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Pirates plunder Nigerian profits

August 11, 2009

The first “Nollywood” film, “Living in Bondage”, was a tale of witchcraft, money and betrayal produced by Okechukwu Ogunjiofor.

That was back in 1992. Today, Nigeria’s $450 million home video industry is the third biggest in the world, after Hollywood and Bollywood.

“I actually set out to be a film maker, so I got my training, came to Lagos. But since I could not do a thing on celluloid … I said to myself that there must be a way around it, there must be a new way to do the old things and that new way was trying to invent, you know, to experiment with VHS cameras. That experiment was what we did with ‘Living with Bondage’ and today that experiment has culminated into what we find and people call Nollywood,” Ogunjiofor told Reuters Africa Journal.

Despite the successes, money and betrayal still play their part. Film piracy means millions of dollars a year leach out of the industry.

An average Nollywood film sells about 50,000 copies, yet in Lagos alone millions of bootleg copies go for just $1, undercutting Nollywood’s price of $2.

Fed up with the pirates, Ogunjiofor, who has pioneered an award scheme to reward production excellence in the film industry, has now turned to TV drama and soap operas and wants to see more government support, and legal backing, to help film-makers build a reputable industry.

“As long as you are doing a good movie, you are a candidate of piracy. From the moment you go on location, they start buying materials to wait for your job,” Ogunjiofor said.

“Piracy is so bad, so bad that almost every Friday here trailer loads of CDs made in Nigeria are crossing borders.”

(Photo: Filming for “Covenant of the Ancestors” takes place in the Niger Delta in August 2006.  Reuters/George Esiri)


yes piracy is bad,but you can not curb that when those at helm of affair are bad.i mean our leaders are have to start from top to cure the grass root.secondaly,security in nigeria is can you gorvern and protect any album withou security code.

Posted by ifeanyi nwogu | Report as abusive

piracy in other words mean FAKE if am not mistaken.hence their father is CORRUPTION and their mother is PROBLEM.This piracy has deepen into the blood of almost every nigerian starting from our leaders.election in nigeria is pirated,our leaders are pirated becuase almost all are not genuine.employement sectors are corrupt and pirated becuase they do not take the real people.even the food,drugs and,clothes are pirated.what about collapse building and roads,is it not piracy?so what are we talking about?this has given negative influence to the nations economy.let the leaders stop piracy first before you talk about the poor masses they taught it to them.

Posted by ifeanyi nwogu | Report as abusive

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