Digital content: The cut between francophone and Anglophone Africa.

 

- Do you think that colonial powers subsidize movies from the FESPACO because they like us?
 

The lack of promptness exuding from my answer had this man weary, he ended up answering his own questions before fading out in the colorful and atypical alleys of the Bushman Café.
- That’s because they are not happy of Nollywood!
The discussion based on “Content war” birthed this article, as well as some reading and research.

 


 

Entrepreneurial resourcefulness, ambition and courage shape the symbol of Nollywood. At the genesis of the world's first film industry, it was based on movies in Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and many other local Nigerian languages and cultures. Beyond its informal structure, it is important to emphasize its model of distribution on supports such as VHS, VCD and DVD that is still maintained to this day. Such aspect of its distribution has expanded to the point of being exported to South America.
Despite the lack of official network distribution, Nigerian movies are famous in countries  like Suriname and places like Latin America. The main reason explaining such attractions and popularity is that the audience finds closeness to their daily life. Jeune Afrique (2018)   

 

  

Nollywood produces around 1,500 movies per year. Sandra Oyewole (2014) at the beginning, we were all amused by the basic sounds, specials effects and the poor quality of the screenplay and replicas. But today, Nollywood presents a whole new face and a high level potential that has not only been recognized by the Nigerian government but also by the world. It’s a cinematographic giant that is still rising. Most of the movies being produced  no longer deal with subjects on witchcraft or mysticism which were the signature of the Nigerian movie industry. Today’s movies are putting on board real subjects regarding women conditions, governance issues, oil scarcity and many more current concerns. This industry has incredibly improved and evolved from the quality of its production to its digitized distribution on platform like Iroko (a channel specialized in broadcasting Nollywood movies).

 

In March 2013, President Jonathan has announced a subsidies program of 3billions of Naira (around 17 millions of dollars É. –U), titled project ACT Nollywood, for the formation and acquisitions of competences.” Sandra Oyewole (2014)
In this matter of reflection, it’s important to evoke the question on the entrepreneurial mentality of Anglophones. When it comes to such aspect of entrepreneurial mentality, the francophone side of Africa is still suffering and being victim of a bureaucracy and administration deeply complex on the procedural level. “The Anglo-Saxon system is a general form, more pragmatic and characterized by the culture of the result. From this fact, the administrative aspect is reduced, giving entrepreneurs enough time to devote to their business”. Jacques Manlay (2016)
 

In 2017, I participated to a bootcamp dedicated to African women based in Toronto called “SheLeadsAfrica” and I was the only Ivoirian. I met a few of my African sisters, Cameroonian, Togolese, Beninese but 70% to 80% were Nigerian, Ghanaian, Angolese and Rwandese. The thing that impressed me was that the bootcamp was about registered business, revenue figures and database. Seeing them proved me how badass and smart they were.
I may dare give an humorous fact: in these Anglophone countries, when you are rich, you don’t get stuck or suffer in traffic jam because you only use jet planes. Besides, shout out to this African blogosphere and one of its beautiful success stories worthy of the American dream:  Linda Ikeji. In fact, the Anglo-Saxon mentality is way more favorable to the world of  entrepreneurship whereas the francophone educational system which looks more like a factory producing civil servants doesn’t inculcate us this mindset.
It seems crucial to put forward more specific points to well carry out this constructive reflection. From the economic perspective, the Franc CFA which is the money used in most francophone African countries and managed by the European Central Bank (ECB), remains a tool of retention of the colonial pact which still persists on. From a social point of view, it is best emphasized that the language of Shakespeare enables the openness to the world regarding globalization. Another point of view from the Speaking in terms of technological and numerical perspectives, we can cite Kenya that has been the cradle of mobile banking in Africa with Mpesa. On the political side, the Britannic parliamentary system favors the wide participation of the people, in addition there’s less paternalism, less presidential goings and comings to the “colonial power”. Some African presidents hold themselves to the power and this geopolitics embezzlement only contributes to the maintenance of this slowness phase.

