Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Leaving Uganda

I've had a brilliant time here, but it's time to leave. My flight leaves Entebbe at 5.10AM, which means a 3.10AM check-in, which means I have to leave the hotel by 2AM. I was taken aback when I saw the itinerary, because I don't think I have ever taken such an early flight. Well, of course it means that with my late night ways I won't be going to sleep. Thank goodness the internet is finally up (back on the day I leave, like I predicted).

When I first got to Entebbe, one of the airport officials, on hearing that I was Nigerian, told me how much he loved Nigerian home videos. He appeared to be a fan of Genevieve Nnaji's.

Since then, I have discovered just how much Nollywood affects foreigners' perceptions of Nigeria, further tainting our already rather burnished image. My workshop colleagues told me how scared they are of visiting Nigeria in case someone does juju on them. I laughed like crazy, until I realised how serious they were.

Person after person (Kenyans, Ugandans, Zimbabweans, Ghanians) told me how all the Nigerian movies they have seen are about witchcraft or prominently feature witchcraft. I mentioned that there were other types of films, albeit few in comparison. No one had seen any of these.

My Ugandan colleague told me how many people hail each other with Igwe. A couple told me about a film they had seen where a man was trapped by a woman in a bottle and how they didn't want anyone trapping them in a bottle for looking at them in the wrong way (this was a joke, I presumed).

The Hollywood machinery has a strong influence on how the rest of the world views the United States and I am realising what a similar effect Nollywood has. Thankfully, Nigerian film-makers appear to be dealing with a greater variety of topics and production and acting quality is gradually on the rise.

5 comments:

Chxta said...

:keeping fingers crossed:

uknaija said...

I know exactly what you mean about perceptions...

disgodkidd said...

i was beginning to worry about my big sis when i couldn't reach you on phone and you didn't update on your blog...glad to know u're in top shape...i guess u r back home now?...

Ore said...

Yes, I got back today.

Everchange said...

glad you enjoyed it. Lol @ the professional conference attendee! I lost my cell phone by the way, could you email me your number pls?