June 14, 2024

Nexdim Empire

Camer Entertainment House

Why Cameroonian films look like their Nollywood counterparts

While some consume it blindly, others are offended that Cameroonian films increasingly look like Nollywood films. They are uncomfortable with hearing expressions like “toufia” , “amen oh amen”  and a whole string of  other things that have a Nollywood colouration. Their position is understandable because it seems like our own culture has been forsaken and we have been “invaded” and “overpowered” on the cultural front. It is however worth noting that there are reasons for this which have nothing to do with our being “invaded” or overpowered. If our films are supposed to be a reflection of our Cameroonian society then it is only logical that our films should look like Nollywood productions. Given the popularity of these films in our country, some of these Naija mannerisms and expressions have creeped into our way of life. We are witnessing more and more Cameroonians using words like “toufia”. If these things then feature in our films then it is only normal because we Cameroonians have adopted them. We have thus not been “invaded”. Furthermore, if these Nollywood films, characters  and their classical lines have become our common cultural references and are easily identifiable to us Cameroonians such that we find the echo in our films then it is a natural consequence of watching them. This is no instance of being invaded. Unfortunately,this situation is compounded by our “acclaimed directors” who have chosen Nollywood as their muse. At a time when people want to identify wholly with the things on T.V, it is necessary for our film industry stakeholders to be aware of this and try to sculpt a truly Cameroonian and unique image for our cinema else we will forever stand in our neighbour’s big shadow. Let’s remember that even when this is done, this trend will continue because Nollywood has the pionneer’s advantage. Since they were the first to popularise filmmaking in Africa, our story lines will always trigger comparisons with those of some Nollywood films Cameroonians had watched earlier. This will perpetuate the feeling that Cameroonian films look like their Nigerian counterparts.This shouldn’t however be a deterrent to forging a separate identity for our films. What do you think?