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Nollywood meets Bollywood in mini-series exploring migration and medical tourism

A new Netflix miniseries exploring migration, marriage and medical tourism between Nigeria and India is striking a chord with viewers in Africa’s most populous nation grappling with a struggling economy and dreams of life abroad.

“Postcards”, a five-part series produced and directed by Hamisha Daryani-Ahuja, tells stories of characters in both countries, including a talented but unmotivated Nigerian dancer struggling to leave for a better life.

For businesswoman Oluwakemi Rapu, one of a growing number of Bollywood fans in Nigeria, a favourite episode touching on migration resonated amid soaring inflation and naira currency devaluation that has battered incomes and fuelled thoughts of leaving.

“In Nigeria we believe that when we leave our country, we go to another country, that is when we are going to make it,” said Rapu, whose income has been hit by the economic crisis.

“But when I saw the guy got to India and I saw the place, the apartment, I said ah, Nigeria is even better than this place,” she told Reuters. “We are going through the same thing, it is just that our currency that is different.”

The cultural ties between Nigeria and India depicted in “Postcards” have helped drive its popularity, said Ahuja, who has spent most of her life in Nigeria and is keen to create “borderless content” bringing people together.

“It wasn’t Nigeria and India coming together, it was humans coming together with the backdrop of Nigeria and India,” she said.

The miniseries, released almost a month ago exclusively on streaming platform Netflix (NFLX.O), has remained in the top 10 in Nigeria, hovering between first and second place.

“The cultural affinity between both sides including how the families are treated and how much importance we give to relationship, that is being portrayed over here, it is common to both our countries and so I am sure that this will be a success,” G. Balasubramanian, India’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, told Reuters.

Putting out hundreds of movies and television episodes a month, Nigeria’s Nollywood is the world’s second-biggest film industry after India’s Bollywood, and generated an estimated $600 million in revenue in 2022, according to audit firm PwC.

(Reuters)

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