Letter to the Shameless Nollywood Movie Industry

Immorality in Nigerian movies was what pushed me to write this article. That is my motive. As a responsible industry with some of you married and old, you all act below moral. Instead of you to curb the practice, you still act alongside these young girls in bed half naked. Second largest film industry in the world with no sense of belonging. Having become the second largest film industry in the world, most viewers are of the opinion that Nollywood movies would have risen beyond a certain level of immorality and barbarism that could be considered averagely above board.

These days, our producers just sit in the corners of their rooms and bring them on. You get to hear titles like Tear My Bra (If You Can), Black & White Ghosts, Iron Pant, Tube & Tyre, We are Useless, Aka Gum, Calculator, Holy Kidnapper, Radio Without Battery, Chelsea and Liverpool, etc, and if you sit down to watch these movies, you will get lost at the lack of credibility and depth.

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I don’t like what I see in our secular films and I feel this is one way I can propagate morals. The youths need to know that you can watch a movie and enjoy it without learning bad things. The power of television has brought a lot of changes, some for good and some for bad and it is worse in the lives of the teenagers. I don’t like it when I see our movie actors act nude or half naked, smoke weed and also portray some funny behaviours; children watch and pick these habits. A director does not have to use such things to make his film sell. So, when you talk of censorship, it must start with self; that is the director himself must know what is right and wrong, what the society expects from him and what he will like to see his children watch and learn.

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When movies like Domitilla, Glamour Girls, Room 027 where an actor grabbed the boobs of the actress and the other actor was shown in scenes like making love to an actress are few examples among many others. It tells you that we are getting it wrong.

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Nigerian movies is intended to be used to tell Nigerian stories exactly the way we are; our culture, our values and the way we want the world to appreciate us. Unfortunately, my thought presents the exact opposite of what we are.

Juliet Chinasa , an actress who spoke with Leadership Sunday (as I read in the newspaper) on immorality in Nigerian movies, stated that, “the world has changed and people are more interested in explicit content. They want to see beautiful women with beautiful bodies. Ours is still better because we don’t make love in movies or parade our nakedness. We just wear skimpy dresses and kiss once in a while. This does not mean we are immoral. After all, these things actually happen in secret, even the children know most of the things they see. It is up to parents to control what their children watch, ours is to entertain.”

That’s a blatant lie. If only it ended in kissing, it would have been better off. I suggest when you are about to play sex, cut the scene, we viewers already know what will happen next. what moral values do we teach our children if moral bankruptcy continues in Nollywood? Nollywood producers must learn to cultivate some sense of moral decency in the way actors dress and interpret sex roles. Since the youths look up to Nollywood actors as models, they should put up some sense of moral decency. Pornographic scenes must be expunged from the Nollywood.

Be that as it may, one incontrovertible fact remains, Nigeria as a nation and its people are noted for unique cultural genuineness, sense of discipline, belief in communality and its giant stride at all time to hold to the concept of being ones brothers’ keeper.

As apt as my thoughts would have been, it is contradicted by a lot of cultural infiltrations that directors and producers have imported from other cultures, which put in abeyance the intention of using our movies to tell our own stories in our own way.

There must be a desire to do the right thing without debasing or lowering the taste of the films. Movies to me are supposed to be channels of promoting societal values and norms. Most of these directors allow such things because they want to sell their movies. But it is not all about the money. If you notice, you will see that young people now believe in getting rich quick or die trying because that is what they see on TV. Another problem is that the actors themselves love wearing such clothes. On most sets, the producer and director don’t have a say over what the actors wear because they don’t have money to buy the kind of clothes they would want them to wear and so, they overlook such things.

Nigerian Entertainment Industry ought to be making people and preparing leaders and not the other way round. People should not just dabble into the industry without orientation. Music and movies produced should be decent and meaningful. There should be a standard for the production of music and movies and must be obeyed strictly, so that no Dick and Harry will barge into the industry because they think they have got what it takes to do so.

Will it be right to say that the Nigerian entertainment industry is not worth being labeled with the tag of ‘a good experience?’ What type of leaders will be made through this current saddening trend of Nigerian entertainment industry among other countries of the world.

I shudder to imagine the tomorrow we all yawn for if today is characterized by all these shows of shame all in the name of entertainment. A Chinese proverb goes thus; ‘tells me something that I may forget and show me something and I will always remember.’ Human beings hardly forget what they watch or see with their naked eyes. So you all should change. I wonder what the ANTP president is doing about this.

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