The Representation of Nigerian Indigenous Culture in Nollywood


The general objective of this study is to appraise the representation of the Nigerian (African) culture in the global market by the Nigerian Nollywood. Specifically, the study tries to find out how The Nigerian Nollywood projects Nigerian rich local cultural values to the outside world; and appraise how the influx of foreign cultural values into the Nigerian local film production affects the nation’s cultural heritage. Nigeria or Nollywood is chosen for this study because of her position in the continent and her leading role in the film industry in Africa. This study becomes also necessary because, despite the fact that Nollywood ranks and competes with Hollywood and Bollywood, in terms of quantity, locally outsell foreign ones, and are also appreciated all over the world; Nigeria continues to suffer negative image in the comity of nations and critics kept crying foul over the erosion of indigenous cultures. To this end, this study employs case reference analysis method and analyzed some films purposively selected for the performance of this task. The study observes among others that Nollywood dwells too much on the negative aspect of the nation’s cultural practices to the detriment of the nation’s image. It was also discovered that the act of borrowing themes, plots etc, from foreign films has done much harm than good to the preservation of the indigenous culture. The study concludes that the increasing quantity of filmic contents from the Nollywood had not helped much in the area of projecting the nation’s positive image and rich cultural heritage to the outside world as the quality of the filmic contents that emanate from the Nollywood remains grossly inadequate or usually situated out of context thereby re-enforcing the negative image fostered on Nigeria and Africa at large by the foreign media. The study therefore recommends among others that further productions should focus more on portrayal of the rich cultural Nigerian values rather than imitating the western culture or leaning narrowly on the nation’s or continent’s past negative cultural practices that have no place in the current Nigerian society anymore.

Keywords :

Nollywood; Nigerian culture; mirror effect; films; cultural values.

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