The Video Film has become the most accessible form of popular entertainment to the people in many parts of Africa. This phenomenal
development is experienced in several distinct forms: as cheap but valuable entertainment on small screens in video parlors;
as images projected on large screens in big theatres; as video tapes purchased at an affordable price from registered video
shops; and as bootlegged cheap films rented from the unregistered neighborhood video club for a small fee. In spite of its
growing importance in the socio-cultural existence of the people, there is surprisingly a dearth of literature on this Cultural
Revolution. This book concisely and systematically addresses the following salient questions: What provides the lifeblood
for this movement, who are the people involved in the movement, how could the art be improved? The answers to these questions
cannot be overflogged because, as Gaston Kabore argues, ‘the ability to picture oneself is a vital need’, and
for Africa to picture herself in audio visual terms at this moment, with the reality of the distressed economies of the various
countries, the video film is the most obvious means.
The innate possibilities of the medium have provided the impetus for this volume. Contributors to this book have engaged
with various questions, and in doing so, we have turned our gazes to different parts of Africa - Nigeria, Ghana, Lesotho,
and the Democratic Republic of Kinshasa. This shows that the video film phenomenon is gradually becoming an ‘art
sans frontiers’. When a film is produced, it traverses kilometers, crossing borders, touching lives. This might
be Africa’s golden opportunity to have more than a salutary presence in this vast market place of globalization.
Foluke Ogunleye obtained her doctorate degree in Theatre Arts from the University of
Ibadan. She currently lectures in the Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Dr. Ogunleye
has received several academic fellowships, honours, grants and awards. Apart from publishing widely both locally and internationally,
she has also edited many publications, including Humanities Review Journal and Institutional Models for the Consolidation
of Sustainable Democracy: Nigeria and the United States of America.