I’m coming to the heart of this reflection regarding the war of content and this cutting between Anglophone and francophone Africa, in a society of information. This Anglophone vs francophone pit within the creative African industries should in no way persist if our consciences catch the challenge of what the numeric represents. Francophone Africa should no longer be trolling and this awakening of conscience starts gradually materializing. It is perceive with Senegalese and Ivoirian creatives. In fact, it’s imperative for us to put  in the work. The media sector, knows a multitude of mutations to the numerical revolution. From Adicomdays to Africa Digital Week, passing by the Dakaroises biennials, it seems obvious that smartphones are tools with infinite possibilities for visual arts. Numerical Media transform the creation, distribution and consumption. If it’s through television that some have created in their mind an idyllic vision of the western world at the price of their lives in a clandestine and perilous trip, we can change our narrative the same way. Finally, it becomes primordial for African societies to live and participate in this numerical transformation by bringing our traditions, majestic orality in the creative and cultural diversity that the poetic visual our continent offers every day. The limits are mental but infinite are the potentialities. From my perspective, the main challenge will be to get ourselves away from this timid lethargy and soporific “déjà vu” with the coming of diverse content surprising in the level of originality as well as in the identity and cultural resonance.

Translated by Akouami Carlos

Written by Noella Elloh

 

 


  
“In March 2013, President Jonathan has announced a program of subsidies of 3billions of Naira (around 17 millions of dollars É. –U.) Title project ACT Nollywood, for the formation and acquisitions of competences.” Sandra Oyewole (2014) 
In this matter of reflection, it’s important to evoke the question on the entrepreneurial mentality of Anglophones. When it comes to such aspect of entrepreneurial mentality, the francophone side of Africa is still suffering and being victim of a bureaucracy and administration deeply complex on the procedural level. “The Anglo-Saxon system is a general form, more pragmatic and characterized by the culture of the result. From this fact, the administrative aspect is reduced giving entrepreneurs enough time to devote to their business”. Jacques Manlay (2016) 
 

In 2017, I participated to a bootcamp dedicated to African women based in Toronto called “SheLeadsAfrica” and I was the only Ivoirian. I met a few of my African sisters, Cameroonian, Togolese, Beninese but 70% to 80% were Nigerian, Ghanaian, Angolese and Rwandese. The thing that impressed me was that the bootcamp was about registered business, revenue figures and data bases. Seeing them proved me how badass and smart they were. 
I may dare give an humorous fact, in these Anglophone countries, when you are rich, you don’t get stuck or suffer in traffic jam cause you only use jet planes. Beside, big up to the African blogosphere and one of its beautiful success stories worthy of an American dream: To Linda Ikeji. In fact, the Anglo-Saxon mentality is way more favorable to the worlds of affairs whereas the francophone educational system that looks more like a factory producing civil servants doesn’t inculcate us this mindset. 
It seems crucial to put forward more specific points to well carry out this constructive reflection. From the economic perspective, the Franc CFA which is the money uses in most francophone African countries and manage by the European Central Bank (ECB), remains a tool of retention of the colonial pact which still persist on. From a social point of view, it is bests emphasizing that the language of Shakespeare enable the openness to the world regarding globalization. Another point of view from the technological and numerical perspective, we can cite Kenya that has been the cradle of mobile banking in Africa with Mpesa. On the political side, the Britannic parliamentary system favors the wide participation of the people, in addition there’s less paternalism, less presidential goings and comings to the “colonial power”. Some African presidents hold themselves to the power and this geopolitics embezzlement only contributes to the maintenance of this slowness phase. 

 

 

I’m coming to the heart of this reflection regarding the war of content and this cutting between Anglophone and francophone Africa, in a society of information. This Anglophone vs francophone pit within the creative African industries should in no way persist if our consciences catch the challenge of what the numeric represent. Francophone Africa should no longer be trolling and this awakening of conscience start gradually materializing. It is perceive with Senegalese and Ivoirian creatives. In fact, it’s imperative for us to put it to work. The media sector, knows a multitude of mutation to the numerical revolution. From Adicomdays to Africa Digital Week, passing to the Dakaroises biennials, it seems obvious that smartphones are tools with infinite possibilities for visual arts. Numerical Medias transform the creation, distribution and consumption. If it’s through television that some have created in their mind an idyllic vision of the western world at the price of their lives in a clandestine and perilous trip, we can change the narrative through the same way. Finally, it becomes primordial for African societies to lives and participates in this numerical transformation by bringing our traditions, majestic orality in the creative and cultural diversity that the poetic visual our continent offers every day. The limits are mental but infinite are the potentialities. From my perspective, the main challenge will be to get ourselves away from this timid lethargy and soporific “déjà vu” with the coming of variate content surprising in the level of originality as well as in the identity and cultural resonance. 

 

Traduit par Akouami Carlos

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