ABSTRACT: This study examined the role of Nollywood in promoting national unity and development. The survey research methodology was adopted while one hundred copies of the questionnaire were administered to the selected respondents within Movie Industries and movie viewers in Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. Findings have established that Nigeria home movie industries are promoting our cultural values, it builds youths talents. Also, poor funding of movie industries, inadequate production equipment, poor scripting, poor story research and the advent of ICT have been described as the major problems facing movie industries in Nigeria in achieving national development. Nigeria home movie industries can enhance national development through stories that focus on the peaceful co-existence of Nigeria, if their stories are on corruption effects, if stories are on good governance and if the story is on culture. It is recommended that the Nigerian films censors commission should scrutinize films before they are sent out for viewing by the larger audience and Scriptwriters should always have at the back of their minds that Nigeria cultural heritage and national unity should be foremost on their minds when they are writing any script.
1.1 Background to the Study
Since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 and particularly after independence in 1960, one of the focuses of the government was to build national integration, unity and peaceful co-existence through stable political government, economic development, infrastructural development, socio-cultural development rather than regional or ethnic thinking and absence of which will deprive the country lots and one of the ways this was achieved was through the media which films or movies inclusive. The movies are locally generated, scripted and acted by Nigerians on the need to be brother’s keeper and see every nationality whether from the major ethnic groups or minor group as one.
The potentials of Nigerian film or movie is otherwise known today as NOLLYWOOD is to uphold Nigeria rich and diverse culture, as well as serve as a panacea for unity among Nigerians in spite of tribe, culture, religion or ethnic differences.
Mgbejume (1989) cited in Alice (2005) opines that the immense potential of the film was recognised even during colonial times. The Federal Information apparatus earlier acknowledged the film as the most effective medium for internal and external publicity. Salawu (2001) cited in Oyekanmi (2008:28) posits that man was born with drama and with the drama he lives. Added that drama is a story of life acted out or performed, rather than narrated, hence drama is a play.
Merriam Webster Dictionary (online version) (2015) describes a movie as the act of recording moving images that tells a story and that people watch on a screen or television. It is a form of entertainment that enacts a story by sound and a sequence of images giving the illusion of continuous movement (Fredrick, 2001).
Therefore, Nollywood is the name attributed to Nigerian Movies, Music and other forms of entertainment Industries in Nigeria. By definition, it is Nigeria’s entertainment industry by Nigerian production teams’ for the Nigerian people and other interested foreign nationals. Nollywood has over the years, become a world phenomenon, as its movies and music are being sold to Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa as well as Jamaica, the USA and the UK to name a few (Wikipedia, 2015). Now the name itself caused a bit of protest in the earlier days, as a lot of Nigerians felt it was imported and derived from Hollywood and Bollywood. There was also a little issue of the name being carried by a foreigner, some did not like it, but the good thing is that Nollywood as a name has moved beyond these earlier hiccups, no one actually thinks twice about the origin of the name today. It has become accepted that Nollywood applies to the Nigerian movie and music industry.
Today, Nollywood ranks third in the global movie industry after Hollywood (USA) and Bollywood (India). It has been able to hold its own so many deterrents, which to name a few includes, expensive technical tools of the trade, inconsistent support of electricity which was taken for granted in almost every country in the world, the horrible traffic jam, conditions which can lead extreme lateness in production times. However, in terms of movies produced annually Nigeria’s Nollywood ranks second after India’s Bollywood.
However, development refers to a change process geared at improving or making better life and environment of man. Dudley (1985) cited in Isa (2007) posited that development involves the creation of opportunities for the realisation of human potentialities. To this end, one of the ways a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria can promote national development and unity is through home movies which many believe mirrors reality and it helps in correcting bad habits and images such as corruption, armed robbery, general stealing, kidnapping, political lashes, killing, tribalism, ethnicity and host of others while it also builds and shows rewards for good deeds through special movies on independence, democracy, civil war, colonial days among others which could come inform of satire and musical lyrics etc.
It is against this background that the study set out to examine the role of Nollywood in promoting national unity and development with a view to know how far the industry has gone in creating, promoting and sustaining national peace, unity and development in general.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This study investigates the role of Nollywood (Nigeria film) in promoting national unity and development with the view to know how far it has gone in projecting and promoting national unity and development. Nigerian movie industry otherwise known as (Nollywood) has come of age and the industry is growing from strength to strength across the globe. Day in day out, Nigerian movies flood the global channels with a series of movies that dwell on various aspects of life.
