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1.1  Background to the Study

The Nigeria movie industry evolved on the platform of Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage in the arts. The talents from traditional street theatres, traditional story telling culture and early attempts at indigenous television programming also made enormous contributions to this evolution. For building on the antecedent of indigenous cultural values, Esan (2008) states that;- ‘Nollywood evolved around a dominant language structure which also reflects the original geopolitical structure of Nigeria.

The industry thus has three distinct sectors; Yoruba movies, Igbo movies and Hausa movies. The movies tend to reflect the cultures in these areas and are often produced and distributed from the commercial nerve center in these regions and Lagos-the nation’s commercial capital. This structure has been inherited by the Nigerian film and video censors Board as a basis of classifying the videos. There are also English Language productions and what has evolved as a distinct category – the Engligbo, so labeled because of the tendency to use both Igbo and English languages.’

Nollywood a symbol of the Nigerian movie industry reputed as the third most prolific industry after Hollywood and Bollywood (Uchegbu, 1992 &Onishi, 2002), has achieved this feat by virtue of the volume of production over the years through wholesome practices rooted in the television as a medium of mass communication where drama is the most important element of programming for many of its audience (Esan, 2008).


Recently, Nollywood productions have transformed into an enormous and significant industry which has become a popular source of entertainment for Nigerian women. This increasing popularity has to do with the declining popularity of cinemas, its cheap nature and the multiple viewing sources of the home videos and online streaming through the Internet (Alawode & Uduakobong, 2013).

Consequently, film is a potent tool for portraying the culture and values of a people

(UNESCO, 2009). Cultures and beliefs are learned through films just as they also serve as channels for social mobilisation, and for showcasing the political and economic landscape of a nation (Kirsten, Rachel, John & Samuel, 2007).Film has been recognized as a popular culture which not only tell stories which it subsists; but depict the lifestyles, attitudes, environment and activities within a given society (Alawode & Uduakobong, 2013).



However, most of the films produced in home videos seem to have a recurring theme of native and indigenous characterisation which revolves around the traditional African society. They are expressed through symbols and items like shrines, statues, drawings, clothes of special colours (red,black and white), and extra-mundane communication and dramatic actions like incantations and diabolism (Alawode & Fatonji, 2013).

Nwuneli et al (1993) ascertain that perception of social life will correspond closely to the mass media realities because the images of the world portrayed in the media will be internalized and accepted as accurate representation of social life by media audience. Furthermore, there is a strong relationship between the rising incidents of domestic violence among women and ritual killings for an undeserved life of affluence in the Nigerian society and Nollywood’s dramatisation of this phenomenon has increased these issues. According to Folarin (1998: 70), in allusion to Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory, “…the more time people spend watching television, the more their world views will be like those spread by TV.”


It is a well-established fact that viewing violent, ritual killing and undeserved affluence- oriented movies on television increases aggression as well as affect the behaviour of the viewers. This is because film has a dramatic effect on the perception of viewers whether they are conscious or unconscious of this fact. This study therefore, attempts to find how Nigerian women interpret the images they see in Nollywood movies, if what women view in Nollywood movies are responsible for increase in social violence, uncontrolled desire for a life of affluence, ritual killings in the society. It is also, to establish if some of the themes in Nollywood movies are true reflection of what goes on in our society. Therefore, this study intends to evaluate the cultural promotion and image portrayal in the Nigerian movies.


1.2  Statement of Research Problem

Film is one of the significant tools of communication available to human society. In Nigeria, the Nollywood which is the household name for the movie Industry in Nigeria can be described as a potential tool for the promotion of cultural identity and national development. However, there seems to be some lapses and permissiveness of undesired contents in most Nollywood films which tend to imprint negative socio-cultural images of the country in the mind of viewers.

Lately, Nollywood movie producers have started looking socio-cultural themes and concepts to drive home the quest for promoting Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage so as to limit the effect of globalized media contents on our socio- cultural development and national integration. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the cultural promotion and image portrayal in the Nigerian movies.



In conclusion, film is the harbinger of the culture of the producer. No one film is devoid of cultural products, promotions, attributes and characteristics. The more advanced movie industry in the West and Asia have all continually projected their way of life to the outside world either overtly and covertly. Being a cultural diverse society, the Nollywood movie indigenous is one that would be the best medium is first projecting our heritage cross-culturally so that every Nigerian would learn to know about other Nigerian society’s culture and cherish it.

Secondly, projected to the outside world, so as to portray the cultural essence and product of the over 500 indigenous language and 300 societies that make up the Nigerian nation state. The study therefore concludes, that the Nollywood movie industry serves a veritable medium that could well project and promote indigenous cultural development of Nigeria better than any medium. No one can tell and show out story better than ourselves.


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Peter Hezekiah

I am Peter Hezekiah, a Nigerian. A graduate of Economics/Education. I'm the Editor in (A online company that deals with writing of final year project and provision of project materials of any topic to final year project students). My personal email is My personal number; +2347068634102

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