NOLLYWOOD, IMMORALITY & NIGERIANS
It is mystifying beyond immediate recovery to discern that most Nigerians find it rather gratifying to usurp matters of national interest with greater ease than it will take to contribute meaningfully to the effectuation of such matters. And such supplantation is done with detrimental religious and cultural prejudices. Actualized by, but not limited to, giving different interpretations to what the religion teaches on morality to suit their own pathetic and malign bird's-eye view.
Online reactions to the 1st part of this article (Daily Trust, Friday 20, 2012) clearly show the dichotomies that are prevalent in this country. Not only does it shows the myopic way people tends to look at issues, it also magnify the extent at which such people will go to unearth their deep-seated hatred for others' point of view even if such stance are bore out of perspicacities that align with generally held morals.
Based on people's perception of national matters from religio-cultural dissimilitude coupled with their own self-chosen partisanship, it is apparent that Nigeria is not only psychologically enslaved by the religio-cultural polarity fistula that colonialism and its attending effects have made on our entire co-existence as one people, one voice; but our cultural and religious doctrines have also been permeated with incompatible and oppugnant socialization.
It serves no personal or collective benefit to digress into the abyss of religious or cultural differences at the expense of national matters that are demanding on all and sundry. The call to eradicate immorality and its effects in the society is a national call. Hence, it should be regarded with utmost seriousness by all the agents of socialization, especially the home video industries as statistics have shown that most acts (good or bad) are more likely to be learned by kids and teenagers from what they observed from their idolized characters in movies.
Statistics tell us that the average child spends many hours viewing movies, either in theatres or on video. Is it not reasonable to conclude that such media can affect the child's view of the world? As is true with all media, movies contain someone's ideas about life. Do the ethical perspectives portrayed in movies align with what parents will want for their children?
It should be noted here that childhood (teenage years inclusive) is fundamentally a period of information seeking and socialization, during which stage they learn a lot from their elders and peers, both in their immediate environment and on television sets.
Is it the same Nollywood that murder morality in cold blood for the benefit of financial gains that will now guarantee us the birth of sanity in the society? Our civilizational sensitivities are abused constantly without remorse and the movie industries are taking advantage of our seemingly vulnerability and craze for westernization in the guise of civilization or some will even say, socialization. It is very obvious how our theoretical and conventional rationalities have been ousted by pragmatic intellectual decadence and insouciance.
In Nigeria, those that speak up against such moral degradation are few. And the few are often labelled as conservatives or fanatics. And if such outspoken individual happens to be a cleric, then to them, he is nothing but a myopic religious extremist that is trying to Islamitize or Christianize everybody or the agency responsible for such promiscuity, in this case, Nollywood.
It should be pointed out here clearly that movie industries in Nigeria are not the only agency accused of peddling immorality, but the part they play as a very significant agent of socialization in this contemporary society can not be over-emphasized. Hence, all hands must be on deck to correct this anomaly.
Correcting such anomaly should be a joint task by the movie industries, the populace and the boards charged with ensuring expedient censorship. The censoring board have to come out of being a caricature of its true self and help tackle the menace Remembering that whatever we seek out of life will be justified not in whether we ended up with it but in how we ended up with it.
Clement Adebayo Oloyede writes from the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano. [email protected]