Alice (2005) submits that a film is a powerful tool for the transmission of cultural values. Most of the time, these films do not reflect the actual and true cultural values of Nigeria again. Rather, our culture is being adulterated by an alien culture which is characterized by the use of guns, kidnapping, nudity, disrespect for elders and other social vices.
Most of the home movies are scripted for commercial gain rather than for national unity and development, thereby forcing many Nigerians to have a preference for foreign movies (Bollywood, Hollywood, Koran Film, Philippine and Chinese films etc) than Nollywood because of the content. The content of many Nollywood movies is not well researched and lack richness in terms of promoting Nigeria true identity. Piracy, on the other hand, is one of the challenging problems facing Nigerian home movie industry, instead of the filmmakers making a profit they become losers by hampering the performance of those in the sector since no proper legislation or enforcement on the violators were made by the appropriate authority. Thus, the sector can achieve little or nothing in promoting national unity, peace and development. It is against this backdrop that the study examined the role of Nollywood in promoting national unity and development.
1.3 Objective of the Study
- To examine the extent to which Nollywood promote national unity and development in Nigeria.
- To evaluate how Nollywood has been able to promote national unity and development.
- To find out some of the challenges that might be hampering Nollywood in promoting national unity and development effectively.
- To ascertain whether Nollywood industry has performed up to the public expectations in terms of promoting national unity, peace and development.
- To examine ways in which Nollywood can effectively promote national unity and development.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the extent to which Nollywood promote national unity and development in Nigeria?
- How has Nollywood been promoting national unity and development?
- What are the challenges hampering Nollywood in promoting national unity and development?
- Has the Nollywood industry performed up to the public expectations?
- In what way can Nollywood effectively promote national unity and development?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study of this nature has a national interest in mind, therefore, its findings hopefully will help to identify the roles played and expected of Nollywood as an agent of social change, tool of national mobilisation, unity, a sign of national autonomy and a means of the preservation of heritage, and promotion of strong sovereignty and national development.
It will bring to the fore the effectiveness and importance of Nollywood and Television stations in achieving the much-desired National Development in Nigeria especially now that the country is experiencing various agitations, terrorism, secession, demand for restructuring and other issues that have national implications.
It will also enable Nollywood actors and other stakeholders to understand and appreciate its areas of weakness and strength with a view to improving on them so as to serve their coverage jurisdiction and nation better.
Media houses will also through the findings of the study realize the to pay attention to the nature of programmes that can enhance national integration and how to schedule its programmes accordingly especially its soap opera and other forms of drama.
Finally, National development planners, implementers and monitors will discover more areas of public interest for the benefit of the public and overall national development; it will equally help in budgeting and controlling appropriately these areas of public interest
The study will equally serve as good literature for both scholars and students of performing art, mass communication, public administration, peace and diplomacy and other related disciplines who might want to carry out similar or related research in the future.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research investigated the role of Nollywood in promoting national unity and development” has been narrowed down in scope to the teaching and non-teaching staff of the Osun State University, Osogbo because of its proximity and the fact that they are experienced citizens that can determine whether Nollywood has actually promoted national unity and development. It will also be very difficult if not impossible to study all Nigerians or all film industries or marketers and all movie viewers in Nigeria due to the time available for this work, other factors are inadequate funds, the nature and geographical structure of Nigeria and other considerable logistics.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Role: This means the effect or impact of Nollywood Movies on national development
Home Movie: This is the movies that are recorded on Videotapes, CDs, and DVDs meant to be watched on television at home. i.e pre-recorded videocassettes or videodisc marketed for home viewing.
Nation: This refers to a country or group of people with the same or related language, culture and history who are living in a particular area under one government.
Movie Industry: It is synonymous with to the film industry which refers to the entertainment industries involved in producing and distributing movies
National Development: This refers to the activities that promote nation-building in the country through the improvement of the social welfare of people such as basic amenities, medical care, and security.
Home Video: A film on videotape for viewing at home.
Films Are moving pictures usually shown in a cinema on television and they often tell stories.
Moral Behavior Is an action that produces a good outcome for the individual and members of society.
Nollywood: The Nigeria video film industry is known as Nollywood movies in this context which means the video films packaged by the Nigerian Home Video Industry for home viewing or is the name attributed to Nigeria’s movie industry. They are usually in the videocassette format or the video compact disc format.