Ife International Film Festival

Ousmane Sembene and History on Film: A Look Back to the Future


Samba Gadjigo

Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA


The release in 1971 of Emitai, Ousmane Sembene’s first historical feature film, introduced a new strategy in African cinema, the appropriation of African history from “official” historians. It also ushered in new and /or counter hegemonic stories about the African past. This paper will argue that Ousmane Sembene’s idea of art in general, and of films about the past, in particular, runs counter to the hegemonic, Hollywood-scripted, paradigms of commercial historical drama and historical romance.  A closer examination of Ousmane Sembene’s historical films will furthermore show how the father of African cinema used the medium of film to “hijack” the major, hegemonic narratives of Senegalese “official” historiography with the twin goal of expounding divergent Senegalese identities, and of deflecting the field of historical knowledge from the sanctioned view of “the past as fatality” into a practice of cinematic history as “the present of past unfulfilled dreams.


South African Film: Looking Back and Looking Forward


John R. Botha

North West University, Republic of South Africa


Customs, beliefs and ideologies have influenced humankind since the beginning of time, and this holds true for all aspects of human society.  In the history of film- making these customs, beliefs and ideologies have often been at the deeper root of the thematic material of the film(s), and can only really be seen to be such in retrospect. Thematically speaking, key words such as ideological sacrifice, religious belief and the dominating cultural custom relating to a particular tribe, nation, culture, whether black or white, can offer interesting possibilities for discourse, particularly when this discourse is spread over a time period that bridges the colonial era to the postcolonial and postmodernist societies that characterise our lives today. For the purposes of this presentation I have chosen to focus on three points of departure in South African film, each one highlighting specific aspects of or approaches to the art of film making.  These three approaches are exemplified in the directorial approaches by Cy Endfield, Gavin Hood and Gray Hofmeyr (Leon Schuster). In studying these three examples the ability of each film as a reflection of directorial style succinctly underlines the way in which films can serve to characterise the underlying customs, beliefs and ideologies of particular moments in the political timeline of a country.


Sankofa, Nostalgia, Innovation: Envisioning a Motion Picture Industry in Ghana


Africanus Aveh

Department of Performing Arts, University of Ghana


The paper will trace the development of film production in Ghana from the colonial period to the present with focus on various national policies and their effects on the industry. Applying the Sankofa theory of looking back in order to improve the future, the paper will attempt to project the direction of the motion picture industry in Ghana using trends in practice. It will further explore the aesthetics of production with an analysis of themes popular with Ghanaian filmmakers and their relevance to the socio-cultural situation in the country.



Women in Moroccan Cinema: Between Tradition and Modernity,


Aziz Chahir

Department of Political Sciences, University of Hassan II Casablanca – Morocco


The status of women is a recurring theme in Moroccan cinema since the mid-seventies. The filmmakers' commitment to defend the rights of women comes mainly from a desire to assert a political identity imbued with values of democracy and modernity. More than a cultural event, the female character in the Moroccan cinema has become an ideological battle ground between “modernists” and “conservative” actors defending different cultural and religious models. With the rise of Islamism and communautarism, the “modernists” would have difficulty using the woman in the cinema to break taboos in patriarchal and macho society.


A.     History of Film in Africa


A Historical Overview of Ugandan “Film Industry”


Dominica Dipio

Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

If a national cinema is only determined by the existence of an industry, then Ugandan cinema does not exist. However, if it is defined in terms of individuals making films, there is a growing number of Ugandans involved in filmmaking especially in the 2000s. Arguably, filmmaking in Uganda, by Ugandan is a recent phenomenon though films have screened in the country since the colonial days. This paper will attempt to map the historical highlights that have either retarded or enhanced the development of cinema in Uganda. Among the key highlights are the rich theatre culture, the influx of Nigerian films and the related “video hall” phenomenon, the digital video camera era, and the emergence of regional and national film festivals within the East African region, where locally made films are screened. The paper will also trace the evolution of Ugandan cinema from its roots in theatre; and explain what lead to theatre groups turning their stage productions into films. The major thematic and stylistic features of these films will be analyzed in order to identify the significant characteristics of the emerging Ugandan films. The 2000s is a decade that has seen an increase in the production of films by Ugandans. The paper will give a perspective on this new consciousness about film and its prospects for development.



