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Parents Are Now Forbidding Their Children From Watching Nigerian Movies

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The Nigerian film industry has come under fire over the warped values it espouses.

Most Nigerians either love or hate Nollywood, with not too many occupying the middle ground.

In primary school, children play clapping games while singing songs about Living in Bondage, considered the first Nollywood blockbuster, and the film that launched the Nigerian cinema industry.

However, as the industry grew, parents began to forbid their children to watch Nigerian movies due to the abundant depictions of rituals or “juju”.

Still Nollywood continued its ascent, and it is not until when a Nigerian goes outside that he realise how much of an influence Nollywood has.

Perhaps Nollywood is so influential because of its shows of wealth, which many living in poverty aspire to, while simultaneously reflecting the realities and challenges of ordinary people as it imparts one moral message or another.

But while many criticise the industry for its obsession with witchcraft, there’s been a lot less criticism about the way in which women are portrayed and treated in these movies.

And when people discuss the female characters, the focus is largely on how scantily dressed they are, and what a bad influence they are on young women.

For a country that prides itself on being morally righteous and religious, you can’t help but wonder what kind of morals most Nollywood movies are trying to communicate.

If Nollywood is a reflection of Nigerian society, then what it reveals doesn’t say much about how Nigerians view women.

Nollywood movies feature heavy doses of sexism that even the least feminist Nigerian is likely to pick up on.

In movies such as Blackberry Babes, White Hunters and Fazebook Babes, women are depicted as cold and two-timing, always in search of a rich man or sugar daddy, thus creating a world in which men are seemingly oppressed by women who use them only for financial gain.

Others do their bit in normalising rape culture in Nigeria and generating sympathy for rapists and abusers.

I have personally sat through movies that had “romantic” storylines in which women fell in love with their rapists!

Assertive women who take matters into their own hands, or who are ambitious and focus on their careers – always get the short end of the stick.

Another trope involves women and abortions. Abortion is illegal in Nigeria, and there are women who go through risky procedures to have them done.

However, in these movies, any woman who has an abortion either dies or ends up unable to have children.

When Nollywood tries to highlight the problem of domestic violence in Nigeria and the challenges faced by abused women, the result usually falls short of the stated aim.

For example, in A Private Storm, the filmmaker draws more sympathy for the abusive husband than for his battered wife.

One has to ask why did the filmmakers chose to tell the story from the male perspective?

A petition in Lagos started by Bayo Olupohunda, is attracting signatures from all over the world, which suggests more people are becoming aware of the problem.

Olupohunda notes that Nollywood “movies are dominated by scenes of sex and extreme violence against women”, and concludes that that Nollywood scripts perpetuate violence against women while cementing the longstanding patriarchal narrative.

While we wait for Nollywood to get it right when it comes to women, we can enjoy filmmaker and video artist Zina Saro-Wiwa’s “alt-Nollywood” short film, Phyllis, a breath of fresh air.

In Phyllis, the tropes concerning women in Nollywood are subverted.

The character Phyllis is a woman who lives alone, making her independent in a country where women who are independent and single still get labelled as “witches” or prostitute.

She is a psychic vampire trying to become human through wigs, Jesus and Nollywood. The supernatural is present in Phyllis – a reference to Nollywood – yet different because the story is told from the perspective of the “witch”.

Phyllis is complex in a way that most Nollywood movies do not have the time for, which I suppose isn’t surprising that it is primarily a money making industry.

I’m not alone in hoping Phyllis provides inspiration for home-based Nollywood filmmakers, though I don’t think Nollywood filmmakers are quite ready to take such a big step.

In the meantime, one can hope that Nollywood 2.0 will turn out to be good news for women in Nigeria as a whole – and will do at least a bit more to challenge patriarchy in Nigeria. (This is Africa)

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. nimi

    May 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Nollywood is too immoral nowadays, not meant for kids

  2. VICTOR AMIRIZE

    May 7, 2013 at 8:24 am

    MOVIES THAT,EDUCATE,IMPART CHANGES IN OUR LIVES. ESPECIALLY TO OUR CHILDREN.

