Chinwe Obinwanne: When Mediocrity Takes Over

I’ll like to start with saying that I love Nollywood and want to be able to beat my chest at all times in boast of it. That said; let me get right down to the reason for this prior defense.

It is said that it is only a child that is loved by the parents that gets chastised by them. The bible puts it aptly when it said “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. I remember while growing up, my mom would write about 10 essay topics in a new notebook and give to me. She expected me to write on every topic and present it for marking on visiting day.

On visiting day, my heart would be pounding in my chest as she circled every punctuation or grammatical error in red biro. I would call with all the inner energy I could muster on God to make her not ask me to rewrite anyone of them.

Back then, it felt like the worst punishment conceivable but today when I look back, I realize I wouldn’t be the writer I am today if it weren’t for my mom. My career was formed in those moments I dreaded her red-biro circling.

Now back to why this mom and I rant.

Many will say that I have ceaselessly bashed Nollywood; always commenting on what they aren’t doing right and ignoring what they are doing right. Dare I say that if my mom focused on the little things I was doing right back in the days and neglected scolding or pushing me to be better; I probably wouldn’t call her a great mom today. But she is a great mom to me today because she ensured to use the rod and use it good too.

Nollywood just like me needs some rod bashing if we are to get it to that place where we would all be proud to own it.

The other day as I munched on boiled corn and coconut in the comfort of my room; I went browsing on the internet. Heaven knows what took my hands to a web page on Nollywood movies and I almost choked on my coconut. What I saw made me laugh but then again, it just wasn’t funny. It was a sorry sight.

I saw a sorry representation of a baby bump. In this day and age, it scares me shitless that we still have pregnant women in most of our movies looking like the baby had stood up inside their womb. What? Whatever happened to buying fake baby bumps in the market? Does it cost an arm and a leg?


We’ve all seen pregnant women before and never have I for one seen any looking like this.

This and many other minor neglects such as : a village girl who hasn’t set foot in civilization having tattoos and fixing nails; or someone having one hairdo after five years etc. make me shake my head in sad pity. We ought to be growing past these childishness but it is sad that as the days pile on, we seem to heap on a lot more childishness. Don’t get me started on Mr. Ibu wearing baby bib in one of the new movies of 2015…Aarghhh…..

More heartbreaking is the fact that these movies are shoved at an enlightened group of people who know what is obtainable in other movie industries around the world.

This aggravating nonchalance we get from some of our movies end up giving the entire Nollywood a bad name; because not all of Nollywood movies are this way.

Time is not taken to write stories that pull on emotions and address serious issues. Care is not taken to sort out the proper costumes needed for some movies.  It almost seems like anyone with cash to push a movie to the market can call together his friends and village men and women and shoot a movie in one week at their backyards.

Another cause for worry is the names given to some of these movies. The other day my friend sent me an image of a movie “Spider girl”. I had finished laughing and wondering why people would make something so funny out of the movie “Spider-Man” when she told me it was actually a Nollywood movie title. I nearly fell over in my seat.


I am beyond frustrated and can only pour it out the best way I know how to. Truthfully, tell me you aren’t half as frustrated as I am?

Like I said earlier, I love our movie industry and only want the best for and from her. If that means whipping out the rod at all times to beat it into shape, you best believe that is what I will do. With my “words” that is.

About the Author

Chinwe Obinwanne is first a storyteller and a journalist. Currently doubling as the Director of Operations for male clothing Dozzy Couture and Freelance Copywriter, Chinwe believes that life is interesting if we live it one day at a time. You can reach her via email or connect with her on LinkedIn


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