Tribalism taking over Nollywood – Joseph Benjamin laments

Seasoned Nollywood actor, Joseph Benjamin has alleged that tribalism is gradually becoming a mainstay in the Nigerian movie industry.

The thespian and TV personality claims that some Nigerian filmmakers are using indigenous movies as a platform to propagate tribal superiority.

Benjamin, who moved to the USA years ago, made the accusation in a post on his Twitter page while raising concerns over the rise in the production of cultural-based movies in Nollywood.

Tribalism taking over Nollywood - Joseph Benjamin

The 47-year-old said though home made movies are amazing, there seemed to be a “race to showcase whose culture is best” in the country.

On the flip side, Benjamin praised the South African movie industry for being more focused on pushing out their country to the world rather than tr!bes.

Benjamin wrote; “My dear Nollywood, we are slowly pivoting towards a tribal trajectory. As I skim through, all the amazing language-based titles, coming out of the industry. I cannot help, but see a subtle race, to showcase whose culture is best.

“As much as we desire to tell our stories ourselves. The competitive lines are becoming less blurry. When South Africans make films, they have one goal. Which is quite evident in their final work.

“The big picture is South Africa as a brand. How do we sell South Africa to the world? Not Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sesotho, Swazi, Setswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.

“However, reverse is the case with us. We are all about, how do I sell the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa culture. Well, as much as some might be of the opinion that, if they see these tr!bes, and the beauty of our diversity. They will be attracted to our culture at large.

“Let me ask this question to you dear filmmaker. Please look in the mirror, and honestly tell yourself the truth. When you make your language based films. Do you have a mindset of communalism? Or individualism?

“Until we start seeing this whole process as a ‘WE’ focused movement and not ‘I’, then and only then can we boldly say we are ready to scale up.”