[email protected]: 62 facts about the entertainment industry in Nigeria


Creating mixed feelings of emotions in people’s hearts and spicing up society with dips of content, the entertainment industry in Nigeria has been one of the most ‘bang’ industries in the world.

Apart from the money it generates, it is so celebrated because of the thrilling experience it provides to consumers.

The Nigerian entertainment industry ranks among the top in the entertainment industry in the world due to its growth and running achievements over the years. The visibility of these growths can be seen in certain aspects of the industry like music, comedy, and movies.

The Nigerian entertainment industry is currently in transition to serve the global market. One might wonder how the industry gained such relevance and global dominance. There are so many facts that every Nigerian should know about their entertainment industry since independence in 1960.

In this article, we are going to show you 62 facts about the entertainment industry in Nigeria:

  1. Cinema in the Hausa language is called Kannywood, a sub-industry of Nollywood, mainly based in Kano – The largest film industry in Northern Nigeria.
  2. Did you know that AMP stands for Association of Movie Producers? An association made up of video film producers in Nollywood.
  3. Surprisingly, the Nigerian producer spends $50,000 to $200,000 or even more to produce a standard movie.
  4. According to a 2018 IMF report, Nollywood accounts for 2% of Nigeria’s GDP, the total value of which is around $500 billion.
  5. One of the films that propelled Yoruba language cinema to the fore was called “Ajanu Ogun” in 1976.
  6. The Nigerian film industry celebrated “Nollywood @ 20” in 2013 – although it is believed to be well over 20 years old.
  7. Have you heard of Nollywood reinvented? It is an online publication that publishes content exclusively in the industry.
  8. One of the first documentaries intended to introduce Nollywood to Western audiences was Jamie Meltzer’s Welcome to Nollywood in 2007 in the United States.
  9. Did you know that Latola Films was the first and oldest film production company in Nigeria? He started producing films as early as 1962.
  10. The two best Nollywood directors are Kemi Adetiba; “The Wedding Party”, “The King of Boys” and Tope Oshin; “We Don’t Live Here Anymore”, “Up North” and “New Money”.
  11. Surprisingly, one of the premier films that brought the Nigerian film industry into the limelight came from the Yoruba language industry – A notable example is Moses Olaiya’s “Mosebolatan” (1985) which grossed ₦107,000 (approx. 2015 ₦44.2 million) within five days of release.
  12. Here are the top 5 movies that hit an all-time high in the movie charts, they include The Wedding Party 2 (#522 million); The Wedding Party (#453million); Chief Dad (#387 million); King of Boys (#245 million) and Merry Men (#230 million)
  13. Recently, Nollywood employs over a million people. Indeed, the industry requires a large number of professionals and technicians to guarantee success.
  14. Did you know that films produced by Nigerian filmmakers living in the Diaspora are commonly referred to as Nollywood USA?
  15. Kongi’s Harvest” was the first indigenous Nigerian feature film produced in 1970, based on a play written by Wole Soyinka.
  16. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, originally linked to the month of Ramadan, Akpala music, a catchy song for Yoruba Muslims, evolved into a song for general entertainment and became popular in the 50s.
  17. Another brand of music that has become popular is Juju music and those who have become most known for this are artists like King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obe, Sir Shina Peters among many others.
  18. Fela Anikulapo Kuti is a name synonymous with Afrobeat music that has emerged as a tool for activism.
  19. Currently, the Nigerian music industry is one of the fastest growing in entertainment and is arguably measured by what is obtained all over the world, including the United States of America.
  20. Nigerian music is the second most streamed music on Spotify – According to Spotify (a digital music streaming platform), Nigerian music is ranked as the second most streamed music on the platform. No doubt the revolution in Nigerian hip-hop songs in recent times deserves such an accolade.
  21. Do you know that Nollywood is the second largest employer in Nigeria? -According to researchers, Nollywood has helped close the unemployment gap by employing a high number of people, making it the second largest employer in the country. What a big role the entertainment industry plays.
  22. The first recording of Jújú music dates back to the 1930s – Many people believe that Jujú music originated in the 80s. According to history, the first recording of Jújú music was made by Tunde Kings and Ojoge Daniels in 1929.
  23. King Sunny Ade was the first Nigerian musician to be nominated for a Grammy Awards in 1984, but Burna boy is the first artist to win a Grammy Awards in 2021. His music album ‘Twice As Big’ won Best world music album.
  24. Alleluia Atunyota Akporobomeriere, known as Ali Baba, was the first to hold a comedy show in 1988.
  25. King Sunny Ade is credited as the first Nigerian musician to incorporate an electronic musical instrument. His band played with a phalanx of electric guitars, synthesizers and vibraphones.
  26. During the Abacha days in 1993-1998, the music industry suffered a lot of setbacks as musicians, writers and producers were hunted down and threatened. The entertainment industry did not prosper until Abacha’s death.
