By ROTIMI AGBANA
The mass media owe their audience the duty of promoting the diverse cultures represented in Nigeria. Though it is a daunting and complex task, it is rewarding and worth the trouble because all of Africa and by extension, the larger society will know more about the rich and diverse Nigerian culture. The present state of indigenous cultures in Nigeria is rather worrisome because the media, which are meant to encourage the promotion of these cultures, have simply focused on westernisation.
Overtime, television has become a potent force to be reckoned with in the promotion of socio-cultural values and norms in any civilised society. Apart from terrestrial TV stations that have come up with special entertainment programs, the emergence of cable TV such as StarTimes, DSTV, GOTV, etc have helped even more.
StarTimes is one cable TV platform that has over the years established itself as a formidable force in the promotion of culture via the establishment of movie channels such as Orisun, ST Yoruba, Iroko 1, Iroko 2, Arewa 24, and music channels including Nigezie, Trace, to mention a few. These channels were all established majorly for the massive promotion, articulation of the African culture and values.
A program such as Orisun promotes the Yoruba culture beyond measure; it educates, informs, orientates and re-orientates the general public on the basic cultural norms and values, total lifestyle of the Yoruba race. ST Yoruba focuses on the depiction of Yoruba culture, traditions, lifestyle, norms and values through indigenous movies which are deeply rooted in the Yoruba culture. Iroko 1 & 2 have been able to capture the promotion of a number of cultures which cuts across the major cultures in Nigeria.
Not only does StarTimes promote the Nigerian culture through movies alone, they have been able to effectively do so by airing music videos that are deeply rooted in the Nigerian culture on music channels including Trace, Nigezie and many others.
There is no doubt that the impact of the media on people’s lives is broadly considered within what has been described as “media effects”.
This is why with the rate at which children, adolescents, teenagers, youths and adults are exposed to entertainment TV, the entertainment programmes on StarTimes have been able to shape their world view concerning social behaviours in their immediate environment and beyond.
Research has shown that teenagers who frequently watch entertainment TV get to learn a great deal of cultural values they were never taught by their parents or elders. Also, foreign viewers get to learn about the rich and diverse Nigerian culture.