Actress, Aisha Lawal has claimed that Yorubas own the Nigeria Nollywood industry.
In a recent interview, Lawal was asked what she thinks about critics saying that streaming platforms have come on board and are now pumping money into the industry and that the Yoruba aspect of Nollywood is playing catch-up.
Responding, she says;
”We own the industry. Go back to research. The industry belongs to the Yoruba people. If you go back to research, you will hear from people like Hubert Ogunde and Ade Love. I don’t want to go into details. But, if you go and research very well, you will discover that Yorubas own this industry, we started this industry. We messed up at some point, but we are not playing catch-up. We are there already. Now, everybody wants to shoot a Yoruba movie.
Some actors didn’t take this comment lightly.
Nigerian comedian cum actor, Woli Arole, reacting, said Nollywood is beyond being owned by a tribe, stressing the growth in the film industry is a collective effort.
The skitmaker noted that the efforts of veteran actors like Sam Loco Efe, Nkem Owoh and Nothern movie stars will not be overlooked.
Arole added that Nollywood is a collective building, and the Igbos did a fantastic job in the industry.
He said; “Yoruba were part of the major origin of filmmaking in Nigeria. Google Hubert Ogunde.
“Nollywood is beyond being owned by a tribe the growth became a collective effort, we can’t take away the Sam loco Efe, Osufia, even northern actors and actresses from it.
“The Igbos too did an awesome job in that industry. It’s a collective building.”
Also, actress Mary Remmy Njoku sarcastically responding stated that Aisha Lawal is right, hence why Nollywood is called Yollywood.
Further poking the bear, Mary faulted Nigerians for their wrong punctuation, while adding that Nigerian filmmaker was granted Yorobian citizenship to be part of the industry.
“I think she is right, that’s why it’s called Yollywood. Nigerians don’t know how to pronounce it. And every Nigerian filmmaker was granted Yorobian citizenship to be part of the Industry”.
Non-actors also made impute on the topic.
Kemified Africa stated; ”But she told the truth. Before your time, the film 🎥 industry was basically on TV and we watched foreign movies at cinemas. Lere Paimo, Duro Ladipo, Baba Sala were all Yorubas who pioneered small and big screen. I was 9-13yo. Today I’m 60yo. Learn from her. Nothing defamatory or derogatory. Regarding owning it only outside the studio or cameras. All their actors and actresses are always embroiled in controversial gist. I stand with @aishalawal1
”This is almost 48 hours that Aisha Lawal opened her mouth to spit out irre|evant, inconsequential and false information saying Yorubas started the industry (nollywood) and they own the industry and till now the Actors Guild of Nigeria and all other Nollywood stakeholders has not called her to order and have her publicly apologize and rephrase her der0gatory and defamat0ry statement, not even the Yorubas has come out to caution her for saying such, I’m even so disapp0inted to see that the lady is doing 5k giveaway on her page which shows she’s not remorseful for what she said. A broad daylight big0t, not even Falz, Mr Macaroni and other vocal Yoruba born celebrities has come out to condemn her statement. I was thinking politics was our problem but I didn’t know tribalism has dea|t with us to the point of no repair. This woman said Yorubas own the Nollywood industry on a national Newspaper ’Tribune’ and till now no one want to discipline her for making such unnecessary statements, Nollywood is a growing industry due to collective efforts of people from different tribes and for one person to come out to say a particular tribe owns it does not show we’re one again. Aisha Lawal should be suspended by Nollywood until she shows remorse for her actions and gross misconduct, if not, her statement is going to rubb|sh all the efforts everyone is making for a better industry. Why is it so hard to be one in this country? Even those expected to unite us are breaking us. Why???” Asked Mazi Jude Pondis.
Nollywood is one of Africa’s most successful film industries and brings billions of dollars annually. The creation of Nollywood started in the 1960s. It was when the first Nollywood movies were being created by historical filmmakers such as Ola Balogun, Hubert Ogunde, Jab Adu, Moses Olayia and Eddie Ugboma. (“History,”); they are considered the first generation of Nigerian filmmakers.
Young-Tobi Ekechi, in a speech titled, “Nollywood: A Rising Pillar in Nigeria’s Socio-economic Development,” at the closing session of the 2022 Nollywood Technology and Security Summit, asserted that the country’s film industry was financial value of over $6.4 billion.