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ANIUKWU, Nkemakonam: Cultural Performance and Sustainability: Analysis of Selected Nollywood Films

Cultural Performance and Sustainability: Analysis of Selected Nollywood Films

Nkemakonam ANIUKWU

Department of Theatre & Film Studies

Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU)

Awka, Anambra State

Email:

GSM: +234-803-608-8275

Abstract         

The culture of a people says a lot about their way of life, the philosophy of such people, their belief, and so on and so forth. Also at the same time, it radiates peoples’ history and transport any visitor to such culture from what has been (dominant/residue) to the present situation (emergent) of things in that society. A particular culture changes through interaction with other cultures which may be superior or dominant. The advent of film in Nigeria was no exception as the colonial ‘Masters’ British used film as a propaganda tool in preaching their “assumed victory” of the Second World War in their colonies. Thus, this medium of information dissemination goes beyond mere entertainment and works hand in hand with creativity which the filmmakers may explore in shaping the cultural dimensions of the Nigerian people and African continent at large. One of the major functions of theatre arts and film practitioners in any society is using their craft in upholding good tenets and cultural practices of the people, as well as condemning bigotry, and finding solution to a chaotic society. This study x-rays the departing ethos of the people and cultural bastardization inherent in our society today and elucidates how a well structured film could stand as an influential tool in upholding Nigerian cultural practices using some selected Nollywood films as paradigms.

Introduction

The film medium as a tool for communication has the power to inform and reform any society, armed with such parameter; film making has generated interests over the years amongst the academia in particular and within the society at large. The society unknowingly sometimes, no doubt creates its own cultural practices, some of these practices may be acceptable by the majority of the people in that society while in some cases abhor by the same majority. In this study the researcher looks at how films can help to sustain the cultural, social and economical endeavours of the Nigerian society. Thomas Ampe notes that:

Theatre and drama have always been used in Africa to advocate for positive changes that benefit a large population of the society. It is however, important to note that it is stratified into the ‘silent majority in the rural areas (9).

Through presentations of plays on stage and films on screen, the Theatre Artist holds the tradition of the people to his beck and call; he streamlines the societal nuances and refines ‘thought’ to become an electrifying component of the society, where things are going wrong in the society, he provides succour; his work is the mirror of the society (bad or good). So, anytime the peoples’ cultural practices are going adrift or are no longer serving its purpose(s), the theatre artist factors in with a workable solution to remedy the situation. The Nigerian cultures have witnessed a lot of changes in the recent past; these changes may be seen in the people’s fashion, foods, songs, dances, traditional marriage rite, language, drama, as well as the philosophies of the people. Inasmuch as the social interaction between the western world and Nigerian society may have instigated the above changes and yielded some good results, the problem peculiar to these changes may not be far-fetched thus; the bastardization of people’s ethos has started to unfold its ugly head in the society, the recent security challenges currently witnessing in the country buttresses this fact. The Boko Haram insurgency depicts a country where some of its youths lack pleasing upbringing; as such, these young men and women are convinced to carry guns, bombs, grenades, and other ammunition etc, against the nation in the place of quality education, human capacity development, social amenities, etc. But whatever damages the imperialist influence or ‘Bad Actors’ of governance and Eurocentric ideologies may have caused Nigerian society, it can still be redeemed through Theatre Performances and Film Presentations which if well presented would definitely draw the younger generation back to the root and principle ways of living a ‘good life,’ and build a society that would cater for its people. According to Antonin Artaud,

Theatre will never find itself again, i.e., it constitutes a means of true illusion – except by furnishing the spectator with dreams, in which his taste for crime, his erotic obsessions, his savagery, his chimeras, his utopian sense of life and matter, even his cannibalism, pour out on a level not counterfeit and illusory but interior (57).