Senegalese and Francophone African Video Film: Emergence and Evolution


Gorgui Dieng

Department of English, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal

This paper tries to bring to light the specificity of the Senegalese and Francophone African video film with an emphasis on fiction. The emergence of the first Senegalese video films is closely related to the Senegalese ‘popular theatre’ aired on Radio-Senegal in the early 1960’s. In fact, it was on Radio Senegal that the first ‘oral’ films were heard. The Senegalese video film is not a very prolific one: it still holds the forms of the theatre genre, and people still call it quite naturally ‘teyaarar’ (the Wolof deformation of the French word ‘théâtre’). Scenes are those of the film, but utterance is still dominantly that of the play. Senegalese fiction video film focuses on abiding social realities: love, marriage, friendship, betrayal, emigration, but with an emphasis on comedy.


The Reasons for Nollywood Craze in French-Speaking Cameroon

Télesphore Mba Bizo

 Journalist-Translator, Cameroon Radio Television, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Cameroon is predominantly a French-speaking country, so,films in English language hardly make an impact, no matter their quality. This is the reason why these films are not screened in the three major theatres the country. However, there is a new category of film which has been breaking new grounds in Cameroon as both English and French Speakers watch thousands and thousands of Nigerian home movies each day. They do not need any English subtitling or dubbing to be glued to Africa Magic, AIT or Nollywood round the clock. Others go to video rentals to buy or exchange copies at dirt cheap prices: three CDs for one US dollar. Some local Television stations like STV or Ariane TV also broadcast them. This paper analyzes the reasons that justify the unprecedented situation where English films known as Nigeria home video movies have become products of mass consumption in a country that has been neglecting any production made in the said language. The paper shall address the issue of auteurism versus popular cinema, neorealism versus realism and surrealism, communautarism ideology versus individualism doctrine, in-door settings versus out-door locations or venues to substantiate the rush for Nollywood products in French-speaking Cameroon.



A Historical Journey through Kenyan Films/Videos


Wanjiru Kinyanjui

Theatre Arts and Film Technology Dept., Kenyatta University, Kenya

Early Kenyan films were classified as documentaries. Entertainment remained the preserve of Hollywood and Bollywood for a long time. However, the advent of cheaper digital technology in 2003 demystified filmmaking, making it accessible to many who would like to try out their skills and talents. In the part of Nairobi nicknamed River Road, stand-up comedians taped their shows and sold them on VCD. From 2004-2006, many amateur producers and comedians, with a maximum budget of 1,000 $US, made quick bucks, but the market died down, probably due to the quality of the videos and the repetition of comic local themes. But filmmakers took up their tactics of production and distribution and are now producing more films than ever.



B.     Historical Value of the African Film


Enter the Urhobo Home Video Film, Looking Back Looking Forward


Mabel Evwierhoma

Department of Theatre Arts, University of Abuja, Abuja

Within the Nigerian context of home videos, the Urhobo film is relatively new. This creates the need to seek and make some clarifications on what constitutes the Urhobo home video; as a home video shot in Urhobo language or one that concerns the ways of life of the Urhobo people, or one shot on Urhobo soil? In discussing these parameters, this paper attempts to look at the Urhobo nation and how the filmic experience has enabled a rapprochement of its development and sustenance in the face of huge socio-political, economic and sundry challenges. The analyses of select films are expected to assess the adversarial environment which some of them reflect vís-a-vís the culture of the people in the face of contemporary global confrontations. As an emergent form, it is hoped that the home videos about the Urhobo would help to internalise the aspirations of the people even as they grapple with the demands of the Nigerian state.



The Gods Must be Crazy and Surrealist Historiography

Olutayo C. ADESINA, Ph.D

Department of History, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

The Gods Must be Crazy (1981) remains one of the most fascinating films about the people of the Kalahari Desert in the southern part of Africa. It produces exhilarating laughter, excitement and suspense. It, however, goes beyond that. It is a double edged film that has also succeeded in transmitting myths, cultural stereotypes and exclusion. In the film, the gods sent a fascinating coca-cola bottle into a traditional African community. From that moment, chaos was born. This led a full-blooded man from among the group to proceed on a long journey to return the bottle to the Gods “at the end of the world.”

