Every lover of Nigerian films will tell you that the film that gave birth to what is today known as Nollywood is “Living in Bondage.” But fate has in one way or the other schemed the man that was behind this great film out of relevance.
The man, Kenneth Nnebue was behind Nek Videos, the outfit that produced some of Nollywood’s best flicks in the 90s.
Unfortunately, after two decades of making a success of that two-part Igbo language movie, the pioneer producer disappeared into thin air.The last time, he was spotted at a Nollywood function, was in 2009, where he was among the special guests that attended that year’s BOBTV, Africa’s premiere film and television programmes expo, which held in Abuja .
At some point, it was rumoured that Nnebue had retired into evangelism, another rumour accused him of fighting bankruptcy. No thanks to ’419′ men, who allegedly duped him of some millions of Naira and left him disillusioned and poorer than ever.
But that is a story for another day. The buzz is that Nnebue’s absence in the industry is creating an indelible vacuum that will later distort the cause of history. The story of Nollywood cannot be complete today without a credit being given to Kenneth Nnebue as the man that produced some of Nollywood’s earliest and best movies.
Nnebue’s “Living in Bondage” though co-produced with Polycarp Okechukwu Ogunjiofor, and released in 1992, gained massive acceptance among the viewing audience. Then, there had been no Indian and Chinese movie alternatives other than the tele-movies that showed on national television as Nigeria’s first professionally produced home video.
By producing that movie and a few others after it like “Glamour Girls” and “True Confession” Nnebue set the stage for the emergence of a booming home video culture that has become as lucrative as any other viable business in Nigeria and across the globe.
On this note, one is disturbed however to ask this question; where is Kenneth Nnebue? ; The foundering father of Nollywood. Let’s learn to give honour to whom honour is due…