“We Dominate And Own The Nollywood Industry”– Oga Bello, Iya Awero, Ogogo, Support Aisha Lawal, Video Trend (Watch)

A lively discussion has been making rounds on social media lately, triggered by Nollywood actress Aisha Lawal’s declaration asserting the Yoruba community’s ownership of Nollywood.

In response to her statement, many individuals of Igbo heritage have voiced their dissent, asserting that they played a pioneering role in the home video industry and that Nollywood’s identity cannot be exclusively attributed to any single ethnic group.

Yet, a video featuring esteemed Yoruba/Nollywood veterans such as Iya Awero, Ogogo, Oga Bello, and others has emerged, shedding light on the true origins of the industry and how it initially began.

In recent days, debates on social media have revolved around the rightful proprietors and trailblazers of the Nigerian film and theatre industry.

The discussion was sparked by renowned actress Aisha Lawal, who shared her perspective in an interview, asserting that Yorubas are the authentic proprietors and originators of the Nigerian film industry.

In response, several Igbo practitioners took to the internet to voice their opposition to this assertion, highlighting that it appears to be based on personal bias and lacks understanding of the broader picture.

Gideon Okeke, an Igbo actor, expressed these sentiments. Moreover, certain individuals of Igbo origin on Twitter have asserted their ownership of Nollywood, emphasizing their role in initiating home video production and distribution.

Chief Adebayo Salami, also known as Oga Bello, and Lanre Hassan, aka Iya Awero, pointed out that Nollywood’s origins trace back much further than the late 80s or early 90s. They highlighted that it dates back to the 1940s when the first cinema was established on Glover’s Street in Yaba.

In a documentary crafted by Dotun Taylor, a cinematographer based in America, these veteran figures reiterated the names of the individuals who initiated the filmmaking and theatre endeavors in Nigeria.

They collectively identified Pa Adedeji Hubert Ogunde, Ade Love (Kunle Afolayan’s father), Duro Ladipo, Kola Ogunmola, and Bala Sala, among others, as the founding figures and trailblazers of the Nigerian filmmaking and theatre landscape.

“Pa Adedeji Hubert Ogunde, Ade Love, Duro Ladipo, Kola Ogunmola, Bala Sala are the founders and practitioners of filmmaking and theatre in Nigeria, and they’re all Yoruba.”

Contrary to the narrative put forth by certain Igbo practitioners who contend that Nollywood commenced with the release of the first “Living in Bondage” film in the early 90s, the veterans’ accounts highlight an earlier and more diverse history of filmmaking and theatre in Nigeria.

“Pa Adedeji Hubert Ogunde, Ade Love, Duro Ladipo, Kola Ogunmola, Bala Sala are the founders and practitioners of filmmaking and theatre in Nigeria, and they’re all Yoruba.”

Indeed, there is a divergence in perspectives, with some Igbo practitioners asserting that Nollywood’s genesis was linked to the early 90s and the release of the first “Living in Bondage,” while others, backed by historical accounts, emphasize a more extensive history dating back to earlier decades.

Watch the documentary of veteran Nollywood stars talking about the industry below:

See what Gideon Okeke had to say about the issue:

See some of the reactions the documentary stirred

“Grateful for the opportunity to be part of what’s happening here, sir!”


“@instablog9ja oya come and hear the concluding part of the lie you posted.”


“Thank you mentor for sharing this. I tried creating a content on chief Adedeji Hubert ogunde. Unfortunately, We weren’t allowed to take any videos when we went to his house/museum in ososa despite the fact that we paid.”


“Well done. History would remember you.”


“I was privileged to watch a movie title Igbo Elemosho and i was Wowed like ….It was everything props sef was ,the effects was bam Nollywood has a great history.”


“The song you use here was what I used to introduced the witches in my final year practical play in school then,MOJA GBE by Ahmed Yerima.”


“Without the Igbo’s their will never be anything like Nollywood today.”


“Gideon , don’t you think it’s weird that none of your colleagues could even comment on this sh!t you typed? There’s more bigotry in your message that what she said.”