This is a critique of the film industry’s attempt at marrying entertainment, adventure, commercialism and identity politics. Unfortunately, the fantastic narratives of the interface of culture and modernity in Africa embedded in the film ultimately translate into a tool for the (mis) education of African children about their own people. 


Historical Value of the African Film: Basorun Gaa and the Promotion of Moral Values among the Yoruba

Ofuafor, M.O and Amusa, S.B

Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

African films have been resilient to the threats of external imposition and domination, particularly from the West. They have continued to teach moral values which were cherished by African peoples in the past. Inspite of influences and challenges of modernization, African films have succeeded in promoting moral values such as honesty, humility, patience, decorum, dignity and hard work, while discouraging undesirable values such as arrogance, selfishness, wickedness and laziness. The paper seeks to examine the processes used in the epic movie “Basorun Gaa” to promote the values of honesty, humility, generosity and patience as portrayed by Alaafin Abiodun Adegolu in contrast to the portrayal of Basorun Gaa. The paper concludes by showing that the movie is not only a good depiction and form of preservation and transmission of aspects of Yoruba history, but also a means of promoting sound moral values in African societies.  


Retelling History and Changing Perceptions through Movies: A Study of Jeta Amata's 'Amazing Grace'

Onyekaba, Cornelius

Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos

This study takes a cursory look at the role of filmmakers in the retelling of history and changing perceptions. The study adopts Jeta Amata's 2004 epic movie, 'Amazing Grace' as its model; it reinforces the capacity of film as a propaganda tool and a vehicle for mass reorientation and it proposes the use of film in influencing people's perception of themselves and the world. The theoretical approach to the study is eclectic with special attention to the psychological theory of 'perception' and the sociological theory of 'cultivation'. The study will critically analyse the content of 'Amazing Grace' and its implications for a better understanding of the African side of the story of slavery.


History in Nigerian Video-films: Love in Vendetta and the 1987 Kano Riots

Francoise Ugochukwu

Open University & CNRS-LLACAN, UK

This paper considers a Nigerian video-film from the 1990s, Love in Vendetta, featuring Zack Orji and inspired by the 1987 Kano riots, one of the many incidences of violent religious outbreaks in the 1980s, which resulted in thousands of deaths, injuries and arrests. This Nigerian adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet presents two lovers: an Igbo man and a Hausa girl, who plan their marriage in the midst of strong family opposition on both sides. They eventually discover that their parents’ attitude is the result of deep scars left by the 1987 Kano riots and bloodshed. Love eventually prevails, sending a message of hope to the whole country and heralding a time when ethnic and religious differences would be part of the Federation’s rich cultural heritage. 

Recapturing a Nation’s Fading Memory through Video: An Analysis of Chimurenga Files Videos

Tendai Chari

University of Zimbabwe Department of Media Studies/University of Fort Hare, School of Social Sciences, Department of Communication, South Africa

The video and film industry in Zimbabwe is witnessing a rebirth after several years in limbo. This paper examines how a government owned video production project is using video to document key historical moments of the country. The paper content analyses selected ‘Chimurenga Files’ in order to ascertain the ideological assumptions underpinning their production and consumption. In particular the paper examines the narrative techniques used in the videos to frame historical events and to gauge the effectiveness of those techniques in manufacturing consent among the intended audience. It is the observation of this paper that the ‘Chimurenga Files’ videos exploit the visual elements of video and its selective logic to cultivate a sense of patriotism and national consciousness within the Zimbabwean nation. It is also noted that while video is an effective medium for glorifying history and heroic deeds of a nation it does not have a totalising effect because the audience of video just like the audience of any visual medium have the potential to decode meanings that are tangential to the preferred reading. 


