Nollywood and Cultural Re-orientation: The Case of Aki and Pawpaw.
Onyeka IWUCHUKWU, PhD
National Open University of Nigeria
14/16 Ahmadu Bello Way
Victoria Island, Lagos
There is no doubt that drama is a veritable tool for social mobilization and propagation of culture. Many agree that the video film industry in Nigeria has been very successful financially and also in creating loyal audiences among Africans around the world. The rise of Nollywood in Nigeria and the birth and maturity of African Magic by DSTV has further enhanced this as Nigerians, in the comfort of their homes, watch movies of various themes and are advertently or inadvertently influenced by such movies. Thus, Nollywood films help to provide leisure and have become a site for relieving stress and resolving deep-felt tensions in contemporary society, while at the same time affirming an authentic Nigerian culture and identity. This paper examines selected movies in which Aki (Chinedu Ikedieze) and Pawpaw (Osita Iheme) play the roles of children, and questions the view of Nollywood being a new and special platform for cultural generation and regeneration. Here, major questions of social values and the process of communication for the Nigerian children viewers are raised as these movies are expected to help build the society culturally and morally. It seeks to determine the expected influence of such movies on children as well as the cultural statements the producers of such movies are making to the international community.
Dr. Onyeka Iwuchukwu, who also wrote plays as Onyeka Onyekuba, is an Aassociate Professor of English at the National Open University of Nigeria. She is a literary scholar with bias in drama and theatre, a multidisciplinary researcher, and a playwright with varied experience in administration, human resource development, lecturing and instructional material development in tertiary institutions. Dr. Iwuchukwu has written many instructional materials in ODL, and published articles in many learned journals. Her current research interests include; English/African Literature, Dramatic Arts. Gender, cultural issues, Open and Distance Learning, parenting, youth development, human rights, peace and conflict resolution and cross border issues. She has published the following eight plays: Sons for My Son; Into the World; Like father Like Son; Regal Dance; Whose Fault; Our Honourable Member; Enough is Enough; Choices; and founded the NOUN Theatre.