Opinion

BBC’S REPORT ON T.B JOSHUA AND ITS IMPACT ON NOLLYWOOD

The recent BBC documentary on Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua has caused a ruckus on social media. Now a source for hot debates, with millions of posts already made for or against the Synagogue Church of all Nations, it is not an impossible dream to imagine such documentaries will become a mainstay in Nigeria’s entertainment industry, particularly in Nollywood.

Popular Nigerian actress, Mercy Aigbe has recounted how sexual harassment almost prematurely ended her career. Nweke Anwulika Tonia and Tosin Oderinde have also spoken on the matter.

To the average person on the streets, this is not a strange postulation. The common Nigerian will tell you they will never get married to Nollywood stars, owing to the malodorous tales of sexual abuse by predators in the industry.

It is that bad. The sex for marks scandal exposed the odious corruption even in academic institutions of learning, such that immediate past president Muhammadu Buhari, said sexual harassment had reached alarming levels at the country’s universities, with “sex for grades” also part of corrupt practices that are being investigated by authorities.

Producers and directors have been fingered for allegedly offering roles for sex, especially to newbies who are still looking for a big break into the industry. Others withhold pay or underpay crew members, and are generally known to be rude, uncouth and unkind to those they consider beneath them.

At a bar the other day, a man remarked casually to me as we watched a movie on African Magic that if I had the right amount of money, I could travel to Asaba to sleep with any of the actresses who starred the movie.

For this and many more reasons, many talented youths decide against pursuing a career in the industry.

Of course, I know his postulations were silly, and expressed it to him, educationally. Notwithstanding our conversations, I know he still has the same mindset, like a vast majority of Nigerians.

The entertainment industry worldwide is plagued by tales of sexual abuse, violence and control. From models to musicians and actors, there are complaints that moguls and godfathers of these industries see young musicians, models and actors as food for chewing.

I already know for a fact that a large number of news rooms and producers are carefully studying the impression the BBC documentary has made. Knowing there is money to be made from it, they can begin their own investigations, reaching out to people who have been sexually harassed to come out with their stories.

For me, this will be a breath of fresh air in an industry that is constantly plagued with stories of abuse. For those who are predators, it will serve as a warning note to them. The social media cancel culture in Nigeria is extensive and enormous. Nollywood is also getting its own accolades globally, and it is only a matter of time before those under suspicion of abuse are blacklisted indefinitely.

I cannot wait for such a time when the fear of sexual abuse is relegated to the back of our mind.

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Author

  • Abu Onyiani

    Abu Onyiani is the Senior Writer, Events and Lifestyle at insidenollywood.ng and he's passionate about capturing the underreported areas of the Nollywood industry, and aspire to deliver quality masterpieces that shine a spotlight on its hidden gems. With a background in Library and Information Science, he have honed skills as a dedicated writer and administrator.

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