Re-enacting African History in the Post-Colonial Era through the Home Video Tradition

Victoria O. Adeniyi

Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

The home video film tradition cannot be separated from history. This is because historical facts have constituted its primary source of materials since its inception. This paper examines how video films are used to document historical moments in Africa. The paper analyses Amazing Grace and A Cry for Africa in order to bring to the fore the ideological assumptions underpinning their production. It also examines the narrative techniques used in the selected home video films to re-enact African history in the post-colonial era. It establishes the fact that the recourse of the home video film tradition in Africa into the past and its use of the contemporary events confer on it a level of social relevance and continuity in the post-colonial era.



C.     African Film Production, Distribution and Exhibition


Challenges of Film Distributing System in Nigeria

Ola-Koyi, S. Bank

Department of Performing Arts, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye

This paper looks at the nature of the Nigerian (video/) film distribution system. This is done through a theoretical framework, the study of the evolution of film distribution in Nigeria, the current operating system/modus operandi and the challenges of the new innovation in the system.


These Professionals are Too-Known: Counter-Hegemony in Ghanaian Video-Film Practice


Vitus Nanbigne

Woyome Foundation for Africa, Accra, Ghana

For a very long time, filmmaking in Ghana was the preserve of trained film directors and technicians.  There were certain rules about filmmaking that were non-negotiable and every story had to have some moral or cultural relevance to a certain Africanist worldview. Filmmaking was totalitarian and sought to advance some major concepts such as freedom of conscience, freedom from political and economic imperialism or some form of African cultural rebirth. However with the emergence of video-films, the focus changed. This paper examines the counter-hegemonic practice which thrived, at least for a considerable number of years, on the wishes of a postmodernist and consumerist society and a rebellious approach to filmmaking.


Establishing an Animation Industry in Ghana: Which Direction?

Samuel Quartey

Animation Africa, Accra, Ghana

Animation started in Ghana in the late 1960’s through a German-Ghanaian collaboration. This initiative led to the production of educational television programmes on Ghana Television. It took the Government of Ghana another ten years to set up a training school for animators. After 30 years of training, corporate bodies, institutions and government’s contribution to the growth of the local animation industry is minimal at a time when the North American and Asian animation industries are creating jobs, aiding economic development and generating revenue for governments. This paper will look at the current situation and how animators, investors, corporate bodies and government can collaborate in tapping the potential and develop a well structured animation industry for art and national development.


Sustaining a Vibrant Home Video Industry in Nigeria: The Total Quality Management Approach

Charles U. Adora

Department of Theatre Arts, Kogi State University, Anyigba

The necessity for the systematization of quality as a guarantee to remain and be successful in business cannot be over-emphasized. In Nigeria, this philosophy of quality that has shaped current management thinking is yet to be institutionalized in the movie industry. An x-ray of the making of Nigerian video films reveals that the quality fundamentals that a film/video is supposed to be built upon are yet to be fully actualized. Our findings show that high quality standard can be achieved in the Nigerian film industry through the application of the Total Quality Management (TQM) Approach. The study, therefore, recommends that the management of the Nigerian film companies and the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), should explore the principles of TQM in the management and administration of the industry.    


Nollywood, Bollywood and Hollywood: The Impact of New Technologies on Film Production in Nigeria

Segun Odukomaiya

Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ogun State

A clear manifestation of the impact of new technologies on film production in Nigeria is the phenomenon of Nollywood. The emergence of Nollywood indicates an end of the cultural imperialism perpetuated for long by Hollywood of the U.S.A. and Bollywood of India. The journey towards the emergence of Nollywood was not without heavy casualties. Many Nigerian film artistes suffered frustrations from the Indian and Lebanese cinema theatre owners who discriminated against local films. Although the Federal Government of Nigeria intervened with an ordinance which outlawed foreigners from operating cinema theatres, the downturn of the economy prevented a solution to the problems of the Nigerian movie industry. It was the emergence of the portable video technology as from the middle of the 1970s that turned around the fortune of Nigerian producers. Further technological breakthroughs, in the form of video disc, especially digital video equipment, will enable Nollywood to make substantial contributions to the African Film or African Cinema.


