THE EFFECTS OF HOME VIDEO AND MOVIES INDUSTRY ON THE SOCIO-MORAL BEHAVIOURS AND CRIME PREVENTION IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the socio-moral effects of Home Video and Movies Industry on the socio-moral behaviours of the and crime prevention in Nigerian. The new media that have assumed positions of importance in Nigeria today are the home- videos, computers, facsimile and statutes disc video. Against this backdrop, the researcher adopts the historical, descriptive and analytical approaches as its method of reflecting on how the video films phenomenon- emerged in Nigeria and what issues the Nigerian video films Industry busy-themselves with. It concludes by canvassing the government and other stakeholders in West Africa should explore the huge potentiality of the home video films industry in creating employment opportunities and redressing contemporary social challenges. The work has shown that most Nigerians regular viewers of Home video films watched about twenty four films monthly. The Nigerian Home Videos do not portray any traditional African values and that the movies do not safeguard traditional African values like honesty, hospitality, modesty etc. There is too much display of sex- related immorality (Nudity, prostitution etc) in the Home movies. It concludes by canvassing the government and other stakeholders in West Africa should explore the huge potentiality of the home video films industry in creating employment opportunities and redressing contemporary social challenges.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1. 1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

In contemporary Africa, one of the greatest pastimes is the video film. It has become a newfound love for the African mind. This is largely due to its accessibility to huge audience including children and adolescents as compared to an older form of media production like the cinema. Larkin (2002:14) says: African video films refer to the rise of filmmaking in Nigeria that is shot straight on video, but still referred to locally as “films”. These films are not the art cinema more usually seen in African film festivals, but truly popular, meaning not only that they command huge African audience, but also their production and financing is dependent entirely on how well they perform in the market place. Along with the rise of video film many people (Africans and non-Africans) especially Nigeria are beginning to worry about our home movies and films: How and what the actors and actresses are acting. Modern Man lives under the shadow of an ever-present threat of self annihilation; “advances in technology have equipped mankind with that much at least. The much sought for technology has become something akin to the Frankenstein Monster”. (Wollstonecraft 1931:10) Nowhere is this more apparent than in the mass media that it has left concerned persons with many questions. Felid (1991:10) argues that: The media has been said to be very powerful in moulding and shaping popular opinion because a single message is transmitted simultaneously to missions of people. Their effects are personal, dramatic and immediate. The fears articulated by Field are not unfounded when one sees the monumental transformations that information technology has wrought in the world within the second half of the twentieth century. It is currently being speculated that information technology replicates every three years. As it grows so it influences. Mba E; The Director General; National film and video Censor Board in his speech to the Youth Achievers Conference Abuja on March 31st 2006, also highlighted the tremendous impact mass media, especially the motion picture has on the social and economic development of any country especially our beloved country Nigeria. He comments that: There is no doubt that we are in the information age and faced with the challenges of globalization and that most countries now realize that if the society is to develop it must embrace globalization and transform into a knowledge or information society. And that today, more than at any other time in human history, people not only know what is going on around the world and more familiar to other cultures through multi-media such as news, radio, music, film and internet, they often demand it as their “democratic right. (Mba 2002:23-3). The video film and films shot on electromagnetic tape is readily produced with a shoe string budget. Apart from the inexpensive nature of this form of media production, the masses in much of Africa especially Nigerians are readily reached. The home video film has thus become very popular amongst Africans. Interesting too, it has become a veritable expression of African modernity in terms of Mass culture. Looking at both forms of mass media production from the standpoints of economics of scale and production output could be revealing as well as instructive. In Africa, video films are-easily and readily produced as against that of traditional cinema. Larkin (2003:194) points out that; in 1999 over 500 video films were produced in Nigeria. This means that, in this one year alone, more video films were produced than in the entire history of feature film production in this country. From almost 10 years ago, video films have blossomed to become perhaps the most vibrant new form of media production in Africa.

Similarly, Ekwuazi (2007:64-69) contends that; the Nigerian Home video has spawned an industry that turns out 1000 films every year, generates 300,000 jobs every year, has a turnover of well over N5 billion yearly: With a growth rate of some 60%, the industry is bursting at the seams.

These groundbreaking achievements of the video film as against the Lethargy of celluloid film as forms of media production in Africa indicate a call for an urgent revision of the concept of filmmaking in the continent.

Perhaps, only the most absurd liberal would refuse to believe that just as movies can help bring about positive changes in beliefs, lifestyles and behaviour, they could also cause negative changes. In Nigeria today, Government, parents and even consumers have cried out against the negative content of our movies, vast majority of them containing ritual scenes, graphic- groups, and the abuse of our cherished institutions.

