Zuckerberg’s day out with Nollywood at Afrinolly

Zuckerberg (middle) with Nollywood stars at Afrinolly Studio, Ikeja, Lagos.

Zuckerberg (middle) with Nollywood stars at Afrinolly Studio, Ikeja, Lagos.

Lagos, the entertainment capital of Nigeria, was in frenzy mood all through the week, following a surprise visit by the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, to the commercial nerve centre of the country.

From the day he was sighted in Yaba, Lagos, after his visit to CC Hub, there was massive buzz on social media, as the news of his visit spread across the country like wildfire. However, what seems to have surprised most Nigerians, especially celebrities, was the level of humility the Facebook boss showed during his visit. Dressed in simple jeans, polo shirt and sneakers, Zuckergerg, indeed, taught Nigerians what it means to be humble amid wealth.

Zuckerberg was in Nigeria to see first-hand how entrepreneurs in the country are creating the next wave of mobile innovation and to learn how Facebook can better support tech development and entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

At some point, the young man was spotted jogging on the Lekki Iko Link Bridge, alongside others, who joined in the session. He also had a session at the Hard Rock Café, where some notable youth leaders and entrepreneurs had a session with him. He was also in Abuja where he met with President Buhari and his team.

As part of his visit, Zuckerberg was also at the Afrinolly, a studio in Ikeja, Lagos, which is using cutting edge technology to help make Nollywood films. Whilst there, he met some of Nigeria’s top stars, including comedian Basket Mouth, Kunle Afolayan, Rita Dominic and Yemi Alade, RMD, Chidimma, Rita Dominic and others.

Nigeria is home to the second largest film industry in the world, known as Nollywood, which produces more than 100 movies a month. Chike Maduegbuna, who runs the production studio, gave Mark a tour of Afrinolly.

In his presentation, Maduegbunaa gave Zuckerberg an overview of how films are made and distributed in Nigeria, with Afrinolly’s mobile app being one of the most popular ways that Nigerians watch African music videos, films, comedy and trailers.

He demonstrated how Nollywood film studios are already using cutting-edge 360-degree cameras and virtual reality to create new experiences. He also gave the Facebook CEO a guided tour of the studios where the films are made and introduced him to some of the talent in front and behind the camera.

“Nollywood is struggling to grapple with the level of organization and resources required to provide Studio-based Production Infrastructures/Services. Similarly, Piracy and inadequate Cinemas have limited the Movie Distribution channels available to Nollywood,” he said.

The Anambra State native continued: “We see two opportunities for Nollywood; first, is to embrace technology and establish viable Mobile-phone Distribution of Movies to complement the expanding Cinema chains. Second is to reconcile content production and its business model to accommodate technological changes in available audience-screens. It used to be Cinema, TV and DVDs but we now have a huge Digital audience that use Mobile phones and Portable Devices to watch movies. Nollywood must adjust to the new audience by redefining content production to include Shortfilms, Comedy Skits and Music Videos. These are areas that Afrinolly is currently focusing on.”

At the end of the tour, Mark dropped in on a special content creators workshop, which was being held with some of Nigeria’s biggest stars, designed to help them master Facebook Live and Instagram Stories.

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what is going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them. Facebook has 1.04 billion daily active users on average worldwide and 7.2 million daily visitors from Nigeria.

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