The ultimate purpose of Artaud’s proposition was to break the audience’s fortifications, drag concealed impulses to the surface and force the audience to face and deal with the real world situations and challenges. In this instant, film and theatre are not just custodians of people’s culture but amplifiers of people’s actions. Film raises critical questions in the audience and opens a widow of opportunities for him to make a favourable decision in life. This echoes what Peter Brook called, “the Immediate Theatre.” He equates theatre to be

like a magnifying glass, and also like a reducing lens. It is a small world, so it can easily be pretty one. It is different from everyday life so it can easily be divorced from life...The Theatre narrows life down. It narrows it down in many ways. It is always hard for anyone to have one aim in life. In Theatre, however, the goal is clear. From the first rehearsal, the aim is always visible, not too far away and it involves everyone (110).

From the above assertion, it is obvious that what the artist intends to do is known from the onset, the result of such escapade is diverse and as such, the audience is presented with many choices to select from. This is because the dramatic works sometimes, deal with concrete analysis of events that examines the living conditions of the protagonist and antagonist in any society.

Theoretical Framework

The core of the study is to strengthen the quality of film medium in order to enhance cultural sustainability in Nollywood, as well as bringing moral dimension into the practice of filmmaking that will ensure growth and sustainable development in Nigeria for this reason, if film medium cannot influence the masses positively, its importance is baseless and will die off as an unsung hero. According to Patrick Ebewo:

Video film is a household word in contemporary Nigeria and has become a popular form of audio-visual, entertainment. The industry also becomes too significant for the world to ignore. According to press release of a 2005 international convention on Nollywood held in Los Angeles, video films gross and estimated 200m dollars a year… (46).

Film as a medium of information dissemination deals with theories relating to human lives and cultures, so the influence of this medium on the audience is very vital to the growth and development of the individual involved, as well as to the development of the nation. This paper is anchored on “the theory of influence of media.” This theory helps media users make selection of their preferred medium for resolving their problems by getting well informed. Nowadays, media contents are so voluminous that people now have to select the news items, information and entertainment suitable for them. The audiences are mostly conversant with this trend, which is why they prefer some media forms to the other. It may not be an exaggeration to say that most media audiences in Nigeria, especially the youths preferred film medium as their major source of information. Based on this assumption, the selective theory of influence of media exposure is born out of the fact that different people attend to media for different reasons and rewards. There are four basic principles that govern the actions of audience as propounded by Lowery and Defleur, these principles are:

  1. Principle of selective Attention;
  2. Principle of selective Perception;
  3. Principle of selective Recall; and
  4. Principle of selective Action.

Each of these principles has a huge role to play in an audience who has selected a video film to watch. According to Lowery and Defleur, “Individual difference in cognitive structure results in distinctive patterns of attention which is limited or conformed only to a limited segment of what is available daily” (196). In other words, media contents are so saturated that people cannot possibly attend to everything that is directed towards them. The media audience selects and pays attention to the media contents that he/she so much prefer. They dispose such media contents which they have little or no interest in and attend to the ones they like and regard as high priority. The principle of selective perception makes the audience of the mass media perceives the media effects in their lives differently. Finally, based on the principles of selective action, not everyone will act in the same way as a result of being exposed to the given media messages. Lowery and Defleur again, state that:“Action is the final link in the chain of these principles. Before it can take place, members of the audience have to attend to the media presentation, understand its meaning and remember its content” (197).When the audience has a good perception of a particular media, pays attention, as well as recall its content, it leaves such an individual in a state of high use and preference of that particular media that he or she gains all these from. The impact of film medium in harnessing human potentials has climaxed to the apex over the years. From the above introduction, one may see the need for the marriage of film contents and cultural sustainability.

The Impart of Film in Concept Formation and Cultural Sustainability

The advent of film in Nigeria started during World War II. Some scholars have observed that the film medium was used by the colonial masters as a contrivance of propaganda owing to the fact that films contents are powerful and authoritative in communicating to the Nigerian masses the victory of the war by the colonial masters. Therefore, the coming of film in Nigerian society could be said was a veritable tool in the hands of colonial masters for colonizing African countries. Film thus became one of the instruments for colonizing Africans in general and Nigerian in particular. During this process western cultures were inculcated on the Nigerian masses. Frank Ukadike, speaking of film as means of indoctrinating Africans says that “Film proved to be a powerful tool for indoctrinating Africans into foreign cultures, including their ideas and aesthetics” (31). Nigeria is one of these African countries that imbibed such doctrines. Supporting Ukadike’s assertion about the evolution of film and its impacts in Nigeria, Afolabi Adesanya writes:

The first public exhibition of a motion picture took place at the original Glover Hall with the establishment of a film unit in Lagos, newsreel and documentary film production took firm roots as primarily, tools of propaganda, information and enlightenment, and secondarily medium of entertainment owned and controlled by successive British colonial government and post-independence Nigeria government (47).

