IMPACT OF NOLLYWOOD FILMS ON CHILDREN’S BEHAVIOUR IN EKPOMA, NIGERIA
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Using Ekpoma in Nigeria as a case study, this article investigates the impact of Nollywood films on the lives of children, and the possible behavioural implications of emergent visual (mis)representations on African society. It uses the perception/ representation model of ‘NoSRA theory on Gaze Setting’ developed by Kayode Animasaun as a theoretical anchor. The study employs both quantitative and qualitative methods to provide insights into the perceptions of Nigerian (African) children about the films they watch. While a very significant percentage of the sampled population finds Nollywood films such as Issakaba, Beyond Sin, The Destroyer, Ukwa, Ultimate Warrior, Aki and Popo, Black Arrow, Cain and Abel 1&2, Crazy Twins 1, Yahoo Boys etc., interesting and entertaining, a content analysis of many of these films reveals that they are replete with disturbing tropes which are at variance with cherished Nigerian (African) cultural values. Interviews conducted with parents/adults also provided some useful contexts. In spite of the sampled population’s enjoyment of Nollywood films, a clear majority believe that the films do not properly portray or represent Nigerian (African) children. Thus, Nollywood films may have little to offer for the proper development of children. In fact, there is a strong connection between the unwholesome and violent behaviours which the children regularly see on Nollywood videos and their physical exhibition of anti-social behaviours and attitudes such as the frequent use of swear and abusive words, indiscriminate use of lethal objects such as knives, guns, and membership of cult/gang groups, etc., which unfortunately are on the increase in the Ekpoma locality in Nigeria and in many other parts of Africa. To reverse this trend and maximise the gains of Nollywood, this article holds that, among other things, Nollywood content creators should begin to place emphasis on a range of culturally enlivening, entertaining, and character building narratives in scripting and shooting of movies.
350 – 374
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