Known as Nollywood and derived from Hollywood in the same manner as Bollywood, over 1,200 video films are produced in Nigeria each year, making it one of the most prolific producers of film fiction in the world.
Typically Nollywood films are shot quickly, on a very low budget making the majority of the poor quality. But the Nigerian audience, in fact the whole continent, are hungry for... escapism
In terms of the number of movies produced per year, it is the largest film industry in Africa. While films have been produced since 60s in Nigeria, the birth of digital cinema has resulted in an explosion in the video film industry.
Nollywood is churning out some 200 home videos every month and worth an estimated US$250 million annually, making it third-largest in the world after the United States and India.
Nigeria is an independent republic in West Africa. Formerly a British colony and protectorate, Nigeria achieved independence on October 1, 1960. It was joined by the northern part of the British Cameroons in July 1961. Nigeria's population of over 150,000,000 makes it the most populous country in Africa and 8th most populated in the world.
The extremely heterogeneous population of Nigeria is made up of a wide variety of language and culture groups. Nearly 250 distinct languages have been identified. The three principle linguistic groups correspond to the country's major ethnic groups - the Ibo, Yoruba, and Hausa. In addition to a distinct language, each group has its own customs, religion, and political organization.
Nigeria is a relatively low-lying country with an average elevation of about 300m (1 000 ft) though the coastal areas and the broad valleys of the Niger River and its chief tributary, the Benue, are lower. The highest areas are along the eastern border with Cameroon where the Adamawa Highlands rise to more than 1 500 m (5 000 ft). Vogel Peak (2 042 m; 6 700 ft), southeast of the Benue River, is the country's highest point. The centrally-located Jos Plateau is never less than 1 200 m (4 000 ft) above sea level and at Share Hill reaches 1 780 m (5 841 ft). It is the source of nearly all the streams flowing across the sandy plains of northern Nigeria toward Lake Chad, and of those flowing southward or southwest-ward to the Niger and the Benue. Geologically Nigeria consists mainly of a core of ancient crystalline Precambrian rocks about 4 550 million years old, located chiefly in the western and northern parts of the country. Around this core younger sedimentary rocks have been deposited. While the Precambrian rocks have yielded no minerals, except perhaps tin from the Jos Plateau, the sedimentaries are important for coal, limestone, and particularly oil. The crystalline rocks have weathered down to produce the moderately fertile soils on which the cocoa industry of western Nigeria is based. The sedimentary soils tend to contain less soil nutrients, and are usually sandier and less retentive of moisture.
Nigeria lies entirely within the tropics, so temperatures are everywhere high enough for plant growth throughout the year. Average annual temperatures vary from 21 to 32°C (69.8-89.6°F) in the southern and more humid part of the country. In the north, the climate is drier and temperatures are more extreme, ranging from as low as 10°C (50°F) in the dry, cold nights of January to as high as 44°C
Nigeria is fortunate in the distribution of rainfall. Unlike many other African countries, Nigeria has no areas where rainfall is so low as to preclude human activity. Annual rainfall ranges from about 2 550 mm (100 in) in coastal areas to about 510mm (20 in) in the extreme north. The south has two dry seasons, the longer occurring at some time between November and March, the shorter in July and August. These dry seasons enable farmers to reap two harvests yearly. Northward there is a single and longer dry season; without irrigation, only a single harvest is possible and this must be of sufficient size to tide the people over the long dry season. Family granaries are a typical feature of the rural landscape of northern Nigeria. Even so there are months (the "hunger period") when the food situation becomes critical and seasonal migration is the safety valve.
Vegetation is largely determined by rainfall. Behind the unbroken sandy beaches and coastal lagoons is a belt of green mangrove forest that is widest in the creeks and waterways of the Niger delta. Inland from this forest is a belt of tropical rain forest, 100 to 160km (60-100 milies) wide, much of which has been cleared for agriculture and replaced in many areas by plantations. In eastern Nigeria these plantations consist mainly of oil palms; in the midwest, of rubber trees; and in western Nigeria, of cocoa. Both western and midwestern Nigeria have government reserves where the original forest vegetation can still be seen. But even in those reserves the forests are systematically exploited on a basis of rotational felling and natural regeneration.
Forest covers no more than 30% of the country. The rest is grassland of varying height and density, interspersed with woody plants. The southerly and most extensive grassland is the Guinea Savanna, which is succeeded to the north by the Sudan Savanna and, nearest the desert in the extreme northeast, the Sahel Savanna. Though the grassland area might seem to offer scope for large-scale livestock rearing, most of the Guinea Savanna is infested by tsetse fly, and the Sudan and Sahel Savannas have only a short growing season, insufficient to guarantee a regular large supply of animal feed.
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