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IMPACT OF NOLLYWOOD IN PROMOTING NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND UNITY IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Nollywood films have gained widespread prominence, especially within the African continent, since the advent of video filmmaking in Nigeria, which has developed the Nigerian video film industry, ranking it the third largest film industry in the world. Although this development gives global recognition to Nollywood’s feedback and contributions to the entertainment industry through its representation of the African continent, there is an urgent need for Nollywood to be repositioned to promote the place of home videos in socio-political, cultural and traditional activities, security and national development. According to Kunzler, Nollywood films are an industry that has grown out of a domestic and cultural, technological, and political background. It is heterogeneous in nature and can be loosely split into video films by Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo that designate their production centers in Nigeria’s South-West, North and South-East respectively (Kunzler, 2017). The Nollywood of Nigeria remains the dominant film industry in Africa that is able to advocate the film projection of Nigerian cultural values. Via the efforts of the European merchant, colonial government and the church, Nollywood’s production dates back to the colonial period (Ibie, 2014). The first viewing experience in Nigeria was at the Clover Memorial Hall in Lagos on August 12, 1903 (Uchegbu, 1992). In terms of quantity, the industry that began as a joke now ranks and competes with Hollywood and Bollywood (Fafiolu, 2013); locally outsell international ones and are still appreciated worldwide (Akpabio, 2017).

Despite the contributions of Nollywood to telling African stories to the rest of the world, however, the need to contribute to the reconstruction of Nigeria, its home base, has now become important at a time when the country is afflicted by various social, economic, cultural and political issues that endanger national unity. In reality, as Pierre Barrot states, while Nollywood is “conquering new territories because the domestic market is too small,” as other cinemas have done elsewhere, it remains deficient in having an “impact on national unity” (Barrot, 2015). Of course, many racial and tensions are currently confronting the Nigerian state, including the continuing clashes between the Islamic fundaist community named ‘Boko Haram’ and the Nigerian security forces. The attempts of the hero’s history to shift this story are worthy of praise, considering the negative depictions of Nigerian painted in “Palaver”. Nevertheless, we should not depend on the past laurels of these valiant heroes, but we must continuously establish and advance the Nigerian agenda of reconciliation that is central to our beloved nation’s economic growth and stability.

Development and unity are rooted in shared understanding and films are a successful way of teaching and enlightening. Take the “October 1st” movie and how it engulfed audiences in what it was like to be a police officer from another country investigating inexplicable killings at the tail end of colonialism. We understand various viewpoints on this monu shift through knowledge and nuance through the eyes of different characters and learn about something that few of us have lived through. Or “The Wedding Party” and its brilliant show of the collective pomp of Nigeria at weddings for grandeur and ostentatious display, demonstrating the richness of dressing, language, food, and lifestyle, and using humor and drama to illustrate that our parallels outweigh our distinctions.

As mere escapism, some dismiss movies and images, but their influence is profound. You’ll find that they are the forces of transformation as you still look at the biggest audience watching films and videos; young people who are now growing up to counter negative perceptions and promote unity and diversity. The Voice” is a widely viewed musical reality show that, despite differences, has illustrated to Nigerians that it is possible to live and progress together, and shows our innate talents to a large audience.” The likelihood of impacting millions of minds for solidarity and culture, amplified by the massive outreach capacities of films and videos, is unique to films and videos. The same attitude is motivated by seeing a lead actor or actress take center stage and work for a shared national goal, as in the movie “Up North.” Viewers idealize and put themselves in their shoes for those characters and situations. The film taught positivity and ignited with diversity and crafty marketing against certain negative perceptions created from the darkness of prejudice.

