IMPACT OF NIGERIAN MOVIES ON THE GENERAL SOCIETY
Background of the Study
Prior to the advent of modern technology and science advancement, life was simple and less demanding even though primitive. Men and women engage themselves in activities that could occupy their time and still give them time to rest. Children at era were more responsible; since they had little or no source of distraction other than going for moonlight tales (Uganwa, 2009). With the emergency of technology and some sorts of electrical facilities or devices standard of living were greatly changed and improved. The pleasure the present age is enjoying was not available to olden day’s people, even though it is not without negativity. Modern technology comes in with a lot of joy, comfort and easy life alongside with disengagement, distraction and disaster. One of most interesting and exciting inventions of modern technology is the invention of home video. There is hardly any home today without a television. Unfortunately people are carried away by the pleasure of television without cross examining the negative influence of television on our lives especially with particular reference to the youths. A situation where the young people could spend three to four hours watching television movie or videos could justify the fact that home videos/movies viewing among young people have engendered myriads of bad habits and behaviours. In most homes, many adolescent and youths glued their eyes on the television watching movies of all kinds. Some movies that are may adversely affect their emotion, psychic, moral behaviour and cognitive development. The prevalence of immoral behaviour among youths has been linked with the types of programmes, movies they view. Recent research has shown that high rate of crimes in Nigerian schools and society at large could be related to influences of bad movies or videos they watch. For instance, the display of pornographic films or shown during most the Nigerian movies has affected many youths and exposed them to all forms of sexual harassment like practice of homosexuality, incest to mention but a few. Practices like adultery, witch craft and ritual practices are glamorously shown; and most of the young people do not border about the end of the practice which is usually shown at the end of the movies. Marriages and family breakdown is being trivialized. The effect of television movies could be seen in different ways ranging from presenting model of behaviour for the viewers, information to viewers that extend far beyond one’s personal experience or environment and lastly to suggesting appropriate values and ideas for particular positions among others. Psychologists and sociologist has confirmed that people especially the youth are highly influenced by what they see to a great extent very gullible. Most young people accept it as subconsciously as an acceptable code of conduct in a contemporary society no wonder the popular slogan among Nigerian youth is “the in thing”.
Nbete and Ikiroma-Owoye (2014) say movies were introduced into Nigeria by the colonial masters to manipulate the people and to serve imperial purposes rather than for entertainment. `Films made by the colonial film units were meant to influence social behavior in the colonies with western imperialist concepts and ideas, which were portrayed as superior in every way to African culture and products’, they argue. For the Church and the colonial masters, films were manipulative tools used in achieving set political and economic agendas of Britain and her allies. Ajaga and Olugboji (2014) say that with a thin line separating religion from governance., films were scripted to propagate the accomplishments of Britain. They propagated achievements in such areas as the provision of amenities and infrastructure and on the war front, reflecting successes against Hitler in the World War II. This is aimed at rallying colonial territories to perceive Germany as a common enemy However, as colonial powers continued to wane in the years leading to independence, Nigerians progressively took control of their destinies and the movie industry is one area this was clearly demonstrated. From telling the tales of the imperialists, the immediate postindependence era Nigerian movie industry began to tell the Nigerian story, its rich culture, moral values and religious heritage. The film industry re-focused to project the newly independent Nigeria, its culture and peoples to the international community, rather than advancing British colonial agenda.
According to Olayiwola (2011) the new Nigerian government established a film division in the Federal Ministry of Information to produce documentaries about Nigeria for distribution nationally and internationally. This move, Olayiwola says, gave rise to ‘home grown documentaries’ a deviation from the mainly imported films of the colonial era. However, more than three decades after independence, the Nigerian film industry flirted with successes and failures, or at best suffered stunted growth as indigenous producers struggled to cope with the more established, more popular and better produced movies from abroad. All this changed in 1992 with the production of Living in Bondage by a local businessman, Kenneth Nnebue. The success story of the movie led to the release of its part II and the boom that followed it gave birth to what is the internationally acclaimed megabrand known today as Nollywood.
Considerations about the effects of films can be traced back to the 1920s. At that time, the earliest coordinated social scientific research or investigation into the impact of these effects began in the Western countries. It was intended at studying the harmful impacts of films on societies. The development of this medium as a common mass entertainment and information source during the 1950s encountered similar concerns about potential harms, especially in connection with young audiences (Gunter, 1994). Nowadays, many concerns have been raised about the kinds of values and attitudes that may be inculcated by exposure to certain kinds of media contents, especially enculturation and violence in movies (Kubey and Larson, 2005). The most important concern in the debate about violent film has been whether or not it promotes aggressive behavior among viewers most especially the young ones (Evra 1990). Researchers have also shown that heavy exposure to screen violence can cause problems in other domains of social behavior. For example, it can make people become both fearful of the world around them and accepting violence in the real life as displayed by others (Ibid). Violence is one of the global concerns today in all segments of the world. Antisocial behavior in human beings is accepted to be associated to a number of physiological, psychological, domestic and cultural aspects increase of aggressive behaviors and attitudes as well as his inclinations to customs, values and norms of the society (Berkowitz, 2001). The media, as one of the specific learning condition is believed to be a potential contributor to the growth of antisocial attitudes and behavior in children and teenagers (Ibid). While social scientists work on determining the major causation of violence, such as social environments, cultural factors, family instruction, and group membership parents, teachers, politicians and school administrators continue to blame the media for increased cultural alienation and attitudinal change among adolescents (Fraser and Staub, 1996). For instance, school principals, mothers, and young people were surveyed for their perceptions of factors influencing home cultures among youth.
Statement of the Problem
Home video industry otherwise known as movie industry commands a large active audience and it is almost part and parcel of every Nigerian society. The impact of home video on culture, religion and moral behaviour has generated a lot of concern and uneasiness to many Nigerians. Much fear looms in the area of traditional values and culture of Nigerian nation; even though some claims that it is merely for entertainment and as such does not raise any pertinent moral questions. The truth and reality of the video industry confronts us with a situation which demands immediate response; hence the problem remains how the Nigerian home video/movies industry affects the moral behaviour of secondary school students lose interest in watching movies because they begin to prioritize some things over others and also develop a sense of responsibility (Daramola, 2005).