The Nollywood creative enterprises in Nigeria

Nollywood creative enterprises

The Nollywood creative enterprises or the Nigeria film industry enterprises can also be referred to as the cultural industry.

The Nigeria film industry consists of enterprises embedded in the Nigerian culture.
This article examines the social and cultural context that shape the industry and the business of culture.

These are factors that can help in understanding the challenges and opportunities of the Nollywood creative enterprises in Nigeria.

The Nigeria film industry within the creative economy.

Globally, the concept of the creative economy has been evolving. In Nigeria, it is believed that the film industry contributes to job creation and the promotion of the non-oil export earnings.

In addition, it also fosters social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development.

The UNCTAD is actively involved in the promotion of creative industries and the creative economy globally.
It recognizes creative industries among the emerging and most dynamic sectors in world trade.

The Nollywood or the Nigeria film industry is a creative industry.

What is UNESCO’s definition of the creative industries?

Based on the UNESCO definition: creative industries are those that combine the creation, production and commercialization of products which are intangible and cultural in nature, protected by copyright and take the form of goods or services.

Goods and services supplied by Nollywood creative enterprises.

Goods and services in the creative industry are broadly associated with cultural, artistic, or simply entertainment value.

The goods and services supplied by Nollywood creative enterprises include:

  • Book and magazine publishing.
  • The visual arts (painting and sculpture).
  • The performing arts (theater, opera, concerts, and dance).
  • Sound recordings.
  • Cinema and TV, films.
  • Fashion and toys and games.

Therefore, the creative industry includes economic activities that strongly rest on individual creativity, skill and talent and predominantly produce intellectual property.

Creative goods are different from material goods or immediately consumable services and are consumed by a diversified mix of consumers.

The contributions of Nollywood creative enterprises to the Nigerian economy.

As a developing economy trying to diversify her economy and move away from over-dependence on oil.

The Nollywood film enterprises are playing a significant role in this process.

The Nigeria film industry enterprises are contributing to the growth of Nigeria’s cultural export.

Also, the industry is helping in the diversification the country’s export structure.

Therefore, the emergence the Nigeria film industry called Nollywood presents a viable market in a developing economy.

The Nigeria film industry is one of the sub sectors classified as export ready based on its export potential.

The industry offers potential for growth and value addition for the Nigerian economy.
According to the UNDP, Nollywood has contributed 2.3% (N239 billion) to Nigeria’s GDP.

In addition, the sector employs more than 1 million Nigerians.
This makes Nollywood the second largest employer of labour after the Agriculture sector.

It employs people directly as actors, producers, distributors and promoters while more jobs are created in related retail, although these are mostly informal jobs.

Nollywood creative enterprises

Social and cultural factors that influence the Nollywood creative enterprises

The social and cultural influence of the Nigeria film industry include:

Ethnicity and the genres of Nigeria film industry

In the Nigeria film industry, the three main genres are Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.

In addition to the Nigerian market, productions in Yoruba reach out to the Yoruba communities in Benin Republic and Togo.

As well as, to the important Yoruba Diaspora in the USA, the UK and South America.

Also, the Hausa movies found their way, first into the whole of Northern Nigeria then across the border into Niger and Chad, reaching out to other Hausa speaking groups.

Besides, the Igbo-produced video films are widespread in the Diaspora with keen attraction to the English language; it is not surprising that most of them should favour ‘Engligbo’, enriched with all-Igbo music.

Social appeal and buying of Nollywood creative enterprises products.

Cultural and social value systems are powerful forces that shape consumers’ motivations, lifestyles, and market choices.

Much of movie buying and watching takes place in a social and cultural context.

For example, many people decide to buy a film or watch a movie because their favorite actor or actress is in the movie.

Others would choose based on cultural or ethnic familiarity and because of language.

Also, many people rely on movie reviews by social influencers before buying or watching a movie.

Many actors and actresses are social influencers themselves.

Therefore, social interactions also influence consumer decisions as consumers look increasingly to others.

This helps to simplify information processing and to focus on what’s important.

In such instances, we see that social persuasion thrives as people are guided in part by the “principle of least effort” – “I agree with people I like”.

As a result, individuals make their consumption decisions based on others.
That is, on the basis of the information on what others have consumed and how they appear to have liked the experience.

Piracy and Nollywood creative enterprises products.

Piracy is a big problem facing the film industry.

The Nigerian film industry loses billions of dollars of revenue estimated at about US$5 billion annually.

Piracy is an obstacle that would limit the integration of the creative industry enterprises in Nigeria with the global economy.

An interesting fact is that piracy affects not only the home market.
The Nigerian Diaspora market in the UK and the US is large.

However, pirated films are available in the diaspora as well.

As far back as 2010, Nollywood annual loss was as high as US$200 million. This estimated revenue loss was through pirated copies in the US alone.

A casual observation of the Nigeria film industry shows that social interactions influence consumers demand.

Therefore, in order to prevent piracy, in addition to legal means, Nollywood creative enterprises also tend to make appeals to fans.

Actors, actresses and producers tend to encourage their fans to buy their films and to support them in curbing piracy.

Although the extent of the success of this method is unknown. However, Nollywood enterprises are leveraging on collaborations with consumers to fight piracy.


The Nollywood industry is different and has its own peculiarities.

Firstly, the consumer choice is mostly relational rather than rational. Movie watchers and film buyers are hugely influenced by social interactions.

Secondly, consumer choices express status-relations rather than to satisfy wants e.g. celebrity endorsement.

Thirdly, choice is based on social-cultural themes rather than risk or uncertainty.

Finally, both demand and supply operate in complex social-cultural contexts.