Cartoon Animation Production in Nigeria: Constraints and Prospects

Chiemela A. Ogbonna

Dept. of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Cartoon animation films have proved to be a lucrative genre in the global film industry, yet its development in Nigeria has been stunted. The few attempts made by some Nigerians to exploit this medium have not been successful enough to open its market and tap into the 75 billion dollar global animation market. This paper identifies major constraints to its development and exposes the advantages in the use of computer technology which has obliterated most of the difficulties in traditional animation and rendered its production cost-effective and possible for would-be Nigerian animators. It recommends the establishment of animation schools and cartoon animation festivals in Nigeria. It also suggests the use of typical Nigerian themes and backgrounds for the production of cartoon animation films to attract mass audience in Nigeria.


D.     Thematic Construct of the African Film

The Symbol of Rape in Contemporary Yoruba Epic Videos: A Rethink of Culture and Imperialism

Richard O. Ajah

Department of Foreign Languages, University of Uyo

The subject of ‘Rape’ has been generating interdisciplinary discourses, especially in the disciplines of Sociology, Feminism, Literature and Psychology. This study attempts to view rape as a symbolic motif in contemporary Yoruba epic videos. This symbolic and symbolist interpretation is premised on the overstressed sociological and psychological perceptions of rape. The symbolic analysis of rape is a remarkable contribution not only to rape discourses but to general scholarship. In addition, it presents us a springboard for a rethink of culture and imperialism in Nigeria and by extension in Africa.


Efik Folktale, Creativity and Performance in Mutanda

Uwemedimo Atakpo

Department of Theatre Arts, University of Uyo

This paper’s main focus is on Efik folktale, creativity in the use of the Efik folktale and performance in the video film Mutanda. This paper discusses the issue of cultural revival, which relates to continuity, purpose and growth. The video film Mutanda captures the very essence of the unique Efik culture.


Video Narrative and the Great Commission in Africa: An Example of Mount Zion Ministries International

Ellison Domkap

Department of Theatre and Communication Arts, University of Jos, Jos

Using Mount Zion Faith Ministries as an example, this paper demonstrates how video films are being used for evangelism. The paper brings to bear two models of relationship in ommunicating the Gospel: 'Dialectic' and 'Dialogic', and uses reflective and feminist theories as its theoretical framework. Two out of several films produced by Mount Zion Ministries are used in the discussion: 'The Story of My Life' and 'The Storms of Life'.


Thematic Relevance at the Altar of Hybridism: The Quest for an Indigenous Nigerian Filmic Idiom

Eshiet, I. James

Department of Theatre Arts, Igbinedion University, Okada

The thematic essence and the general aesthetics of some of the Nigerian Home Videos today tend to question, instead of upholding the age-long utilitarian essence of arts. Nigeria is undergoing the process of image-laundering after several years of moral decadence, political instability and religious crises. This paper recommends that Nigerian filmmakers should employ local idioms, motifs and metaphors to recreate the Nigerian nation, instead of churning out exotic buffoonery through a mindless aping of the West, all in the name of hybridism.


Thematic Construct of the African Film: A Case Study of Some Yoruba Video Films

Gabriel Adekola Oyewo

Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Within the past decade, a large percentage of Yoruba video films have been devoted to the theme of money rituals. We examine this pervasive thematic genre in order to verify why it has been over-flogged. In conclusion, we recommend that the Yoruba screen writers and film producers should look inwards into our society and select other interesting themes for their productions.


Thematic Developments in Nigerian Video Films

Kwaghkondo Agber

Department of Theatre Arts, University of Abuja, Abuja

Nigerian video films have been described as dramatic features shot on video and produced for mercantilist rather than aesthetic considerations. Their themes revolve around issues like greed, avarice, jealousy, rituals, violence, occultism and sexism. They also do not engage in critical or dialectical examination or questioning of issues of their environment or of the existence of Nigerians within their social and economic milieu. This paper examines the thematic developments of the Nigerian video film and advances suggestions for enhanced development of themes in the video film in Nigerian.


E.     Aesthetics of the African Film

Dance Dynamics in the African Film

Suru C. Damisa

Performing Arts Department, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye

This paper examines the historical value of African film in the propagation, promotion, and preservation of dance culture, the attraction to dance through the eyes of the film, and the problems/ solution generated from this relationship. We look into the future in this paper with an expectation of a more fostered relationship between the two genres.