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Entertainment

Entertainment: Top 5 Trending Stories Of The Week

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InformationNigeria Top 5 trending stories of the week

Below is a recap of some of the trending stories that you might have missed during the course of the week.

Kindly click on the links to read up on the stories.

Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Rema, Others ominated for 2020 MOBO Awards (Full List)

Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Rema, Others ominated for 2020 MOBO Awards (Full List)

Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Rema

Seven Nigerian artistes, including Burna Boy, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage have made the UK’s MOBO Awards 2020 nomination list.

Burna Boy Snags 2021 Grammy Nomination

Burna Boy

Burna Boy

Afro-fusion Nigerian artist, Burna Boy, has received another nomination at the 63rd Grammys scheduled to hold in January 2021.

Davido Gifts Fan N1M For Creating A Video On His 28th Birthday

Davido

Davido

Nigerian musician, David Adeleke, professionally known as Davido, has rewarded a lucky fan with the sum of one million naira for creating a video of his hit songs on his 28th birthday, November 21, 2020.

BBNaija’s Kiddwaya, Erica Arrive In Sierra Leone; Susan Waya Asks Fans To Pray For Them

BBNaija’s Erica, Kiddwaya Throw Jabs At Each Other On Twitter

Erica, Kiddwaya

Ex-BBNaija housemate, Kiddwaya and Erica arrived in Sierra Leone on Friday for the eviction party of the country’s reality TV show, Housemate Salone.

Alleged Abortion: ‘I Am Not A Murderer’ -Ultimate Love Star, Rosie Says In Touching Video

Rosie and Kachi

Rosie and Kachi

Ultimate Love reality star, Rosemary Afuwape, popularly known as Rosie, has left her fans reeling after she bared it all in a touching video.

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Entertainment

‘It Made Me Understand That I Wasn’t Respected’ – Reekado Banks Finally Speaks On Wizkid’s Insult

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Reekado Banks at HotFm

Reekado Banks at HotFm

Nigerian singer, Reekado Banks has finally opened up on how he felt after his colleague, Wizkid publicly humiliated him on social media a few weeks ago.

Information Nigeria recalls that Wizkid slammed the singer after he took to his Twitter page to promote a song they both worked while the #EndSARS protests was still on-going.

The ‘Joro’ crooner called his colleague a fool and also told him to delete his post down.

Reekado Banks, however, did not respond and he yanked off the song from his album tracklist.

Speaking on the issue for the first time officially, the singer said during an interview on HOT 93.3 FM in Lagos that he felt very disrespected.

Read Also: Reekado Banks Trashes His Song With Wizkid After He Called Him A Fool

In his words;

“It made me understand that I wasn’t respected as much as I thought som it’s like I dey my lane then”, he told the host.

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Entertainment

‘Not Everyone Who Dies Is A Good Person’ – Kemi Olunloyo

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‘You Are Practicing Witchcraft If You Attend Church Vigils’ - Journalist Kemi Olunloyo

Controversial journalist, Kemi Olunloyo, has stated that she has refused to mourn some people who died in 2020 for the fact that they were terrible people when they were alive.

Taking to her official Twitter page, the self-proclaimed investigative journalist says that it is not compulsory to respect the dead if the said dead was not a good person when alive.

Read AlsoCNN stole my Investigation On Lekki Tollgate Shooting”: Kemi Olunloyo

In her words:

“Stop that stupid line. ‘Respect the dead’. FOR WHAT? They didn’t ask for ur respect. 90% of dead people were removed by God for a reason. This 2020, some of the worst people in my life DIED. God fought for me while they made my life miserable. I’m not mourning them Everybody dies”

See her tweet below:

Olunloyo’s tweet

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