Kwara State University – AS part of the activities set aside to mark the second conference on African Cinema by the Kwara State University (KWASU), the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor AbdulRasheed Na’Allah, has inaugurated a committee to see to the establishment of the Centre for Nollywood Studies at the institution.
The conference, which was held recently, had as its theme, ‘African Cinema and the Supernatural,’ with the sole objective of highlighting the role and effect of Nollywood films on the society.
While delivering his opening address, Professor Na’Allah said the conference was part of the university’s ambition to build bridges between scholars and those who produce culture outside the university.
He added that the goal was to reach deep into the soul of the immediate community and tap into the rich human and material resources of the nation, so that progress could be redefined for all.
“In 2010, the theme of the Conference was ‘Nollywood: A National Cinema?’ That and this year’s theme shows the university’s commitment to reading our local cultural production. Yet, we realise also that our cinema, the popular Nollywood, does not and cannot exist in a vacuum, rather it exists as part of the global cultural practice,’’ he stated.
Professor Onookome Okome, a visiting lecturer at KWASU and University of Alberta, who is also the convener of the conference, explained that the conference was aimed at exploring how Nollywood was depicting the supernatural, especially as the supernatural is mostly portrayed as capable of resolving every problem.
“One of the implications of this is that because we believe in the supernatural very much, it means that we do not take our material conditions into context. For instance, we do not pay attention to the fact that if we do not work hard, we cannot live well.’’
“The Pentecostal Christians, for instance, believe that accepting Jesus Christ solves all your problems and this is also the case with Islam and Traditional religions.”
He explained that the new Centre for Nollywood Studies would be a focal point where the meaning and relevance of Nollywood could be studied, adding that the centre would also archive Nollywood history till date; “it will archive other films from other film cultures also,” he pointed out.
It was also indicated at the event that the centre would be an academic arm of the Malete Film Village, so that KWASU students would have the singular honour to create Nollywood as theory and make Nollywood as practice.
The conference pulled stakeholders from the United States, Paris, Canada and Nigeria, including Professor Ken Harrow, Professor Jonathan Haynes, Professor Ase Adogame, Tunde Kelani and Lancelot Imasuen, among others.
Kwara State University to establish Centre for Nollywood Studies