Reminiscences and Reflections: The Usage of Traditional Wicker Textile in 21st Century Pictures


Ogundeji Toyin

Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

This paper recognizes the cultural value of clothing with specific reference to the Yoruba of western Nigeria. The traditional Yoruba Aso Oke has a gracious ambience that is peculiar to its usage. The paper addresses the effects of technological development on its continuous production and usage in the film industry.

Terra Incognita: Masquerade Motifs in Nigeria Home Video

John S. Illah

University of Jos, Jos


The masquerade is one way of looking at the past, a celebration of the present and it is iconographic, as an intimation of the future. Inevitably, the Nigerian Home Video is one the arenas of their emergent display.  But:

i.                    What are the informing principles?

ii.                  What is their aesthetic dimension in the home video?

iii.                What structural contradictions are inherent in this deconstruction?

These are the terra incognita of this paper, designed to suggest that in the global arena of African Film, the masquerade in its festival mode will have a restorative function.      


F.      African Film, Politics and Ideology

Unpacking the Hotel: A Study of the Cinematic Politics of ‘Hotel Rwanda’

Nyasha Mboti

English Department, University of Zimbabwe

This paper looks at the narrative and visual politics of ‘.Hotel Rwanda’. It will seek to answer the questions:

  • Is ‘Hotel Rwanda’ an African film?

  • Whose gaze is ‘Hotel Rwanda’s’?

  • How is the story told visually?

  • How is the narrative structured?


Migrating Nollywood: Melting Borders in Tunde Kelani’s Abeni

Jendele Hungbo

Department of African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

  The experience of colonization, though far gone literally speaking from Africa, still continues to exert influence on the socio-political life of the people of the continent. This can be seen in the way producers of popular culture forms like music, film and the like manifest the influence of foreign modes of expression even when they wish to remain as traditional and authentically African as possible. This paper explores the ways in which Tunde Kelani’s film, Abeni handles the traps set in the African continent, and by extension in most postcolonial societies, by the telling effects of colonialism and the erection of borders, both physical and social, between neighbouring communities. This will be done through a close examination of the deployment of language and the coupling of cultures and social interactions gleaned from two different countries with varying colonial experiences which seem to make a unified experience difficult.


Nollywood and the Production of Culture in Contemporary Nigeria


Onookome Okome

Department of English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada


Nollywood is Africa’s new cinema. Its audience is large and enthusiastic with continental dimensions. There is also a growing response to the desire of Africa’s diasporas. In the last couple of years, Nollywood has defined a new and interesting space of social and cultural negotiations for its audiences. My paper speaks to the relationship between the “popular text” of Nollywood and its audience on the one hand and the discursive tension that it has generated between a class of self-appointed “cultural mediators” and the content of popular video film on the other hand. It discusses the “naming” of the peculiar continental problems in Nollywood as a way of articulating the social and economic desires of the “mass of the people.” The central question of my paper will be posed around this question: Do we have in the practice of Nollywood a distinct “cinematic desire” that achieves and archives a “post” of a PanAfrican agenda of the “people” rather than of the Governments in Africa? What, if there is any, is the role of the audience in this agenda? Is this cinematic practice ideologically different from the African cinema in francophone Africa? These are the subsidiary questions that the primary line of inquiry will provoke. My ultimate aim is to locate and discus this new cinema within and (if necessary) outside traditional scholarship of African cinema and to show why this is necessary.


Imaging Nigerian Politics and Politicians in Yoruba Video Films


Bunmi Olujinmi

General Studies Department, The Polytechnic, Ibadan


The Nigerian Political terrain has enjoyed a robust focus in various studies and disciplines from different perspectives.  Much of its growth and dynamics have been recorded by scholars in divergent manners with a view to place on record its history and actors.  Film as audio-visual literature in its short period of existence in Nigeria has also not failed to register the historical facts of Nigeria’s politics and its players.  The focus of this paper is to reveal the representation of Nigerian politics and politicians in Yoruba video films from historical perspectives in selected Yoruba video films.  The Yoruba video film chronicles political events in Nigeria from the pre -colonial period to the current political dispensation.  It presents to its audience political actors, their successes, problems, excesses, failures and why the Nigerian nation has remained in the woods in spite of its robust economy and ever increasing revenue from its oil boom.


