TRANSNATIONAL AND INTEGRATIVE CULTURAL ROLES OF NOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA IN WEST AFRICA: THE CASE STUDY OF BENIN REPUBLIC AND GHANA (Published)
Nigerian films, under the auspices of Nollywood are becoming extremely popular among the Africans that are residing in the West African sub-region. In line with the integration agenda of ECOWAS, Nollywood films have been re-emphasising African cultural practises into the West African diasporas living in the various countries in sub-Region and in addition re- infusing the African practices and cultures into the original inhabitants of the various countries within the region. In the post-Cold War era, the Nigerian Nollywood industry has been leading a cultural shift from historical and written facts to visual images without losing the touch of Nigerian English and native dialects, which emphasises the concept of informal education of people by enticing images more that persuasion of words. It is a truism that Nollywood films has gained wide acceptance because of its accessibility among the youth and adolescence in West Africa, and are gradually gaining wider acceptance among the African diasporas within the rest of the Region in Africa and African diasporas in Europe ,America, and the Asian countries. This acceptance was made possible because of socio-cultural and educational values. It is hard to avoid Nigerian films in Africa because public buses show them, as do many restaurants and hotels. Nollywood, as the business is known, churns out about 50 full-length features a week, making it the world’s second most prolific film industry after India’s Bollywood. The streets of Lagos and the outskirts are flooded with camera crews shooting on location. West African people enjoy watching Nigerian home video films, thereby reinforcing the historical socio-cultural bond. This paper assesses the transnational roles of Nollywood films, its integration force by binging the West African nationals living in the sub-Region together socio-culturally, thereby promoting the ideals of the founding fathers of ECOWAS. These roles will be assessed and analysed through questionnaires that will be administered and interviews both structured and unstructured that will be conducted Benin Republic and Ghana representing Francophone and Anglophone countries respectively. The conclusion reached will be of benefits to the promoters of Nollywood towards positive projection and delivery of African values, norms and cultures within West Africa, to other African countries, so as to enhance the regional integration of African Union.