Two Nollywood stars, Patience Ozokwor popularly known as Mama G and Uche jombo, have credited Nigerian film makers with paving the way for the rest of the continent and showing Africans they can tell their own cinematic stories.
Speaking in Dallas after the recently concluded African Film Festival, the actresses said film makers in other nations in Africa, followed the Nigerian example and started producing their own movies.
Ozokwor said: “Since Nollywood started, every country is trying to catch up with making movies because, movies seem to be the easiest way to reach out to the people.”
On her part, Jombo said that the African Film Festival was about “African people, African film makers, making African films, telling African stories to Africans.”
She also believes the loose nature of the Nigerian cinema industry, made it possible for other film maker like her across Africa, to come to Nigeria and make their own films in their own way.
“You do this your way,” Jombo said. “You have to, because there is no big company, no big studio that is funding. You really don’t have to answer to anyone.”
A film produced by and starring Jombo, Lost in Us, shown at the festival, deals with a mentally ill man stalking a movie star, played by Jombo. She said mental health is rarely dealt with in African films or discussed openly in society.