Film’s Role in the Evolving Global Culture

Gabe Otsemobor

Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

This paper explains the role of film in the emergent world culture. It also attempts to prove that culture and film operate hand in hand. The paper recommends that the Nigeria film industry and its stake holders should positively show case her culture so as to become a part of the emergent global culture. The evolution of a global culture is indeed, a welcome development. More so, as no force can stop this emergence in a world that has turned into a global village through the activities of the mass media, it becomes pertinent that Africa contributes its own quota to this emergent global culture.


Picture-Right Ownership and the Nigerian Video-Film

Julius-Adeoye R. Jays

 Department of Theatre Arts, Redeemer’s University, Redemption City, Ogun State

The issue of picture-right has been a major subject of controversy in the Nigerian video-film industry. It is common to see the producer claiming ownership of the picture, because s/he is the one who funded the production. Is the producer the owner of the picture-right? Where is the place of the director in the Nigerian video-film?  


G.    The African Film Audience

"African Magic" on DStv: An Investigative Study of Popularity of Films among Viewers in Obafemi Awolowo University Staff Quarters

Oyewusi Lawunmi

Department of Educational Technology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Technology is turning the whole world around. It is just a story of a small dish and a decoder and the DStv is on - whether for education, news or entertainment. "African Magic" on DStv is a channel where African movies are shown. This paper answers the questions: Who watches "African Magic" and for what benefits? With what expectations? Conclusively, it asks: How magical are the films?


Perception of African Films among Nigerian Students

Akeem Ayofe Akinwale

Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan

African films are popular in Nigeria but the question of their relevance to development in Africa has generated a lot of debate. How do African films influence human development in Nigeria and to what extent have they met the needs of Nigerian students? These questions were addressed in light of constructionists’ framework and empirical analysis of primary and secondary data. Using structured questionnaire and in-depth interview, data were collected from 556 students selected in the two public universities in Lagos State, Nigeria. This study draws attention to the relevance of African films and the necessity of improving them to meet the emerging needs of different segments of African societies. This study concludes with strong policy-oriented recommendations. 


The Nigerian Home Video Phenomenon on the Pages of Nigerian National Newspapers: An Insight

Ijeh Nkemdilim Patrick

Mass Communication Department, Delta State University, Abraka

The Nigerian home video phenomenon has reached a point of development where it can no longer be ignored. Newspapers generally provide a forum for acquiring and updating knowledge on issues that affect the society. It is beyond doubt that this knowledge acquisition and updating go a long way in molding public opinion. This paper relies on the tenets of the Agenda Setting Theory of the mass media and adopts the content analysis method of social research to x-ray the degree of attention given to the Nigerian home video industry on the pages of Guardian Newspaper and Vanguard Newspaper (two popular Nigerian national newspapers). An attempt is also made to examine the nature of the attention accorded the Nigerian home video phenomenon with a view of determining whether it is positive or negative.


Renaissance and Identity Question in African Films: Challenges in the New Media

J. Melchizedec Onobe

Dept. of Mass Communication, Bingham University, Karu, Abuja

This paper deals with salient issues of Africa's unique socio-psychological identity question in films which have been blurred by assimilated traditions and neo-colonial cultures. It contends that African values and predominant socio-cultural themes in films are not idle superstitions, neither are they inferior to those of the West. The paper suggests that the most potent means of countering the hazy complex injected by the West is by employing a pervasive use of the new media in projecting African values which possess more potentials of universal acceptability than Western themes. 


