IT’S TIME O’ CLOCK: A Peep into the Nigerian Movie Industry & the Scars Left on it by Time

By Idongesit Imuk

A movie team on set.

The Nigerian movie industry, like every other component of life, is dynamic. Infact, it can be defined as being on the end spectrum of extreme dynamism.

Three nights ago, nostalgia called, I picked up the call with my chest fully out. Went scouting for faces and names that frequented our screens when I was much younger, and realized just how much time has flown and how fast we are growing.

I was born into the era of video home movies, I still look back at our beloved video player, now stored away in the store room, and it helps me reflect on life, that nothing lasts forever, nothing remans relevant forever. There were days those heavy video players were a must have in every home, these days nobody has such around anymore, the fast age of netflix and the resurgence of satellite multi channel TV has pushed and phased out

Below are some of the household names that were forces to reckon with when it came to the big screen business, feel free to add yours and also comment on how how the movie business was, in your era (for the pre-1990s babies).

Regina Askia

But I do remember clearly, during those golden days, where children from neighbourhoods, whose parents couldn’t afford the glorified video player and small box TV, flocking to our house to catch a glimpse of the likes of:

Liz Benson

Liz Benson, Regina Askia, Segun Arinze, Hilda Dokunbo, Sandra Achums, Chidi Mokeme, Pat Attah, the papa Ajasco actor, Stephanie Okereke, Pete Eneh, Stella Damascus, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Nkem Owoh, Pete Edochie, Olu Jacobs, the late Enebeli Elebuwa, Ngozi Ezeonu, Patience Ozokwor (mama G), Zack Orji, Bob Manuel, Ini Edo, Obot Etuk, Kenneth Okonkwo, Francis Duru, Kate Henshaw, Uche Jumbo, Uche Elendu, Mike Ezerounye, Nonso Diobi, Monalisa Chinda, Ramsay Nuoah, the late Justus Esiri, Chiwetel Ejiofor, the biracial Lilian Bach, and the list is endless (add the names your memory strays to).

Hilda Dokunbo.

And even though some of these names have persisted, lived on to keeping their relevance, face and name beyond their era, these past one decade, there’s been a seemingly automated fast emergence of fresh faces and new names coming in and taking over the industry in a rather subtly hostile form.

Justus Esiri.

Same for other industries, new and better writers are emerging from all corners of the globe, competing madly against their already established predecessors, new and better movie directors are bouncing on and off movie sets. They were days we were ambushed with only Teco Benson, Stephen Okereke and Emem Isong, but today, we barely hear of those two veterans, hundred other directors, have flooded the industry, we now have the likes of the renowned Moses Inwang, Kunle Afolanyan.

And oh, brain twizz and sparks, some names just came in: Shan George, Franca Brown, Jim Iyke, Emeka Ike, Georgina (forgotten her surname but she starred alongside Zack Orji in the movie APOSTATES OF HELL that year), Sam Loco Efe, Charles Okafor, the late Geraldine Okocha, Aki and paw paw (never could commit to memory the name of the darker one), Kanayo O. Kanayo, Clarion Chukwuka, etc.

Should we want to go on, time and space would not permit for those were the day nollywood was in her hey days, like a young woman, blooming in the joy of early womanhood.

But what common factor retired some of these talented individuals, while pushing others out to limelight?


I once said that it outlives everything and everyone except the one who created it and who defines it by virtue of His existence: God

Why this kind of back-down-memory lane article this early morning?

It’s to encourage you to do what you want to do NOW!.

Don’t procrastinate, don’t postpone, don’t shift, don’t say “I’ll do it tomorrow”, this singular statement and decision is the reason lots of talents are in the grave today, buried and gone.

A wise man once that the cemetery is where you’ll find the most talented folks, millions who died without for even a day, tapping or trying to harness their talents, some died without even giving themselves a chance to chase their dreams.

So many guys have been in love with ladies they love and kept meaning to talk to, but couldn’t for a day, approach or say anything to them, until those ladies caught other men’s attention, got married and had kids, while they were still left single, growing old in the valley of indecision.

So many ladies have had great vision and dreams, of starting up ideas that would benefit them and their immediate society, but keot postponing with flimsy excuses, forgetting that time, even though ticking away, isn’t aging, contrary to them who are growing older by the seconds.

This comparative post is a wake-up call, to all of us seeing this, to begin to be intentional about our lives, as time isn’t waiting, it’s onna marathon, and it’s effect is showing off on us, our faces, the skin on the back of our hands, the tiny wrinkles that draw thin lines on our cheeks and forehead whenever with each passing day, the tiredness we observe whenever our minds try to recall distant events, the periodic creaks and sharp aches we feel on our backs and legs whenever we stretch after a long day. Those are the little ways time shows up, sending subtle reminders to us, that we have numbered days here and that we shouldn’t waste them.

So stop wasting time, do that business, talk to that lady, fix a date for that meeting, kick off that idea, apply for that scholarship, read that novel, write that book, propose to that lady, give that young manna response!

Remember, it’s time o’ clock!

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