This fall, Tufts Magazine featured Bic Leu, A07, a Fulbright Scholar and project manager for Del-York International, a communications company that is helping to set up a media production training program in Lagos, Nigeria. The feature contained a blog post detailing Leu’s experiences doing on-site research on the Nigerian film industry, known as “Nollywood.”
As my stay in Nigeria drew to a close, I became more and more grateful for the opportunity I had had to meet so many amazing individuals and accumulate so many eye-opening experiences. I found I had also amassed evidence showing that Nigerian society has, by and large, benefited from Nollywood. I observed that a standard movie employs fifty to a hundred people and indirectly provides work for many others, thanks to collateral industries, from the yam vendors who supply the set caterer to the DVD manufacturing plants. At that rate, modern Nigerian cinema supports hundreds of thousands of jobs annually. That’s significant in a country that the World Bank estimates to have a 25 percent youth unemployment rate.
Recently, she blogged about a visit to Brazil that added more perspective to her Nollywood knowledge:
I feel extremely fortunate that my Nollywood immersion has come full circle. After being introduced to Nigerian cinema in Jonathan Haynes’ Long Island University office, my education was cemented on the set of Tunde Kelani’s Ma’ami in Abeokuta in October 2010 – just two weeks after my arrival in Nigeria on the Fulbright grant. I am so honored to complete my Nollywood research with these two amazing individuals, as well as be joined by new friends who have supported me along the way – Alex Andrade, Jamiu Shoyode and Hakeem Adenekan.