Mba (2002:23- 3) comments in his speeches to the youths in Abuja that: “I can’t count up to ten movies that portray Nigeria and its institutions as professional or something one should look up to.

However, looking at the situation today, it is heart rending, as the giant of Africa remains a wishful thinking and nice dream of a paradise of some sort yet to be realized. It is in this light that one can observe that the plight of the Home video and movies industry is on account of the contradictions contained in our religious and social structures. The reality of video industry is a situation, which demands further research. The hue and cry is not all for nothing.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Although the Home Video Industry in Nigeria is barely more than a decade, it commands a household name. It commands a very large and active audience and it covers every aspect of the Nigerian society. Its impact on the areas of the culture, religion and morality has generated a lot of uneasiness. Fear looms heavily in the mind of conservatives about the possible results of the incursion into the traditional value of culture and morality. Some calm these fears by saying that, “it is only entertainment, it is just to help people relax and take time off the medium of their chores. There is nothing to be apprehensive “about”.

They say it does not raise any pertinent moral questions. But the reality of the video industry confronts us with a situation which demands immediate response. How did the video film phenomenon which is fondly referred to as “Home video”, “Nollywood” “naijawood”, among others, in the Nigerian media culture emerge? What sort of reception does audience elsewhere accord Nigeria video films? And why do they grant the films such reception? These are the issues which the researcher wishes to address.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

This research is aimed at investigating the effect of the Home video industry in Nigeria from the perspective of socio­moral implications. The major task is to establish whether or not there are socio-economic and moral significances generated from the productions of this industry in Nigeria. Specific to this purpose then are:

  1. To investigate the recent concern expressed about the industry by some Nigerians.
  2. To find out the attitude of the artists and the producers to the reasons for the concerns.
  3. To analyse the feeling of the populace as consumers and observers towards the Home video movies.
  4. To examine the socio-moral behaviour and cultural implications of the new culture of video watching in the lives of people in Nigeria.
  5. To make contributions by suggesting some objective criteria with which to evaluate Home Video Industry normally.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This work itself will form part of library research for further research on this topic.

The information provided in this work will be of use not only to the general public, but also for posterity.

The work will be of great benefit to future researchers on a similar topic or subject, either by criticizing or developing it to a high grade.

It will be an addition to the numerous literatures on the subject in the library etc.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This work will concentrate on the entire activities of home video industry in Nigeria, the socio-moral effect on the citizenry of the Nigerian society and the response of the church, and other social structures.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The researcher adopts a multi-dimensional approach in her efforts to get at the substance of this work.

The researcher made use of both primary and secondary sources of obtaining pieces of information. Books, journal articles, encyclopedia, dictionaries, magazines, unpublished project works etc were consulted as secondary source materials. Questionnaire schedule was designed as a primary source of obtaining oral information from the respondents. Both structured and unstructured questionnaire items were designed for eliciting information out of these respondents. People from the age of twenty were considered qualified as respondents.

In interpretation of the data collected, the researcher made use of descriptive and analytical approaches.

DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS

The Key terms that appeared in this work need to be defined for according to both Aristotle and Cicero, “Initio disputandi, est definitio – nominis” (that is a discussion to be intelligible; it must begin with definition of terms).

Pornographic films:

Shields (2004:197) refers it to be the portrayal of human sexuality in print or on screen in ways which stimulate sexual desire and/or sexual fantasy in the reader or viewer. Because of the way in which sexual attraction operates, it is usually the female of the species who is presented in varying degree of undress but there is a growing tendency towards parallel focus on the mate. Like drugs or gambling, pornography is highly addictive and can become the Master of those who resort to it. It is a well-known fact that the reading or viewing of pornographic materials can lead to prostitution which is act of immorality.

Morality:

Morality is a household word in our contemporary society. According to Harry in Agha (2003:41) No society can live without morals. And that their moralities are those standards of conduct which the reasonable man approves. Peschke (1975:76) sees morality as:

That actions valued as good or evil according as they contribute to the realization of the values of happiness, self-perception or temporal progress.

The morally good is rather relative to another value, is considered superior and whose promotion or impairment is whose promotion or impairment is the measure of moral goodness.

Voodooism – Hornby defines it as a religion that is practiced especially in Hattie and involves magic and witchcraft. The films today in Nigeria are mostly on voodooism.

Religious Triumphalism – Also, the Hornby refers triumphalism as (disapproving) behaviour that celebrates a victory or success in a way that is too proud and intended to upset the people you have defeated. The Christianity which emerges on the screen is unrealistic, a “crossless” Christianity in which the victories which the gospels discuss is shrouded in eschatological terms. Invocation of the name, Jesus is like a magic word.