From the above opinion, one may say that film in Nigerian came as an offshoot of the British cinema. The Nigeria government had little or no interest in films until the outbreak of World War II. The colonial masters used films as a means of propaganda. This could be said aided them in effective governance of their colonies. Alfred Opubor maintains that:

World War II saw the widespread use of film by the British government in its wartime propaganda effort. Mobile cinema vans operating in the open air travelled all over Nigeria bringing the war news of success of the Allies and the defeat of the Germans to the populace (2).

These documentary films by the British government were used to carry out message of the war (World War II) and highlighted the superiority of the colonial masters. The contents of these films were mainly documentary and as such chronicled the political and economic achievements of the King of England, as Opubor puts it:

The first showing in Lagos, according to the Lagos standard, included scenes of a steamer moving through water… and scenes of the coronation of King Edward VII at West Minster Abbey (2).

It was later in 1947 that Federal Film Unit was established in Lagos with Mr. N.F. Spur as the Officer in charge of the exhibition of films and in 1948 the Unit was fully and formally inaugurated. Opubor further states that the Federal Film Unit in conjunction with BBC,

produced only documentary films and newsreel which included, Empire Day Celebrations in Nigerian (1948), Small Pox Leprosy, Port-Harcourt Municipal Council Election (1950) and Queen Elizabeth II’s Visit to Nigeria in 1956... (3).

It is pertinent to note here that these documentary films were used by the colonial government, as a means of public relations, as such, film started gaining recognition in school premises, civic centres, village halls and open spaces, which would later become cinema viewing centres, especially in the city of Lagos. Popularity of film further escalated after Nigeria gained her independence in 1960. The then new Nigerian government adopted the use of documentary films as an avenue of explaining to the Nigerian populace the political, cultural, economic and other various national developmental projects. This period gave birth to the first set of Nigeria filmmakers, such as, Ola Balogun, Hubert Ogunde among others, who went into film production, producing films with the contents that Nigeria film audience can easily identify with. Hyginus Ekwuazi agrees that:

The indigenous feature film made its debut in 1970 (Kongi’s Harvest); and peaked in 1986. Between 1972 and 1990, some 80 indigenous feature films had been licensed for screening. In 1982, the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) was established by the federal government with the statutory function, inter alia, of accessing indigenous practitioners to production and capital equipment resources (5).

            This opinion buttresses the point that Nigerian film makers had done film characterised with developmental values but the wind of change would come in no distant time in the industry as the country’s economic situation forced this generation of filmmakers out of production. Today in Nigerian film industry, the crops of new generation filmmakers produce some films that negate the people’s cultural values. The contents of some of these films may be seen as total reversal of what is obtainable in Nigeria society, hence this study.

Upholding the Igbos’ Cultural Heritage Through Film

Idemili Directed by Ernest Obi

It is of prime importance to note here that virtually all art forms defamiliarize the everyday world in order to make it thrill. This ‘defamiliarization’ becomes an important tool in exploring cultural potency of the film, Idemili Season 1. The film, Idemili, is hinged on an historical events and cultural practices of the people of Ama-itenani (Nine Villages). The contextual meaning of the word, “Idemili” is the combination of two Igbo words: “Ide” (Pillar) and “Mili” (Rain). Samuel Okeke of Oraukwu in an interview with the researcher says that, Idemili means:

...Pillar that holds the cloud, and stops rain from unleashing its negative potentials on the people, because when you have too much rain, the crops will not grow well, as there will be no sunshine that will help the yam tendrils to sow higher, mankind would have no place to live because the rain would wipe or flood out their respective homes (Oral Interview).