1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Nigerians experience in everyday life communal mutuality in village festivals, traditional dancing tunes and steps, worships and socio-cultural cooperation in works. This experience may be identical except the language use. Some s ago, the appearance of cheap and easily operated video equipment made possible a whole new kind of filmmaking that escaped the problematic of celluloid cinema and steadily proved phenomenally successful with the public. The video boom arose on a commercial basis: not the corporate, capitalist commercialism of Nollywood, but the commerce of the Nigerian market an enormous energy of exchange, but without large capital formations, bank loans, or much relationship with the formal sector at all. The Nollywood viewers cut across the geopolitical zones in the country and this raises the question of national unity and development integration.  As the death toll from the activities of the Islamic sect continues to rise, the bombing of mainly churches and government buildings as well as other public institutions such as the United Nations building in Abuja has introduced a new form of warfare previously unknown to the Nigerian state. Christians and moderate Muslims in the Northern part of the country are constantly under the threat of attacks. The resumption of militia activities and increasing pirate attacks around Nigeria’s coastal by the Niger Deltans, despite the amnesty program that restored calm to the region, has further heightened the security situation in the country. These problems in addition to the spate of kidnappings all over the country of both Nigerians and nationals alike have increased the crime rates in the country as a whole. These security threats come amidst rising poverty levels that force many unemployed youths into crimes such as armed robbery. As a result of the growing levels of insecurity in the country, calls for a national conference to debate the future of Nigeria have been renewed in the recent months. The battered image of Nigeria as a country beset with ethno conflicts and high levels of all kinds of heinous crimes has reached new heights regardless of any effort to launder the image of the country. Nigerians have become soft targets for deportations from all countries in the world, not least African countries that, amongst other concerns, fear that Nigerians might become refugee claimants should the country continually go the path of conflict. equently and in due consideration of the current socio-political cum economic and national unity challenges that the Nigerian state is presently confronting, in what ways can Nollywood contribute to creating a new national identity for Nigeria that goes beyond the current narratives of a country where poverty and ethno- conflicts predominate? This research will provide a background to Nigeria as a state and highlights the taproots of the current problems being encountered in the country, an argument for a redefinition of the Nigerian state and the of Nollywood in Nigeria’s national unity and development.

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The major purpose of this study is to examine the impact of Nollywood in promoting national development and unity in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study are

  1. To examine the cultural components depicted in Nollywood
  2. To examine the impact of Nollywood in promoting national unity and development
  3. To examine the relationship between Nollywood and national unity and development.
  4. To examine the factors that militates against effective national unity and development of Nigerian society by Nollywood
  5. To examine how Nollywood affect the promotion of national unity and development in Nigeria

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What are the cultural components depicted in Nollywood?
  2. What is the impact of Nollywood in promoting national unity and development?
  3. What is the relationship between Nollywood and national unity and development?
  4. What are the factors that militate against effective national unity and development of Nigerian society by Nollywood?
  5. How does Nollywood affect the promotion of national unity and development in Nigeria?
    1. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

Hypothesis 1

H1: There is no significant impact of Nollywood in promoting national unity and development

H1: There is a significant impact of Nollywood in promoting national unity and development

Hypothesis 2

H1: There is no significant relationship between Nollywood and national unity and development

H1: There is a significant relationship between Nollywood and national unity and development

  1. OF THE STUDY

This research is considered important given to the fact that it will be of high relevance to media houses. The media houses will find the findings of this study relevant as it will introduce some reforms in the airing of Nollywood movies. The findings of this study will also enlighten people as it will expand their horizon on the issue of Nollywood movies and its impact on national unity and development. The general public will also find this research relevant as it will educate them on the subject matter. Finally, this research will be an addition to the existing stock of knowledge.

  1. SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study is restricted to the impact of Nollywood in promoting national development and unity in Nigeria.

1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9 AL DEFINITION OF TERMS

Nollywood: “Nollywood is a sobriquet that originally referred to the Nigerian film industry, the origin of the term dates back to early 2010s”. It is the name given to Nigeria film industry, which oversees all aspects and genres of film production in Nigeria.

Culture: culture is seen as “a complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, crafts, law, moral, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”.

National Unity: National unity is the desire of the citizens of a country to promote peace and stability (common interest) in their country.

Development: Development is a process that creates growth, progress, positive change or the addition of physical, economic, environ, social and demographic components.

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