Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora

Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora

Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora

Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora

Synopsis

In this comprehensive study of Nollywood stardom around the world, Noah A. Tsika explores how the industry's top on-screen talents have helped Nollywood to expand beyond West Africa and into the diaspora to become one of the globe's most prolific and diverse media producers. Carrying VHS tapes and DVDs onto airplanes and publicizing new methods of film distribution, the stars are active agents in the global circulation of Nollywood film. From Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde's cameo role on VH1's popular seriesHit the Floorto Oge Okoye's startling impersonation of Lady Gaga, this book follows Nollywood stars from Lagos to London, Ouagadougou, Cannes, Paris, Porto-Novo, Sekondi-Takoradi, Dakar, Accra, Atlanta, Houston, New York, and Los Angeles. Tsika tracks their efforts to integrate into various entertainment cultures, but never to the point of effacing their African roots.

Excerpt

Shot in Nigeria and New York, and featuring African and American performers, the Nollywood-Hollywood coproduction Doctor Bello (Tony Abulu, 2012) had its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington, where the question of stardom’s transnational reach inspired a series of lively discussions. Like such notable international coproductions as Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 (1976), which united Italian, French, and American performers, and Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski, 2012), whose far-flung financing sources required the participation of talents as varied as Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving (a Nigerian-born Australian), and Doona Bae (from South Korea), Doctor Bello brought together a wide range of global participants, from the Nollywood icons Genevieve Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke, and Ebbe Bassey, to the Hollywood stars Isaiah Washington and Vivica A. Fox (who appeared in another Nigerian-American coproduction, Jeta Amata’s Black Gold, in 2011). Financed by over two dozen corporations and state agencies in West Africa and the United States, Doctor Bello acquired its cast members according not to some unquestioning, purely commercially driven capitulation to transnationalism, but instead to some rather nuanced, thematically relevant strategies. A film about the human links between New York and Nigeria—between Africa and its diaspora—Doctor Bello tells the story of an American cancer specialist (Wash-

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