In order to save mankind from ruin, the goddess, Idemili, holds the rain in the cloud and releases it at interval for mankind to flourish, as such, it is expected that mankind perform some rites of propitiation and sacrifices to appease the goddess if there is any misdeed. The film title as well as the events it presents is very familiar to the people of Ogidi, Oraukwu, Ojoto, Alor, Obosi, Umuoji, Nnobi, Nnokwa, Abatete, among other communities, in Idemili North and South Local Government Areas of the present Anambra State. The late Chinue Achiebe who was an Idemili son, in his novel titled Arrow of God, talks about the imprisonment of Eke (python as the totem of the goddess) Idemili by Ezeulu’s son, Oduche, and bemoans the relegation of a people’s culture and the enthronement of imperialist culture on the people of Umuaro.

Emeka Nwabueze, adapting this novel into a play text, titles it, When the Arrow Rebounds, and gives more insight into the efficacy of Eke Idemili and what the people of Umuaro stand to lose when the symbolic representation of Idemili is imprisoned. No wonder the shrine of Ulu is desecrated; the harvest of the New Yam which is symbolic to the people is put on hold; Ezeulu, the chief Priest loses his first son, Obika; and calamities befall the clan of Umuaro. Ezeulu, in one of his turbulent periods, has this to say: “Idemili, are you laughing at me? What have I done? Ulu, why do you desert me?” (72). This is the concise historical background of Ernest Obi’s film, Idemili. In other words, the sacredness of Idemili has been established in the minds of the audience; its efficacy and fierce nature are well known to the people as such, they (Audience) tread with caution as witnessed in Chinue Achebe’s Arrow of God and Emeka Nwabueze’s When the Arrow Rebounds. Having established the above historical background of the people, the film director now has an exigent task of unravelling the mysteries behind the familiar object as well as treating the people’s cultural heritage with prudence (Eke Idemili).

In Idemili Season 1, Ernest Obi explores the relationship between man and the supernatural using a thriller genre of the Idemili deity of the Anambra people. The director blends the potency of Idemili with a romance between the goddess and a mere mortal. The character of Ekemma is played by Esin Evlyn and Okwadike played by Uche Odoputa. Idemili becomes the obstacle that threatens the love life of these two love birds. The narrative of the film thus focuses on how this barrier between gods and man can be bridged. The conversation between Ekemma’s Mother and Okwadike cements the assumption that the ways of the gods must be obeyed by mortals as dovetailed in some African cultural practices even when they threaten the very essence of man’s existence.

Ekemma’s Mother: Your intensions are good but my daughter Ekemma is no man’s wife

Okwadike: Nne I understand the ways of the gods

Ekemma’s Mother: Then you will also understand that my daughter is one with gods, the essence of the nine villages that make up Ama-itenani... Patience, the son of mother earth, when she does becomes the priestess of Idemili; she will choose you as her mate

Okwadike: Only to father a child for the deity and never to be a husband?

Ekemma’s Mother: Who are we to question the gods.

This narrative appeals more to some Nigerian youths who belittle traditions, norms, custom and cultures of the society. Okwadike believes in his strength as a free-born of the community and as a great hunter of the time that what he wants is what he gets. He desires Ekemma who is destined to take the mantle of priesthood from her mother, she is to become no man’s wife, she is to complete the necessary ritual of passage in order to avoid impending doom that awaits her people if the compulsory rites are left out. The implication here is that Okwadike is either ignorant of the strength of Idemili and the danger involved in the confrontation or that he is a brave young man. However, just like the character, Okonkwo, in Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart. Okwadike as a tragic hero fails to know his limitations as a mortal; as such, he becomes the heedless fly to his people’s cultural heritage. This trend may be likened to the attribute of some Nigerian politicians who after been elected into political offices forget their root and culture and embezzle public funds with impunity. Lack of patience on the side of Okwadike is becoming the life style of most Nigerian youths. They are being influenced by the lackadaisical life styles of American celebrities, vituperative nature of their musical videos that are glorified with nudity and so on and so forth. The above mentioned tenets are becoming dominant culture (using physical force in achieving one’s aim) in Nigeria society; the cultural virtues of patience and obedience to the will of the gods are gradually going into extinction. Okwadike, having acquired guns and organized some youths, believes that he can undo the doing of the gods by engaging in an epic battle with the gods. In Okwadike’s defence of his intension to fight the goddess Idemili, he says:

