interview with the Respondent from Cameroon………………………………………65 4.8 Interview with the Respondents from Jamaica…………………………………….,…67 4.9 Interview with the Respondent from Bahamas………………………………………71 4.10 Interview with the Respondent from Barbados……………………………………..72 4.11 Overview of all the Interviewees’ Responses………………………………………..74 4.12 Summary of Comments made by the Nigerians ………………………………… .74 4.13 Summary of Comments made by other non-Nigerian Africans ………………….76 4.14 Summary of Comments made by the Afro Caribbeans …………………………..77 4.15 Comparing the Behavior of the three Groups……………………………………..80 Chapter Five…………………………………………………………………………….85 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation………………………………………….85 5.1 Summary……………………………………………………………………………85 5.2 Conclusion/Recommendation………………………………………………………87 References…………………………………………………………………………..….89 Further reading…………………………………………………………………….….92 Appendix…………………………………………………………………………..….93 iv