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The Babes of Nollywood

The Babes of Nollywood

The Babes of Nollywood

The Babes of Nollywood

“Babes of Nollywood” reads their instagram bio and rightly so. Their page become one of the most shared accounts within the diaspora , hosting a portfolio of stills from vintage Nigerian films. New York transplants at a young age  by way of Nigeria, Tochi and her sister Ebele, missed out on the Nigerian films they enjoyed, and have found joy over the years watching them. Tochi tells us about how they created the page ,and how she hopes Nolly Babes encourages young Nigerian women to abandon self-criticism, censorship and to enjoy themselves.

HOW DID NOLLY.BABES BEGIN?

Honestly, it started as an archive, as well as an appreciation of killer looks in addition to the nostalgia we felt when watching these films. My sister and I  left Nigeria at quite ayoung age, and we always idealised Lagos, so discovering old Nollywood flicks online was a great way for us  to relive the joy from our childhoods and because Ebele is amazing at curating, we decided to create an archive,and that's how we got here.

HOW DO YOU PICK AND CHOOSE THE SENTIMENTS  DISPLAYED IN THE STILLS?

We are obviously focused on women because “NollyBabes”, so we are either making beauty posts based onaesthetics or a storytelling post which is a narrative in an image. We look at ourselves as historians keeping an archive of what we consider to be the golden era of Nigerian Film making. We enjoy the films first though , it takes out the fun if we're watching it simply to create posts for social media.

IT'S INTERESTING THAT YOUR SISTER AND YOURSELF HAVE GARNERED A FAITHFUL FOLLOWING IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME WITHOUT INTENDING TO..HAS THIS CHANGED THE WAY YOU APPROACH CREATING YOUR POSTS?

Not really, at least not in terms of the content itself.We do put more thought in the amount of times we choose to post and the  quality of the posts. We realised how important it was to put some effort into making posts that embodied what a Nolly babe is to us.

AS A YOUNG NIGERIAN WOMAN, NOLLYBABES HAS ODDLY BEEN EMPOWERING FOR ME.  HOW DO YOU HOPE IT AFFECTS YOUNG WOMEN TODAY IN LEARNING TO EMBRACE THEMSELVES AND THEIR QUIRKS?

I saw a comment the other day from a follower thanking us for the page, because it has made her feel more comfortable in her skin. She was responding under a post where Lilian Bach had on a short skirt and midriff top showing off a physique that didn’t fit in with the coke bottle shapes we are bombarded with on social media today.  I really resonated with her sentiment because that’s the way I feel watching vintage Nollywood movies. There was a lack of contour, no sense of living up to standards, that my sister and I resonate with. Adding to that, Nollywood had so many strong female protagonists such as Omotola Jalade, Genevieve Nnaji and Rita Dominic who were so all so beautiful, confident and stylish. They juggled men, smoked and drank and lived life by their own rules! Antagonists such as Patience Ozokwor and Eucharia Anunobi , consistently played characters that embody many of the feminist tenants we proudly stand behind. They played political movers and shakers, bread winners, and all around bad ass women!

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED CURATING FROM NEW NOLLYWOOD? OR DO YOU INTEND TO KEEP IT VINTAGE?

To be honest, the current aesthetic standard in Nollywood isn't it, at least, not for us. Obviously the times have changed and so have the style choices. Their wigs are a little too laid and lashes, a little over the top, and while these are all a reflection of the society we live in now, we don’t think it’s a reflection of the beauty that truly lives within Nigerian Women. This is why Nolly.Babes is important because young women in Nigeria need to remember that they can be themselves, whatever that may be to them, without stripping off too much of their personalities, without bleaching and without compromising your intelligence and wit to make others feel comfortable or to be considered acceptable.

We will however include more contemporary Hausamovies , and TV Series like SuperStory, although it will take a while because we're both busy in our real lives.

WHAT ARE YOUR REAL LIVES LIKE?

Well, I currently work at a political PR firm, where we work with political candidates and we're anti-Trump, so that's  really fulfilling. My sister on the other hand is involved in the arts at the New School.

A COUPLE OF OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS HAVE FOLLOWED SUIT SINCE YOU STARTED. DOES THIS BOTHER YOU, IN REGARDS TO INGENUITY?

We don't really care to be honest.. We are really doing it for the culture and for our personal enjoyment. Someone that initially reached out to collaborate eventually started another account. At first it felt like a rip-off, but our content and curation is very different so now it’s all good. The more the merrier!

WHAT IS THE RANGE OF YOUR AUDIENCE?

At the beginning, it was mostly our friends. As it has grown it's been a mix of people from different backgrounds and genders but our audience comprises of mostly Nigerian women. Shout out to Shan George by the way, she regularly leaves a comment and interacts with other users as well.

IF YOU WEREN'T AT YOUR PR FIRM, WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER BE DOING?

I'm taken with living healthy and consciously, so I’m currently pursuing becoming a yoga instructor and reiki specialist.