Okwadike: Ama-Idemili refuse to heed to my voice of reason...well I am a free-born of Amadim, the son of Osisi-Oji the great; I am Okwadike, the greatest hunter in Amadim, the voice of seven forest deity, Ochiagha. Today the sacredness of Ama-Idemili will be broken, for when a deity becomes insolent, its worshipers would abandoned it at the cross-road.

Most Nigerian youths in recent times have found themselves in Okwadike’s position; most of them have abandoned their traditions to embrace “the get it at all cost syndrome” simply because they need love and money. Some of them now see their elders as mere old men who have outlived their time; it may also be argued that gone are the days when the young see the old and their tradition as the repertoire of knowledge that needed to be tapped from. Okwadike’s threat to fight Idemili is not far from the African believe that the communities create their gods and remain faithful worshippers of the created god so long as it serves the purpose of protection and progress of the community. Eze Ulu’s face off with Umuaro and the consequent rejection of Ulu by the people of Umuaro as recorded by Chinua Achebe in the Arrow of God buttresses this fact. The usefulness of the god to the community determines the level of acceptance by individual members of the community. However, it is common good that is paramount. The collective progress overrides individual desires that may go contrary to the communal welfare, like most youths in the contemporary Nigerian society; Okwadike is not interested in the common good and collective progress in the community. His selfish desires are paramount despite whose ox is gauged. So, it is not out of place that the director tries to address these issues of cultural bastardization using thriller approaches in the film, Idemili.

Nkolika Nwa NsukkaDirected by Mac Collins Chidebe

The film portrays a naive Nsukka girl who is so innocent and ignorant of what the wicked world holds for the righteous people. She treats everybody with equality and not forgetting the respect for her elders. In Nigeria today, it is like he who does not partake in the evil acts of bribery, corruption, prostitution, nepotism and other societal vices does not belong to the society that glorifies riches, wealth, affluence etc, regardless of the sources and how those things came about. Nkolika (Rachael Okonkwo) coming from a humble Igbo background finds herself in such situation; she is rejected by many of her friends. The film x-rays what is ‘Igbo’ in the years past, the Igbo man that is honest to the core, and the Igbo man that would promote values in the face of chaotic environment. Although the first to six seasons of the film, Nkolika Nwa Nsukka, entertained the audience with humorous purgation, the later parts of the film, that is, season seven to twelve made strong statements on different aspects of the society, especially the diminishing principles that are now being replaced with bad attitudes of bribery and corruption. One of such aspects is the Nigeria Police and its “Road Blocks” or Check Points. Every Nigerian that travels with the public transport is abreast with this development. Most of the police checkpoints in Nigeria have become the breeding ground for some police officers who collect money from motorists as if the Federal Government pays no salary to the officers. Bribery and corruption have characterised many activities of some officers at the checkpoints, it is now a dominant culture of some police officers to collect money at the checkpoints. This buttresses the point that culture is dynamic; it changes from time to time and could be stopped or encouraged depending on its general acceptance. Nigeria Police check point ‘collection’ is one of the obvious reasons that make the public see the Nigeria Police as a corrupt establishment. Nkolika (Rachael Okonkwo) is enlisted into the Police and one of her intentions is to create a good image for the Police. She vows to stop all forms of bribery going on at the police checkpoint in the following conversation:

1st constable: (Aside with the ASP at the checkpoint) His papers are complete ooo… He has no offense! If I ask him to bring something now, I don’t know what Nkoli will say.

ASP Silas: No problem. Just give me the papers.

Nkoli:      (To the Keke Driver). Let me go and find out what is holding your papers. (To ASP Silas). Sir, are you through with the papers. Please give it to him...