  27. Nollywood is believed to have started in 1993, but film as a medium first came to Nigeria in the late 19th century in the form of a peephole for viewing motion picture devices.
  28. The Nigerian Film Unit had its first copyrighted film in 1957 by Sam Zebba; which is also the first Nigerian film to be shot in color. The name of the film was “Fincho”.
  29. The Nigerian film industry experienced rapid growth and expansion after independence in 1960.
  30. After Independence, movie theaters were still owned by foreigners. This has reduced the number of Nigerians in the film scene. In 1972, Yakubu Gowon issued an indigenization decree allowing foreigners to transfer ownership of theaters to Nigerians. This has enabled more Nigerians to take active roles in film and cinema
  31. Wale Adenuga’s Papa Ajasco TV series started in 1984 became the first blockbuster grossing #61000 in three days.
  32. The number of annual film productions is 2,500 with a projection of $22 million in total cinema revenue alone in 2021, while total music revenue in Nigeria is expected to reach $73 million, with an annual growth rate composed of 13.4%.
  33. The first telegraph lines were supplied to Nigeria by Britain in 1895 to facilitate the construction of the railway between Lagos and Abeokuta.
  34. The radio distribution service grew from less than 1,000 subscribers in 1939 to approximately 74,000 subscribers and listeners in 1960.
  35. The first Nigerian newspaper “Iwe Irohin” was established by Henry Townsend in 1859.
  36. On October 1, 1960, three broadcast systems were established; NBC in Lagos, WNBC in Ibadan and ENBS in Enugu.
  37. New York Times journalist, Norimitsu Onishi coined the name “Nollywood” for the Nigerian film industry in 2002 when he saw the circumstantial events surrounding film production.
  38. The Nigerian film industry is globally recognized as the second largest film industry in the world.
  39. The Nigerian entertainment industry has the largest number of creatives in the world.
  40. The Lagos brand is very valuable to the Nigerian entertainment industry and it is no surprise that Nigeria has more artists based in Lagos than in any other city in Nigeria.
  41. Nollywood won the UNESCO Audience Award for Promoting and Preserving Cultural Heritage and Diversity through its movies in 2010.
  42. The most profitable genre of Nigerian films is home video and accounts for over 90% of annual revenue generated by the industry and over 80% of profits generated by the industry.
  43. Nigerian entertainment also has a few awards and these are the African Movie Academy Awards, Nigeria Entertainment Awards and Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards (GIAMA).
  44. Nigerian entertainment also has a few awards and these are the African Movie Academy Awards, Nigeria Entertainment Awards and Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards (GIAMA).
  45. The three universities with the highest number of musical artists are the University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Ilorin.
  46. The most popular radio station in Nigeria is Wazobia FM.
  47. The first cinema in Nigeria, Kings Cinema, was established in Idumota in 1912 by Mr. Palmer.
  48. The first recording studio in Nigeria was Duro Soleye’s studio in 1960.
  49. In June 2011, Tiwa Savage became the first African musical artist to be signed to Roc Nation.
  50. In 2010 Akon opened a new recording studio in Lagos to support local artists like D’banj, P-Square and Wande Coal.
  51. According to Forbes, Davido is currently one of the richest and most influential artists in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $18 million.
  52. Olamide’s “Bobo” was the first single to hit a million views on YouTube in less than two weeks.
  53. Tales by Moonlight was a grassroots government initiative in the 1960s to use folk stories performed by storytellers in public spaces to encourage literacy and promote positive social interactions among groups.
  54. The first Nigerian music video was recorded in 1972 by Mike Odumosu.
  55. Wizkid is the first Nigerian to win a BET Viewers’ Choice award (2017).
  56. The industry is dominated by two major film languages ​​– English and Yoruba.
  57. Nigerian films are screened in over 50 countries.
  58. There are 68 cinemas in Nigeria, with the South West having the highest number of cinemas.
  59. The Village Headmaster is one of the most iconic Nigerian television series of all time. It ran for 2 decades, making it the longest running series on the National Television Authority (NTA). The series began in 1968 and ended in 1988.
  60. In the early years of the Nigerian film industry, the majority of actors, screenwriters, directors and producers were former staff of the Nigerian Television Authority. (NTA). Staff had left the national broadcasting station to work in film production after the station ceased producing media content in-house.
  61. Most Nigerian artists from the early 2000s to 2010 came from church choirs, except for a few like 2face Idibia.
  62. Nigeria Entertainment Industry has told so many stories about Nigerian culture, lifestyle and growth since independence in 1960.

Looking into this industry, one could say that Nigeria as a country has achieved a lot despite obstacles and hurdles. In the coming years, the entertainment industry would record more achievements and the industry would create more economic importance.

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