The Nigerian entertainment industry has been characterised by indecent movies and musical videos, whereas the industry is meant to help correct the ills in the society. In this piece, PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA writes on some of the issues
Gone are the days when Nigerian movie and musical contents were seen as means of projecting the country’s cultural values and norms to the other parts of the world. people like Onyeka Onwm King Sunny Ade, Christy Essien Igbokwe and the likes had good lyrics in their music and never featured indescent exposure in their videos.
The entertainment industry has suddenly become the shadow of itself especially with regards to its moral content.
Unfortunately, the younger generation is looking up to these celebrities, and of course, there is the tendency for them to copy what they see from those they see as role models. Hence, many Nigerians especially parents, are beginning to express concern over the issue with the fear that these immoral materials may have negative influence on their children.
Observers have also expressed worry over the decaying moral content in the contemporary music videos and movies, urging that such videos should not be allowed for public viewing for the sake of the underage.
A parent in Abuja, Mrs Felicia Udoka, who frowned at what many children watch on television in the name of entertainment, opined that content should be inscribed ’18’ just like some movies.
She also suggested that there should be regulations to guide what the musical videos and movie producers churn out to the public.
Meanwhile, the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), which was established by Act 85 of 1993 as the official regulatory agency for the film and video sector of the Nigerian economy is empowered by law to classify all films and videos whether imported or produced locally.
It is also the duty of the board to register all films and video outlets across the country and to keep a register of such registered outlets among other functions across the country.
However, the director general of NFVCB, Mrs Patricia Bala, told LEADERSHIP Weekend that some of these movies do not pass through censorship and that such movies are smuggled into the market.
She said that is why some movies are banned after getting into the market because they were not censored.
Indecent movies especially soft porn movies have taken over the Nigerian movie industry.
However, some Nollywood fans have linked the trend to the influx of Ghanaians and their movies into Nigeria, saying that the Ghanaian movie industry is known for producing soft porn movies.
According to Ikeji Thomas, an ardent Nollywood fan, “this level of immorality was not in display in our movies until the arrival of the Ghanaians.”
According to him, the ugly trend of nudity and sexual display on the screen by these actors and actresses is not a Nigerian culture, insisting that the act is as a result of negative influence by foreign stars.
Meanwhile, the act of dressing indecently has also given rise to sexual harassment in the industry. Today, the word “sexual harassment” has become a common phrase in the entertainment industry.
Another Nollywood fan, Tina Oboh, said it is the manner with which the actresses portray themselves that gives room for unnecessary harassment.
“It is the impression they give about themselves that expose them to unnecessary sexual harassment,” she said.
Another ugly trend that is gaining popularity in Nollywood presently is divorce. This has also called for a greater concern because if not curtailed, a time may come when celebrities will begin to celebrate divorce; throw divorce parties and invite friends for celebration over a divorce.
Nudity has also become a common display in today’s music videos. Some musical videos are so disgusting that one would mistake them for porn videos. This is common with music videos most Nigerian artistes, which wasn’t the case in the 70s, 80s and even early 90s. Many are still wondering why Flavour’s ‘Aladarada’ Egwu, Shake, Ashawo and others were even allowed into the market in the first place and why they have not been banned.
However, while some observers have even recommended a dress code for entertainers, especially for music movie dancers, considering its impact on the society, others have argued that in today’s entertainment industry, sex sells and that music videos and movies are all enveloped in sexual fantasies.
According to them, the dancers simply give the fans the impression that what they are doing is real because it is what they are paid to do.
Another disturbing trend in the industry is, ‘baby mama’ syndrome, which is gradually becoming popular among Nigeria artistes. Many of them, including Seun Kuti, Wizkid, 2Face, May D, Terry G, Timaya, Jessy Jags, Ice Prince, P-square and others all have ‘baby mamas,’ though some of them have ended up marrying their baby mamas.
With the level of indiscipline among these celebrities, one wonders what the outside world thinks of Nigeria and what becomes of the future generation, knowing well that these celebrities are seen as role models to many youths in and outside the country.
There is therefore a need for government and all stakeholders in the Nigerian entertainment industry to take drastic measures in reviving sanity in the industry, because as the saying goes; ‘charity begins at home’.