Nigeria’s film industry struggles against red tape and corruption, but like the country itself, it finds a way to grow
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You have to go to Alaba market in the chaotic metropolis of Lagos. It’s where the country’s film industry, Nollywood, was born over two decades ago—not that most of its stars would set foot there today. You can’t blame them. Getting to West Africa’s largest consumer-electronics market requires a three-hour drive from Victoria Island, where many stars and producers live, to the mainland, in standstill traffic on a potholed highway that varies between pavement and dirt. Once at the perimeter, it’s another two hours’ walk into the DVD section, so visitors in a hurry must hitch life-threatening rides with boys on motorbikes, speeding along the narrow market streets through a sea of bodies selling anything and everything: extension cords, plantain chips, porn, cassava, washing machines—and black-market DVDs.