ASP Silas: Are you the owner of the papers? Is anything wrong with you? I can see you don’t have respect. Are you giving me orders?

This introduction evokes the kind of police officer that Nkoli is, as she makes sure that no bribe exchanges hands at the checkpoint throughout her short service in the Police Force. Such characters are lacking in the Nigeria Police Force, even the ASP, Constables, and DPO in the film are not innocent of this cankerworm called corruption and in no distant time Nkoli being the only tilapia in the ocean of shakes is framed up and consequently dismissed from the police force. Nkolika Nwa Nsukka and the story it upholds call for total overhauling of the Nigeria Police Force, and that is what film should stand for. The bad ‘culture’ of bribery and corruption cultivated in the Police Force over the years needs urgent attention because in some police stations it is boldly written: “POLICE IS YOUR FRIEND” and “BAIL IS FREE,” but the general public are aware that some Nigeria Police Officers are no friend to anybody because of the way they maltreat and harass innocent Nigerians and bail in the police station is never free. There is need for the Nigeria Police Officers to put into practice what they preach.

Offia’s Wedding Directed byUzo Philip

Offia’s Wedding is a film with melodramatic genre that dovetails the life of a bachelor ‘Philip’ The first sequence of the movie opens with squabble between Philip (Nkem Owoh) and his elder brother’s wife, Salome (Vivian Oyakhire). Philip is seen in this scene punishing Salome’s second daughter for what he considered negligence of basic attitudes which a true Igbo girl is known for lacking in the girl. He flogs the girl, demanding to know why a young girl of about sixteen years old would wake up without greeting her elders. In no distant time, Salome arrives at the scene, seeing that her daughter is being punished by her brother-in-law, puts up a fight against Philip.

Salome: Instead wey you go go marry your own wife, you dey here dey panel-beat pikin wey another man born (19 to 28 minutes of the movie).

It took the intervention of Salome’s first daughter, Beauty (Uchenna Nnanna) and her husband, Magnus (Roy Dinani) to separate the fight. In this opening sequence, the film director brings to the notice of the movie audience the level of moral decadence going on in different Igbo families today. The Igbo nation as an egalitarian society is known for communal living, hence the adage “ofu onye adi azu nwa” (loose translation: ‘One person does not train a child’) Philip and Magnus in this scene represent that Igbo consciousness that ‘a tree does not make a forest.’ Any Igbo child going astray can be corrected by any Igbo elder regardless of whether the elder belong to the child’s kinsmen or not. Hence, Magnus as a true Igbo man did not support his wife’s action. Philip having being praised as a custodian of culture in the above scene, the next sequence buttresses his adrift of the Igbo culture. Philip has been a bachelor for many years; his brothers (Magnus and Okoro) approach him demanding to know why he is not interested in getting himself a wife.

Philip: This one that you people invaded me this morning, I hope I am safe?

Magnus: ...Our people say if a brother dey dance bad dance, him brother go dey look am, and then dey scratch him eyes. Na because of our concern na e make we come, me and Okoro.... Our people talk say time wait for no man. You see, we don dey worry say you never marry and e dey pain us and we no come like the kind insult wey people dey give you because of that. Na make we come say make we find out wetin be the matter.

Philip: Okoro listen, the money to marry a wife is not a problem, in fact I have enough money to marry any kind of woman I choose to marry... thank you very much for your concern, I have heard you but I am making you a promise, soon, very very soon, you will see my wife. (28 to 32 minutes of the movie).

The next sequence introduces the ugly situation. Philip is cleaning his house, getting ready to welcome his prospective wife as his brother, Okoro approaches:

Okoro: Brother Philip, this one wey you dey sweep, dey tide everywhere, dey make-amclean, wetin dey happen?

Philip: My new wife is coming home soon; see (Showing him a ring on his finger)

Okoro: Which wife kwa?

Philip: When my wife arrives you will see her.

Okoro: Which day you go marry, wey we wey bi your brothers no follow you go?

