Nollywood Women Filmmakers and Actresses as Transformers and Promoters of Culture for National Security and Development
Emily Oghale GOD’SPRESENCE, PhD
Department of Theatre and Film Studies
Faculty of Humanities
University of Port Harcourt
Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Women are often regarded as agents of social change. This implies that, the slogan: “women are their own enemies,” is a product of women’s outright negligence of their willpower and reluctance to change the mundane ugly trend and perennial practices that impede the transformation and improvement of their social status and everyday life. The negative profiling and stereotypes of dehumanizing roles played by women on screen, which are validated and re-established through repetition, become the raw materials for Nollywood women filmmakers to re-create a new and realistic identity for Nigerian women. Against this background, the cultural practices that devalue women, as projected in Nollywood films, will be questioned in this paper. Furthermore, it opines that, the need for women filmmakers and actresses to deploy new modes of promoting the downplayed traditional and cultural practices that validate the role and place of women as contributors to national development and promoters of culture and national security should henceforth be at the centre-stage of feminist discourses and women’s film. The theory of deconstruction as well as duty theory will form the frame work for this study.
KEY WORDS: Cultural practices, peace, security, women filmmakers, Nollywood, national development
Emily Oghale GOD’SPRESENCE is a Lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Her Masters thesis focused on the self-sacrificing mother image while her PhD dissertation centred on the theme of women leadership in Nollywood films. She is interested in the representation of women in cinema, especially in Nigerian video films, and was a Visiting Student Researcher to the Department of Film and Media Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, under the Fulbright Junior Staff Development Program (2011-2012). A proponent of morality feminism and a facilitator of children’s theatre programmes, Emily has presented papers and attended gender-related conferences both nationally and internationally. She co-authored the book, Promoting Decent Dressing in Society (2010), with her husband, Azuka God’spresence.