The impact of excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos
1.1 Background Of The Study
The Nigerian home video industry, without doubts, has become a phenomena in Nigeria. Home films, widely known as Nollywood, have become household fixtures in social contexts(Haynes, & Okome, O. 2000). Many broadcast stations now show them as part of their entertainment repertoire, thereby sustaining their potential for socializing impacts and boosting the expansion of the sector. In unraveling the development strategy of the industry, Uduakobong(2013), asserted that the themes and concentration among others makes the Nigerian video thrive. However, the presentation of the themes and subject matter in Nigerian home videos has been the most contentious of the concerns brought up by the sector. The principal point of the criticism has been that the films are clearly a glorification of violence, covert hooliganism, and a high degree of ritualism. This encompasses not just the worship exercises and sacraments of organized religions and cults, but also rites of passage, atonement and purification rites, vows of allegiance, bloody dedication ceremonies, and many more ritualistic activities. According to Akpabio (2012), the Nigerian home-videos convey a dramatic tale containing a conflict between good and evil, which typically encompasses the supernatural as well as the plots, schemes, and machinations of people who desire to obtain wealth and to live a luxurious lifestyle. Even when the home video films seek to teach a lesson, the sordidness of the storyline and characterisation as reflected in odd rituals, sexual orgy, debauchery, and esoteric scenes may induce terror, panic, and moral irresponsibility. So much intricacy is weaved around the storyline such that the scenes are mostly ritualistic. Plots of some getting wealthy by diabolic methods and others reinforcing themselves through fetish interaction maintained sway(Kumwenda, 2008).
Unfortunately, even in modern culture, most home-videos thrive on what is now the familiar terrain of the presentation of ritualized acts. These feature grotesque portrayals of spirits or else human beings whose usual activity has been altered. The prominent motif in these films is the exploitation of rituals and grotesque characters to establish circumstances in which luxury and riches transfer the actors from a regular reality to a realm of fantasy(Okeckukwu, 2016). Although this road to the imaginary realm of wealth is frequently riddled with terrible acts and individuals, however, within the story, it is their existence and practice that delivers “success”. In fact, success frequently turns out to be fleeting and may be more in the form of an aberration of reality than the construction of a new permanent reality. The implication of these practices in home movies cannot be overstated, as youths are continuously seeking ways out of the hardships in Nigeria. This study is therefore focused on ascertaining the impact of excessive ritual themes in Nigerian home videos.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
There is a booming Nigerian home-video sector, induced by the fall in celluloid filmmaking and the growth in the availability of video technology and hardware. The advent of the Igbo people of the south-eastern region of the nation into the sector in the early nineties affected the structure of the industry(Nwogu, 2007). Hence, t he rate at which the “films” (as they are often known in Nigeria) are cranked out, notably by the Igbos, greatly surpasses their usefulness in the development of the public good. The prominent motif in these films is the employment of rituals of sacrifice to establish settings in which wealth and riches take the actors from a regular reality to a realm of fantasy(Okon, 2015). The ritual sacrifices necessary to accomplish this “success” are nearly usually humans. however, t he trip to this ideal world of wealth, albeit frequently horrible, looks to deliver “success”. This success, however, frequently turns out to be temporary, an aberration of reality rather than a new reality(Kumwenda, 2008). The claimed moral goal of the films is to portray a kind of evil conduct in order to deter others from indulging in it. Yet more than anything else, the video-films support the efficiency of rituals in the form and manner in which the people in the recorded “rituals” are portrayed: fantastically affluent and successful(Akpabio 2012). Far from functioning as a deterrent, however, the selective scapegoatism of failure, which leaves most of them not only unpunished but in fact “rewarded”, reinforces the belief and perhaps drives the urge to perform and complete such rituals as a fast and simple path to prosperity.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The major aim of this study is to examine the impact of excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos. Below are the specific objectives;
i. Determine whether excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos influences viewers perception towards wealth creation.
ii. Determine whether excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos influences viewers interest in ritual activities.
iii. Ascertain whether there exist any relationship between excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos and upsurge in ritual practices in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The following hypothetical statements will be validated in the course of this study.
H01: Excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos does not influence viewers perception towards wealth creation.
H02: Excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos does not influence viewers interest in ritual activities.
H03: There exist no significant relationship between excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos and upsurge in ritual practices in Nigeria.
1.5 Significance Of The Study
The presentation of ritual practices in most Nigerian home movies has gained an increase in the recent times, and its implications especially for youngsters cannot be overlooked. Therefore this study will critically highlight the implications of excessive ritual themes in Nigeria movies. And as a result, study will enable the Nigerian government realize the need to strategize on screening and regulating what the movie industry is displaying through television shows so that the cultural, social and moral behaviour of the society is not destroyed. Likewise the study will call up the attention of key communication bodies in the country to regulated home videos production and consumption, hence the need to ban some movies that contradict our culture, tradition and moral.
Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as literature review. This means that, other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to the impact of excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This study investigates the impact of excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos. To extensively achieve the envisioned result, the study will further narrow down to the influence of excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos on viewers’ perception towards wealth creation, the influence of excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos on viewers’ interest in ritual activities, and the relationship between excessive ritual themes in Nigeria home videos and upsurge in ritual practices in Nigeria. The study will therefore be delimited to Benin city, Edo State.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Home Video: This is a prerecorded videocassettes or videodiscs marketed for home viewing.
Ritualism: the regular observance or practice of ritual, especially when excessive or without regard to its function.
Akpabio (2012). African Traditional Religion in Nigerian Video Films: A Rethink.
Haynes, J. & Okome, O. 2000. „Evolving Popular Media: Nigerian Video Films‟ in Haynes, J. Nigerian Video Films.
Kumwenda, 2008. From rituals to films: A case study of the visual rhetoric of Igbo culture in Nollywood films.
Nwogu, L.I. (2007). Cultural Promotion And Image Portrayal In The Nigerian Movies. M.A. Dissertation Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria
Okeckukwu, (2016). The Effect of Portrayal of Witchcraft/Voodoo in Nollywood on Nigeria‟s National Development.
Okon, G.B. (2015). Viewers‟ Reactions To Excessive Ritual Themes In Nigerian Home Videos: A Portharcourt City Survey.
Uduakobong, 2013. Ministerial oath to reinvent Nollywood.
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