‘Nollywood films sending positive, negative messages to viewers’

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Abuja – As the entertainment industry grows in leaps and bounds in the last decade, Nigerians with the passion for Nollywood films now hold divergent views about its impact on the general society, economy, social and the political class.

Nollywood in particular, has achieved a significant feat (behind India’s Bollywood) in the global film markets, in terms of volume of production.
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Therefore, stakeholders in the movie industry on Wednesday in Abuja expressed different shades of opinion on the impact of the industry.

Some of the stakeholders who spoke stressed both the pros and cons of Nollywood films in Nigeria.

Mr Kayode Aiyegbusi, Head, Performing Arts Department of Cyprian Ekwensi Centre for Arts and Culture, said that Nollywood films were sending positive and negative messages to the viewers.

According to him, the movie industry is one that can break all kinds of barriers with the different messages in the films such as race, insecurity, and religion, among others.

Aiyegbusi said that the industry had not been doing enough in sending the right messages on issues that affected the society.

“ I have been fortunate to be outside this country, where people were talking about Nigerian movies.

“ The impression is that all our movies are targeted at witches, nudity, bad mothers-in-law, 419, rituals, money rituals and all sorts of negative things, ‘’ he said.

He urged movie producers to produce movies that would reflect the good of the country and not to further give it a degrading image.

Mr Gabriel Enwerem, a teacher at Nurl Bayan International Academy, Wuse, Zone 5 Abuja, said that movies were being produced to entertain the audience.

Enwerem, however, said that movies should be geared to entertain and educate the audience on issues happenings in the society.

Mrs ifeyinwa Omowole, a journalist, described Nollywood as an industry which had gone very far and had achieved success in the branding, re-branding and shaping of Nigeria society.

She gave credence to Nollywood for projecting the Nigerian culture and image both at home and abroad, ranging from language to dressing and food.

Omowole said that Nigerian women were not portrayed decently in the movies; this was why some of them were dressing half-clad in the movie.

According to her, this has made some women to be dressing indecently in the real life, emulating what they are viewing in the Nollywood.

Also speaking, Mr paul Dung, a student of the University of Abuja, described Nollywood as a medium through which the image of Nigeria was being portrayed.

He said that Nollywood had assisted some people to be gainfully employed.

Mrs Bukola Adewumi, a civil servant, said the industry had not been producing movies with morals, rather it had promoted foreign culture and nudity in the name of fashion.

Adewumi called on government to impose sanctions on movies that promoted vices that tarnished the image of the country.

He suggested that government should ensure that movies were screened before releasing them for public consumption.

Hajia Sani, a civil servant, said that most Nollywood films highlighted vices in the society without proffering solutions to them.

She said this was more often than not the fault of the script writers rather than that of the actors.

She said that producers were more interested to produce movies that would attract consumers’ interests rather than what would portray the good image of the society.

“ I am highly disappointed by lack of professionalism of the actors. There is more to acting than appearances.

“ In the past, there were movies like Mirror in the Sun, Village Headmaster, Itchoku, Magana Jarice that were well written, very professional as the actors were screened and cast for their roles,’’ she said.

According to her, these are the lifeline for social broadcasting; families look forward to these programmes.

“We need to bring in more professionals to change the face of Nollywood and by extension, the face of Nigeria,’’ Sani said. (NAN)

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