In Search of Statistics for the Monster: Piracy and the Precarity of the Nigerian Film Industry


The study investigates piracy from three categories of stakeholders outside the 3% elite population that patronizes the mega stores. The youth represent a high population of movie viewers found in the suburban areas of selected cities. It also took account of those in the universities that constitute major patronage but do not actually pay the right price for the films. There was the need to study the unique and peculiarity of Nigerian piracy, the level of awareness of consumers of pirated products, the level of involvement of the youths, and if operates uniquely, and exhibits different dynamics from foreign examples, as well as the effectiveness of the antipiracy bodies. This study selected 16 low-budget filmmakers and sampled the opinions of 500 online-dependent university students including TV/DVD-playback suburban youth population. Findings reveal that those who advertently or inadvertently patronize pirated movies account for 88%, with 93% proliferation of low-quality pic¬tures. 100% of university students sampled depend wholly on online downloads, except if compelled to stream online. Mu¬tual suspicion characterizes Nigeria’s film industry, and the study identified six categories that unfortunately make the list of collaborators of Nigerian pirates with unregistered marketers accounting for 93.8%, unscrupulous practitioners outside the registered unions (75%), while 53.3% implicated the regulators. Nigerian film piracy exhibits a special peculiarity of illegally copying, printing, and publicly selling these counterfeits with impunity. And sadly, to the chagrin of creative artists. The study concludes that Nigerian pirates and their patrons enjoy the unhindered liberty of operating publicly, and the law enforcement agents do not yet have the magic wand to end it. Getting listed by Netflix has become a major breakthrough, while the re¬turn of cinema viewing centres presently serves as another avenue of direct negotiation and control for Nollywood filmmakers.

Author Biographies

John Iwuh, Redeemers University

John Iwuh, PhD, is an associate professor of theatre scenography & aesthetics. He was a University of Ibadan Fulbright Scholar, an interdisciplinary researcher, and currently the editor of RUN Journal of Cultural Studies. He has designed and consulted for drama and festival performances with international organisations. He won the ANA National literary prize for drama in 2008.

Dominic OluwaGbenga Fayenuwo, Redeemer's University

Dominic OluwaGbenga Fayenuwo (B.A., M.A.) is an assistant lecturer, and ardent theatre performer, rounding off his Ph.D. thesis in theatre and film studies dept., Redeemer’s University, Ede, Nigeria. Nigeria respectively majoring in Theatre/Film Management. He’s a 3D Animation Generalist and has featured in some animated films projects in Nigeria.

Benjamin Uchenna Anaemene, Redeemer's University

Benjamin Uchenna Anaemene holds a Ph.D. in diplomatic history from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is currently the Acting Head of Department of History and International Studies, Redeemer’s University. He won the UNU-IIGH Fellowship in 2015 and has published articles in peer reviewed journals.

Eunice Uwadinma-Idemudia, Redeemer's University

Eunice Uwadinma-Idemudia holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies. She developed an interest in the various strand of Applied Drama and has developed a style of playmaking from these different traditional play-making/ writing and improvisational techniques. She is a lecturer, widely traveled and has published in many reputable journals.

Anjola Robbin, Lead City University

Anjola Robbin, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics (Sociolinguistics, Pragmatics, and Contemporary Language Usage). A multi-talented artist and director, she is the editor of the Journal of Language, Theatre and Literary Studies (JOLATALS), Lead CityUniversity, Ibadan, Nigeria, and has also published in peer-reviewed journals. Holds membership in several language and theatre organisations.