Writer-director Hamisha Daryani Ahuja’s film Namaste Wahala is a love story between an Indian man and a Nigerian woman, and she says Bollywood has had a strong impact on Nollywood, or the Nigerian film industry.
“Nigerians have grown up watching and loving Bollywood films. Names like Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini and Shah Rukh Khan are household names in many parts. Many of my Nigerian friends have watched Hindi movies growing up and can even quote famous Hindi lines. Nollywood is the second-largest film industry in the world in terms of output, second only to Bollywood. So Bollywood serves as a huge inspiration for us and I can’t wait to see how this new genre enfolds,” said Ahuja.
Namaste Wahala highlights the differences as well as colourful similarities between Indian and Nigerian cultures. The film stars Indian actor Ruslaan Mumtaz with Nigerian actress Ini Dima-Okojie. The film released on Valentine’s Day.
The Indo-Nigerian film narrates an interracial romance with humorous and heart-wrenching hiccups. “Namaste Wahala brings it all beautifully – the glitter, lushness, and gorgeous colour and textures that both Nigerian and Indian cultures are so famous for!
“Of course, no wedding is complete without some dramatics – and Namaste Wahala does not disappoint! There are all the familiar hallmarks of Nollywood and Bollywood weddings – the nonstop drama, sheer hilarity, misunderstandings, heartwarming moments, near disasters and strong family bonds make this a definite Valentine’s Day ‘must watch’,” Ahuja wrote.
From lavish setups to elaborate dance sequences to Bollywood influence in the ceremony, the Indian wedding market is worth millions of dollars, and the streaming space has started sensing the value of it. While several wedding stories are already being narrated on the big as well as small screens, the OTT space has now started looking at the reality drama around weddings in upcoming shows.
Recently, actress producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas said that she along with husband Nick Jonas is creating a series inspired by their own ‘Sangeet’. It is said to be an unscripted dance competition series executive-produced by the couple and inspired by an Indian pre-wedding tradition called the ‘Sangeet’.
“I’m doing a reality show, which is going to have couples from all ethnicities, all religions, celebrating a ‘Sangeet’. To take an Indian tradition and open it out to the world and have them understand, this is what I’m doing,” Priyanka said about the show.