Philip: I married her on the net, oh! Yes on the internet. On the internet, you can marry, you can buy your car, you can buy houses, you can buy everything, in fact you can even buy your wife on the internet... all the initial rites, Iku aka n’uzo, I wee-ga oji, I have done everything on the internet

Okoro: Our Papa and Mama wey born us na for internet they marry? (34 to 45 minutes of the movie).

This act contravenes the Igbo cultural tradition which has captured different approaches of marriage inquiries to be conducted between a man and woman who want to get married. These inquiries include but are not restricted to the following:

  1. The background of the prospective spouse: this background checks involves investigation into the lineage of the intended partner as well as knowing some facts about the parents of the prospective spouse.
  2. Adaptability: The woman’s ability in adapting into a new environment in which she may not have previously known anything about as she intends to live there for the rest of her life is considered.
  3. Parents ask questions about culture and principles of the man or the woman to be integrated into their family.
  4. Parents would want to see and know whom their son or daughter has chosen to get married to and so on and so forth.

Philip neglected all these protocols as he married his wife through the internet. He does the following activities though the internet:

  1. He meets his spouse through the internet
  2. Introduction and engagement are done on the net.
  3. Agreement for marriage is reached on the internet
  4. The bride price is paid through the net.

These acts surprise Magnus, Okoro (Okechukwu Obiorah) and others. The Igbo marriage procedural ethics have been totally neglected by this act.

Conclusion

The theoretical framework used in this study shows that the audience who is exposed to particular media content tends to adapt and adjust his way of life. Consequently, if the content that negates his culture is constantly presented to him especially when he is not grounded in the art of dissecting the content and taking the positive part, he may likely go astray. In the case studies the researcher observed that in one way or the other the peoples’ cultural practices are drifting from its original purposes. In Idemili, Okwadike disregarded the tradition and culture of his people and he met his untimely death, this serves as a remainder to the audience that the good parts of the ancient cultures must be respected, and, the positive aspects of the cultural practices must be sustained. In Nkolika Nwa Nsukka, the bad attitude of the Nigeria Police is condemned, and the last film in the analyses, Offia’s Wedding showcases the gradual extinction of Igbo traditional marriage procedures and calls for a redress of how some youths cohabits with one another through the help of the social media, some of them have met their untimely death by meeting with their social media ‘friends’ partners. Nigeria is presently witnessing a lot of issues bothering on security of life and property. The insurgence of the Boko-Haram sect has devastated the nation in recent times, corrupt politicians embezzle public fund with impunity, and there are problems of tribalism, nepotism and lot more. This study has seen the aforementioned problems from the point of gradual extinction of people’s ethos, principles, norms and traditions.

The current security challenge in Nigeria today questions the place of morality in the society. Chinua Achebe of the blessed memory believes in the power of the Igbo cultural practices, shaded meanings and proverbs with the following lines “Igbo saying and proverbs are far more valuable to me as a human being in understanding the complexity of the world than the doctrinaire, self-righteous strain of the Christian faith I was taught” (12).The diminishing ethos of the Igbo society has been observed in the above analyses and thus puts forth a question to every patriotic Nigerian man or woman and the question is: “Where do we go from here?” It is true that every society is in constant flux but we should not let our cultural practices and principles vanish into oblivion. A society that does not have norms, culture and traditions may not achieve enviable development in terms of nation building. The researcher concludes therefore, that through the production of films that promote our cultural practices that the society will be informed and reformed.  

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Obi, Ernest. (Director). Idemili – Season 1 & 2. Perf. Pete Edochie, Uche Odoputa, Ebele Okaro. Onye-Eze Production, 2014

Okeke, Samuel. The Meaning of Idemili, Oraukwu: 22 June, 2014. Personal Interview.

Opubor, Alfred, O. Nwuneli & O. Oreh.  “The Status, Role and future of the Film Industry in Nigeria.” The Development of Film Industry in Nigeria. Lagos: Third press International, 1979: 1-24.

Philip, Uzo Amayo. (Director). Offia’s Wedding. Perf. Nkem Owoh, Uchenna Nnanna. Onye Eze Production, 2013

Ukadike, Frank. Black African Cinema. California: University of California Press, 1994.

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