H.    Behind and in Front of the Camera: Female Participation in African Film

Women in the Production of Yoruba Video Films: Experiences and Realities

Babatunde E. Oluwaremilekun

Literature in English Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife


Social, cultural and political structures among the Yoruba people have direct influences on the role that Yoruba women in the video film define for themselves. To better understand Yoruba women’s involvement in video production, it is important to contextualize their participation within the larger sphere of African cultural practices in general and Nigerian video filmmaking practices and infrastructures in particular. The paper therefore asks: to what extent has Yoruba women been drawn to video film production; as producers and writers of stories; have they been able to overcome this stereotype? In what ways do the themes and subjects of their films reflect personal experiences, the search for identity, the demands of financiers, as well as the self-imposed duty to teach, reveal injustices, and construct positive images of women and the Yoruba society in general? These are the issues the paper intends to discuss using selected video films written and produced by Yoruba women.


Female Participation in Nigerian Movie: The Patriarchal Break Launcher and the Third Millennium Goal

Nonyelum Chibuzo Mba

Department of English & Literary Studies, University of Abuja, Abuja

 Tracing the historical development of films in Nigeria, four distinct phases emerge and these are the colonial, post-colonial, modern and post-modern phases. The case study of Nigeria shows that as a patriarchal society, women experience a lot of oppression and exploitation. In the light of this, the participation of females in movies was very minimal in the early stages of film making in Nigeria. The increasing rate of female participation in Nigerian movie is geared towards the achievement of the third millennium goal which is the promotion of gender equality and empowering women which launches a direct attack on patriarchal suppression of women’s self-actualization. The writer therefore handles the topic from three different perspectives: the Phases of Nigerian Films and Female Participation; Nigerian Society and Female Traditional Roles; and Nigerian Movie and Female Degradation: Societal Plague. The writer concludes the paper by briefly summarizing the problems encountered by female participants in film making and suggesting ways for improvement.

Wealthy But Humiliated: The Agonizing Cry of the Nigerian Woman in Selected Nollywood Films

Praise C. Daniel-Inim

Department of Theatre Arts, Igbinedion University, Okada

 With the passing of the years, women have continued to be humiliated in Nigerian films.  Though they are often arrayed in a 'fictional glasshouse', they are always portrayed negatively.  Focusing on 'Last Game '1 & 2' Produced by Chijioke and directed by Jetta Amata and 'Church Prostitute' produced by Israel Egbukwu and directed by Nonso Emekaekwue the paper explains how even Nollywood actresses are silently crying “wealthy but humiliated."  The paper posits that producers of Nollywood should try to bridge the divide between the fictional and the reality in their portrayal of Nigerian womanhood.


In the Present, Our Past is Present: Tradition, (Post)Modernity and Gender Politics in Nigerian Video Films

James Tar Tsaaior

Department of English, University of Ibadan, Ibadan

The dialectical interaction between tradition and (post)modernity constitutes a bold and visible trajectory in African aesthetics. The video film in Nigeria particularly participates in and resonates this interactional reality. This paper engages the video film tradition in Nigeria within the paradigmatic schema of (post)modernity and the gender politics that mediate and govern its practice. It deploys a historicist, feminist-deconstructive perspective as a strategy for the analytic exploration of Nigerian video films. It submits that the mutual interaction between tradition and (post)modernity foregrounds the nexus between heterogeneous cultures and values in the fashioning of a filmic tradition that is positioned and situated within its cultural milieu and yet valorizes inherited hybrid values which are relevant for its thriving and authenticity. The paper also negotiates the gender calculus that characterizes the landscape of the video film in Nigeria as a patriarchal society and calls for a re-configuration of gender relations in favour of women whose humanity is sometimes occluded and even negated in the films thereby constructing a meaningful space for women.


Representing Women and their Interventions on the Political Scene in Nollywood: A Challenge to Film Producers in the 21st Century

Agatha Ukata

Discipline of African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

This paper interrogates the gendered notions in Nollywood films, which portray women mostly within the margins of political representation and governance. The paper discusses the contributions of two video films to feminist political agitations. It states that films can serve as a powerful tool to reshape the society. It enunciates that with characters like Jenny Moremi of The Tyrant, and Simba Richards of Masterstroke, feminine discourses in films, will take a new turn for good. It portrays how the two video films depict the efforts of male filmmakers at creating political heroines with good attributes that serve as role models.


Make a Free Website with Yola.