Nollywood Movies

Nollywood Movies: Why I am worried

Nollywood Movies: Why I am worried

A few days ago, I talked about how most Nollywood movies help in creating a bad image of the Igbos and its detrimental effect on Igbo culture. Today, I want to touch on the part of the negative effect on our kids and its influence on criminality.

In today’s world, you are very aware that the media is evidently seen as one of the agents of socialization, in the study of society. This means that the media is capable of influencing the attitude, character, lifestyle and culture of individuals either negatively or positively. Therefore, it is important to know what kind of movies are being produced for viewing, since as a result of technology, more and more people in society, have access to television.

All the available mass media now are very powerful socializing agents. They are impersonal sources and they reach large, heterogeneous and widely dispersed audiences. Their exact role in socialization is controversial but as disseminators of news and entertainment, they are extremely influential. The mass media, therefore, especially the television, have been linked by several studies of having a great influence upon the socialization of children, adolescents and even adults.

Consciously or unconsciously, people, most especially children and youth, learn different aggressive and violent acts as they constantly watch these movies and most times they end up exhibiting such acts within their neighbourhood, in school and within other social gatherings. As they watch movies with violent themes, they are likely to exhibit various criminal acts like bullying, kicking, raping and other delinquent behaviours.

The Nollywood we are familiar with in recent years has claimed to produce a diverse theme of contents including universal issues such as the evils of polygamy, extramarital affairs, elopement, different forms of rituals, cultism, betrayal, marriage, witchcraft, incest, clash of Western and traditional cultures, landlords and tenants, widowhood, teenage pregnancy, drug trafficking, campus life, tribal conflicts, religious conflicts, organized crime, murder. Some other movies have themes solely based on Christianity and the evils that go on in churches and among pastors. There are other movies that could be educative and portray some Nigerian culture, while others could also be in the form of documentaries, showing the history of some Nigerian culture as well as how it has evolved.

But unfortunately, the most common themes evident in the majority of Nigerian movies includes violence, which umbrellas cultism, murder, rape, aggressive fights, etc, and Romance, which covers sex, nudity and vulgarity or the use of strong language, etc. Another common theme is that of rituals and the use of traditional medicine in a negative way.

Most of these are evidently negative themes and are therefore malevolent to the development of personality and behaviour of its audience members in our contemporary society, especially the youth and children who are still at the primary and secondary stage of their socialization or learning process and are vulnerable or prone to picking up or adopting attitudes and behaviours from what they observe in the movies.

The portrayal of negative themes has been the base of the Nigerian film industry, probably because of the gains gotten from constant patronage from its audience as well as the interest the audience members have in pornography, nudity, violence and the likes.

Today, the nature of most Nigerian movies have grown or evolved from bad to worse, especially on the part of those that portray sex, pornography and vulgarity. We have seen that the level of the portrayal of nudity, pornography and sex has become worse than before, the actors and actresses are now more comfortable with being nude while acting.

This is definitely malevolent to some audience members who will develop more interest in pornography and may eventually become addicts. This will not only increase the number of rape reports but will also give rise to more and more cases of teenage pregnancies, abortion, as well as the abandonment of unwanted babies which increases the number of children to be cared for at motherless babies homes.

It may be shocking to note here that Nollywood movies has contributed a lot in damaging Igbo culture and has helped in promoting violence, rape, domestic abuse, diabolism and disrespect to elders.

Todays Nollywood pushes adult contents in every platform without considering that our kids are also watching. There is practically no Nollywood movie you can put to watch with your kids without been afraid of foul words or exposure to nudity, pornography and sex or see youth abusing their elders and painfully watch how elders and kings are disrobed and disrespected. We know how Nigeria is and nobody monitors what our kids watch daily. This exposure to violence has a causal effect, which is the rise in crime in our society.

Some of them argued that those movies try to teach you something in the end. But I wonder what a child will learn after showing all kinds of violence and criminal-oriented and graphic content for almost 2 hours and only at the end of the movies we see the same cliché of the bad person confessing his/her evil acts and die or perhaps exorcised by a pastor. There is no message in that. If Nigeria is a civilized society where adult content is strictly adult contents and kids’ content is strictly for kids, it would have been a different story.

The harmful impact of these movies could be the unrealistic expectations it gives us. It affects peoples expectations of how life is supposed to go about, what people are supposed to be like. In Nollywood movies, actors tend to push more flawed versions of themselves, which can give a viewer an unrealistic idea of what people should be like.

Today, we see how kids disrespect their elders, thanks to Nollywood where a girl of 20 years could be seen slapping an old man, taking his chieftaincy cap and throwing it on the floor without any remorse.

There are practically no Igbo movies out there that you will not see a native doctor preparing charms to kill somebody or mother in laws exhibiting wicked acts or kids abusing their elders.

Why I am worried is because if an investigation or a study is carried out on the category of people that make up the majority of the audience members of Nigerian movies, the result will definitely prove that it is children, adolescents and the youth. The minority will be older people because of the responsibilities of going to work, earning a living and planning a home, which they are faced with.

So, what these kids see today is what they act out tomorrow. We should never nurse these issues. Our societal morals are degrading swiftly, and it is you …yes you, me and we can rise up now and say No. Let’s draw the attention of the stakeholders in this industry and the National Film and Video Censors Board to regulate and monitor the contents put out for our kids and youths.

Thank you.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
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