What is the agenda of the Nollywood industry? The aim of this discourse is to explore the messages being passed by the Nollywood industry and what agenda can be set for and with her in the light of the realities of the times.
What is Nollywood doing ?
Hollywood has been used to set the agenda of war, supremacy of capitalism, supremacy of Christianity and supremacy of western culture for decades on end now. They have not stopped. Many other agenda have been set by Hollywood which has caused the whole world to operate in a certain way. Nollywood, being a copy cat entertainment industry (right from its name) has since its inception been used to propagate similar agenda and this has been the reason behind the gross dysfunctional homes we have, poor eating lifestyle, addictions to alcohol, cigarette, drugs, sweets, and junk food. Feminist agenda have also been propagated by Nollywood borrowing a leaf from Hollywood. And our society is groaning under the burden of this backwardness called civilisation from the west which our dear Nollywood has been used to propagate.
Why would our movies carry themes of broken homes, supremacy of foreign ways, foreign language and foreign gods and we expect our families to stay functional? You expect our children to act right? You expect our health to get better? You expect our nation to move forward?
I will not be surprised if we start having movies about the multiplicity of gender and suchlike absurdities trending in the west nowadays. The first movie Netflix made with Nollywood, Gangs of Lagos, was all about crime, sex and violence. Ijakumo is one of the few Nollywood movies changing the narrative and the agenda.
What can Nollywood do?
Nollywood can transcend from that copycat mentality to an original entertainment outfit used to propagate themes and agenda that will heal our bodies, our families and our eco social environment. When shall we start having movies that would tell our history before the fall? When shall we start making Netflix movies about the origins of our gods and how they relate to the different personalities and forces existent in man’s mind. When?
When shall our movies shall featuring heroes that do not smoke, drink or womanize? Heroines that would be virgins or faithful wives engaged in one profitable eco friendly venture or the other? When shall we have movies that promote green economy, wholesome living and concelebration amongst all humans. When? When shall we start having movies about that president that finally put every public office holder on minimum wage from the president down to the ward councillor?
When? We have kept talking about setting a new agenda for and with the Nigerian Entertainment Industry and the bulk of the responsibility lies on our screen writers and producers as well as our film schools.
I am looking forward to the day when I will subscribe to a particular streaming platform that is Nigerian and the movies are Netflix standard, yet very progressive, wholesome and New Nigeria driven. You cannot tell me that if Actors Guild of Nigeria and every other sister Nollywood guild make it a matter of policy that their movies must exclude smoking, drinking and eating of junk, it will take long before a great percentage of Nigerians would stop smoking, start eating right and living right. Brewery and cigarette companies will close down and societal vices will tone down drastically. Give it a try before writing it off.
Why Nollywood may not do it
It is possible that these words of mine might fall on stony ground. Why? It would be naive to ignore the fact that pressure groups and big companies are the real sponsors of many of these television shows and movies. And many of these companies are contravening the laws of nature in their line of business. It is those same sugar product companies, cigarette companies and suchlike that sponsor every programming that happens on the television. This is why it might be a Herculean task to carry out some of these kind of agenda that I just painted for you. This is why it would take us a longer time to achieve steady power supply, good roads, cheap internet access, secure streets and good men and women in Nigeria. We would remain in this hellish state until Nollywood speaks these realities into being through movies. With movies, you create any kind of world you wish. Why don’t we create this world we need?
By O’star Eze