Home video films and the democratic imperative in contemporary Nigeria

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The paper analyses the sociopolitical import of Nigerian home video films (Nollywood) against the backdrop of long years of military rule. Some titles discussed in the paper include: Saworo Ide/Brass Bells and Agogo Eewo/Gong of Taboo, Alaga Kansu/Local Council Chairman, Akobi Gomina I & II/The Governor's Heir and Your Excellency.

The paper notes that while military dictatorship lasted, the film was more or less a medium for social diversion, cultural exhibition and religious affirmation. The inauguration of a civilian administration in 1999 has, however, led to the expansion of thematic possibilities through the screen. To this end, the Nigerian home video presents a framework for deepening people's participation in the process of democratization and development, as shown in the film analyses. In conclusion, the paper affirms the potential of video film in tackling the challenges of social re-construction in a post-military democratization.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jac.1.1.35/1

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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  • The Journal of African Cinemas will explore the interactions of visual and verbal narratives in African film. It recognizes the shifting paradigms that have defined and continue to define African cinemas. Identity and perception are interrogated in relation to their positions within diverse African film languages. The editors are seeking papers that expound on the identity or identities of Africa and its peoples represented in film. 
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