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Nigeria’s Love And Fascination For Indian Cinema

In the late 70s and early 80s, Nigerians were more used to watching Indian movies than Nigeria movies. Back then in Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and other states, there were various cinema houses that show several movies like the Chinese and American films. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes on the new craze for Bollywood Movies.

The most common flick back in the days was the Indian cinemas. People were seen standing, looking at the posters imagining what it would be like being inside the cinema or film house.

There was a popular cinema house at Ajegunle, Oyedeji streets back in the days which show all kind of movies especially the Indian movies. Young men and women would save there last card just to pay for a movie.

The idea of entering a cinema hall alone separates the young from the old depending on who gets into the cinema.

At various homes there are seldom TV sets talk more of a video player, so people hand around neighbor’s house trying to peep through the window to watch an exciting movie, especially the Bollywood.

Bollywood, India’s huge film industry, not only has the Indian public in its grip, but in recent decades has spread out to Europe, Britain and North America, where a large Indian diaspora has long settled.

But the fascination for Bollywood movies – which typically feature handsome heroes, beautiful damsels, endless musical numbers, improbable plots and happy endings – has also stretched out to a non-Indian audience in parts of the globe.

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One unlikely place where Bollywood has long enjoyed immense popularity is the West African nation of Nigeria, particularly in the Islamic-dominated north of the country – which does not have any significant Indian immigrant community whatsoever.

It was gathered that only about 35,000 Indians live in the country of 170 million, primarily in Lagos.

Indian cinema entered the Nigerian market more than 50-years ago when Lebanese businessmen (a merchant class across West Africa) decided to try something novel and import Bollywood films – instead of the far more expensive American movies — for distribution in the country.

That chance decision became a massive and unexpected success. Nigerians flocked to see Indian movies and this obsession has never really eased, at least among the Hausa people in the north.

Some of the widespread movies that shook the foundation of the Nigerian entertainment industry back in the days would be noticeable only by the past generation.

Though some blackberry generation would have heard of some of these movies, it would only be understandable when they watch it.

Nagina: The 1986 is one of the two snake girl movies that got Nigerians thinking of cheating their own. It is like the movie also inspired the later Nigerian Nneka the Pretty Serpent.

 

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