Monday, July 21, 2014

Nollywood Associations Without Libraries

 Nollywood Associations Without Libraries: What A Shame

What makes an office is more than an office address. And it is also more than having a desk, chair and computer and other must have components depending on what the office is meant for. For institutional bodies such as academic and professional organizations, having a library is a must, because it is the knowledge base of the association or organization. And the definition of a library by Wikipedia says it all:
A library is an organized collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both.[1] A library's collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, microform, CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audiobooks, databases, and other formats. Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items. In Latin and Greek, the idea of bookcase is represented by Bibliotheca and Bibliothēkē (Greek: βιβλιοθήκη): derivatives of these mean library in many modern languages, e.g. French bibliothèque.
Therefore, any credible association or organization must have a library and especially more so for those producing intellectual property such as books, movies, etc. And the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) clearly defined it as follows:
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.
For many years in Nigeria, intellectual property has been fragrantly abused by copyright infringements in various forms and ways and we often point accusing fingers at piracy. But in most cases, the worst pirates are not the ones making unauthorized duplicate copies of works of intellectual property, but the consumers who patronize them and keep them in business and believe it or not, majority of Nigerian artists, artistes and others producing and distributing artworks, books, movies, musical productions and etc are among the largest consumers of pirated works.
The Nigerian hip hop artiste lamenting about his pirated jingles (called singles) is in fact the same person buying pirated Nollywood movies on the street and the same Nollywood producer whining over the crimes and evils of piracy is the same person buying pirated music on the street. So, their hypocrisy is even worse than the piracy of their intellectual property. And I bet you that they must be wondering how I have managed to control and prevent the piracy of my NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®.

Content management is imperative in control and prevention of piracy of intellectual property. Therefore, having a functional library of your intellectual property is the first step in the control and prevention of piracy, because the monitoring and evaluation process of your intellectual property will increase the appreciation by their preservation. But do you know that there is not a single updated library in Nollywood? The only place you can find functional libraries on Nollywood are the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), National Film Institute, Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (ITPAN)'s Training School and Nollywood Studies Center. But the major problem of these libraries is they don’t have good librarians and so their libraries are not regularly evaluated and updated, because they don’t have the required budget for collection of new books. 99% of these libraries cannot boast of the latest books that film students, film scholars and movie buffs need for their compulsory studies and reading pleasure on Nollywood and the Nigerian film industry.

How many of these libraries can have an exhibition of books on Nollywood and the Nigerian film industry? Of course, I know that majority of the so called independent film schools in Nigeria don’t have libraries. What most of them are doing is simply running ad hoc seminars and workshops on acting, directing, script writing and movie makeup and not film schools in the definitive terms. Majority of them don’t have qualified teachers and so cannot conduct formal examination and certification and end up producing apprentices and not educated film graduates and scholars. Many of the graduates of these mushroom film schools in Nollywood cannot even write a term paper on “Acting for Beginners”. .

None of the loudest so called professional associations or organizations in Nollywood has a library. The Association of Movie Producers (AMP) that even has a very intellectually articulate and eloquent speaker as the President does not have a library, except he wants to call his small private library the association’s library. The Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), Motion Pictures Association of Nigeria (MOPAN), Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria (SWGN), Association of Films Video Producers And Marketers Association of Nigeria (AFVPMAN) and other nondescript affiliates don’t have any library. And even the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) does not have a functional library!

The millions of naira they would have spent on having functional libraries have been spent on hosting and attending awards events where they can show off their latest fashion styles and trends on the red carpet and grin at the TV cameras so that they can see themselves in the local trashy gossip tabloids and blogs for their cheap bragging rights and tickle the fancies of their petty egos. Even without having libraries, most of the members don’t read! In fact, majority of them don’t even read the books authored by their fellow members and that is really pathetic. If majority of them have bought Nollywood Till November: Memoirs of a Nollywood Insider by their fellow member Charles Novia, the book would have made the top 100 books on Amazon and even the highly coveted Bestsellers List of The New York Times. And this bitter truth speaks volume of their intellectual ignorance which is seen in their lack of intellectual comprehension of the critical issues on Nollywood and the Nigerian film industry.

 Intellectual ignorance is a common malaise in Nigeria, because without apologies, majority of Nigerians are actually intellectually retarded. But the producers and custodians of intellectual property should be role models for the inspiration and motivation of the majority of their fans to see them as good examples worthy of emulation in the appreciation of our reading culture. But when they don’t have functional libraries and don’t even read their own books, then they are bad role models and not worthy of emulation by their millions of fans.
As our Messiah Jesus Christ said, "If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit." (◄ Matthew 15:14 ►).

There are currently over 50 books on Nollywood, including, "Nollywood: The Video Phenomenon in Nigeria" by Pierre Barrot (2010), "Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century: Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution" by Mahir Saul and Ralph A. Austen (2010), "Moviedom…the Nollywood Narratives: Clips on the Pioneers" by Shaibu Husseini (2010), "Nollywood Video Film: Nigerian Movies as Indigenous Voice" by Uchenna Onuzulike (2010), "Representations of Nigerian Women in Nollywood Films" by Naomi Brock (2012), "Global Nollywood: The Transnational Dimensions of an African Video" by Matthias Krings (2013), "African Movie Time: Watching Nollywood, Ghallywood and Beyond" by Lipamboli Molongi (2014), "NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® SERIES (Nollywood Reloaded Book 1)" by Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi (2013).
 The most expensive book on Nollywood is Nollywood by Pieter Hugo, (2009).
It is sells between US$152 and US$325 a copy! It is more than twice the hardcover price of the second edition of the NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® SERIES.

Any Nollywood association or organization without a functional library is a disgrace to the Nigerian film industry and the nation. Because, it would be a great embarrassment for students, scholars and visitors coming to these associations and organizations for news and information on Nollywood to be disappointed by the absence of libraries for essential publications on Nollywood, the largest film industry in Africa.

 ~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Publisher/Editor of the NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® SERIES.


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