Pictures: From Nolly.Babes

Collages by : Chukwuka Nwobi

The Babes of Nollywood

Arts & Culture

August 17, 2018

The Babes of Nollywood

WRITTEN BY:

Eparapo

“Babes of Nollywood” reads their instagram bio and rightly so. Their page become one of the most shared accounts within the diaspora , hosting a portfolio of stills from vintage Nigerian films. New York transplants at a young age  by way of Nigeria, Tochi and her sister Ebele, missed out on the Nigerian films they enjoyed, and have found joy over the years watching them. Tochi tells us about how they created the page ,and how she hopes Nolly Babes encourages young Nigerian women to abandon self-criticism, censorship and to enjoy themselves.

HOW DID NOLLY.BABES BEGIN?

Honestly, it started as an archive, as well as an appreciation of killer looks in addition to the nostalgia we felt when watching these films. My sister and I  left Nigeria at quite ayoung age, and we always idealised Lagos, so discovering old Nollywood flicks online was a great way for us  to relive the joy from our childhoods and because Ebele is amazing at curating, we decided to create an archive,and that's how we got here.

HOW DO YOU PICK AND CHOOSE THE SENTIMENTS  DISPLAYED IN THE STILLS?

We are obviously focused on women because “NollyBabes”, so we are either making beauty posts based onaesthetics or a storytelling post which is a narrative in an image. We look at ourselves as historians keeping an archive of what we consider to be the golden era of Nigerian Film making. We enjoy the films first though , it takes out the fun if we're watching it simply to create posts for social media.

IT'S INTERESTING THAT YOUR SISTER AND YOURSELF HAVE GARNERED A FAITHFUL FOLLOWING IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME WITHOUT INTENDING TO..HAS THIS CHANGED THE WAY YOU APPROACH CREATING YOUR POSTS?

Not really, at least not in terms of the content itself.We do put more thought in the amount of times we choose to post and the  quality of the posts. We realised how important it was to put some effort into making posts that embodied what a Nolly babe is to us.

AS A YOUNG NIGERIAN WOMAN, NOLLYBABES HAS ODDLY BEEN EMPOWERING FOR ME.  HOW DO YOU HOPE IT AFFECTS YOUNG WOMEN TODAY IN LEARNING TO EMBRACE THEMSELVES AND THEIR QUIRKS?

I saw a comment the other day from a follower thanking us for the page, because it has made her feel more comfortable in her skin. She was responding under a post where Lilian Bach had on a short skirt and midriff top showing off a physique that didn’t fit in with the coke bottle shapes we are bombarded with on social media today.  I really resonated with her sentiment because that’s the way I feel watching vintage Nollywood movies. There was a lack of contour, no sense of living up to standards, that my sister and I resonate with. Adding to that, Nollywood had so many strong female protagonists such as Omotola Jalade, Genevieve Nnaji and Rita Dominic who were so all so beautiful, confident and stylish. They juggled men, smoked and drank and lived life by their own rules! Antagonists such as Patience Ozokwor and Eucharia Anunobi , consistently played characters that embody many of the feminist tenants we proudly stand behind. They played political movers and shakers, bread winners, and all around bad ass women!

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED CURATING FROM NEW NOLLYWOOD? OR DO YOU INTEND TO KEEP IT VINTAGE?

To be honest, the current aesthetic standard in Nollywood isn't it, at least, not for us. Obviously the times have changed and so have the style choices. Their wigs are a little too laid and lashes, a little over the top, and while these are all a reflection of the society we live in now, we don’t think it’s a reflection of the beauty that truly lives within Nigerian Women. This is why Nolly.Babes is important because young women in Nigeria need to remember that they can be themselves, whatever that may be to them, without stripping off too much of their personalities, without bleaching and without compromising your intelligence and wit to make others feel comfortable or to be considered acceptable.

We will however include more contemporary Hausamovies , and TV Series like SuperStory, although it will take a while because we're both busy in our real lives.

WHAT ARE YOUR REAL LIVES LIKE?

Well, I currently work at a political PR firm, where we work with political candidates and we're anti-Trump, so that's  really fulfilling. My sister on the other hand is involved in the arts at the New School.

A COUPLE OF OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS HAVE FOLLOWED SUIT SINCE YOU STARTED. DOES THIS BOTHER YOU, IN REGARDS TO INGENUITY?

We don't really care to be honest.. We are really doing it for the culture and for our personal enjoyment. Someone that initially reached out to collaborate eventually started another account. At first it felt like a rip-off, but our content and curation is very different so now it’s all good. The more the merrier!

WHAT IS THE RANGE OF YOUR AUDIENCE?

At the beginning, it was mostly our friends. As it has grown it's been a mix of people from different backgrounds and genders but our audience comprises of mostly Nigerian women. Shout out to Shan George by the way, she regularly leaves a comment and interacts with other users as well.

IF YOU WEREN'T AT YOUR PR FIRM, WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER BE DOING?

I'm taken with living healthy and consciously, so I’m currently pursuing becoming a yoga instructor and reiki specialist.

Pictures: From Nolly.Babes

Collages by : Chukwuka Nwobi

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