Creating the Right Representation of Africa Through Films
Western colonizers used film as a colonial tool. Africans have been portrayed in Western films as uncivilized, dumb, and savage. As a result, a negative portrayal of Africa was perpetuated through film, leading to the formation of stereotypes that still exist today. Moreover, Western films portrayed Africans as incapable of self-government without the assistance of white people. There never appears to be a black person capable of leading their own country without the help of white people. They are constantly in need of white people’s help to save themselves. Western films were essentially used to control the African population via psychological warfare, brainwashing the people into believing their culture was primitive and inferior.
As Africa has been misrepresented on screen for many years, more African filmmakers are using their creative expertise to tell true stories about African culture and heritage. They’re helping to project their films on a global stage, and they’re doing it in a way that’s unique and genuine. Some of these african filmmakers are:
- Nosipho Dumisa (South Africa)
- Loukman Ali (Uganda)
- Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya)
- Seko Shamte (Tanzania)
- Kunle Afolayan (Nigeria)
- Chuko and Ari Esiri (Nigeria)
- Mo Abudu(Nigeria)
It is critical that we support these African filmmakers’ efforts to create positive representations of African culture and heritage, particularly when it comes to telling stories that are true to the African experience in the hope of creating the right representation of Africa.
Film is a powerful medium that can bring people together, no matter where they’re from. When we support African films and African filmmakers, we make Africans an integral part of the conversations about Africa, and not a side note. Similarly, we portray African stories in an authentic and ethical manner. We also nurture local talent and provide long-term opportunities for African actors, writers, and directors. Moreover, we use films as a tool for storytelling by meaningfully connecting with the audience, and we support the production of films that address issues that are frequently overlooked in popular media.
African Movies and Entertainment Today
African civilizations have long inspired the rest of the globe through arts like movies and music. But now that investors, multinational corporations, and social media platforms are demonstrating a big demand for the market, startup funding is increasing, original content is being invested in, and there are more people from across the world tuning in. African artists now have unprecedented opportunities to promote their work and advance their careers in previously unthinkable ways.
African movies and music are thriving, supported by a young populace, increased internet connectivity, and an increasing number of connected gadgets. Scriptwriters and showrunners, as well as streaming services for music and video, are recipients of its dividends.
Local businesses are utilizing innovative models, particularly streaming, and receiving record amounts of money. Social media is giving artists greater chances to connect with people outside of their immediate area. Additionally, international media businesses are vying for a larger share of the African market. Companies like Spotify, Netflix, and AWE Movies are all tailoring their material for local audiences and expanding their presence in Africa.
The Nigerian Film Industry (Nollywood) is globally recognised as the second largest film producer in the world. The Industry is a significant part of the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Sector which contributed 2.3% (NGN239biliion) to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016. Norimitsu Onishi, a journalist for the New York Times, first used the term “Nollywood” in 2002 after observing film production in Lagos, Nigeria. The phrase refers to Hollywood in the US and Bollywood in Bombay, India.
Through the thriving and aptly dubbed “Nollywood” business, Nigeria today dominates the rest of Africa’s film industry. AWE movies, a newly emerging movie streaming service, is also based in Nigeria. This led to higher expectations and standards, a new level of activity, and the production of studio-caliber African stories that started to revitalize the sector. Movies such as The Wedding Party (2016), directed by Kemi Adetiba, Chief Daddy (2018), directed by Niyi Akinmoyalan, and Sugar Rush (2019), directed by Kayode Kasum, were all box-office hits. African film has expanded quickly in recent years. The world is currently eagerly watching its progress from the colonial era, when it was almost entirely represented by Western filmmakers or, in the case of the French colonies, completely outlawed.
The revolutionary AWE Movies
An up-and-coming app called AWE movies has the potential to compete with Netflix. It concentrates on African movies and entertainment, unlike Netflix. When comparing costs, AWE is considerably less expensive than Netflix, but the streaming quality is identical. This might be the African entertainment industry’s future source of pride. In response to a global shift in the way people consume entertainment, AWE is working with African filmmakers to present the splendor of Africa and the top-tier talent of African artists. A new sense of assurance and hope has emerged in the African film industry as a result of the upheaval
In a booming sector, young filmmakers are picking up new skills and contributing more technical know-how. The possibilities are infinite, though, thanks to a highly promising future that is full of ancient talents sharing their wisdom and fresh talents providing their vision. Every community in Africa has a narrative to tell, and I think the rest of the world is eager to hear it.
Charles Igwe (2015, November, 06). How Nollywood became the second largest film industry. British Council. pp 1
Carlos Mureithi, Nadia Neophytou, Yomi Kazeem, and Norma Young (2021, June 13) African entertainment comes into its own. Quartz Africa Weekly. pp 1
Damilola Aleje (2022, February, 17). Meet the African Filmmakers Currently Changing the Narrative of Storytelling in Africa. Retrieved from https://www.bounceradiolive.com/post/meet-the-african-filmmakers-currently-changing-the-narrative-of-storytelling-in-africa