Nollywood, Popular Culture and Nigerian National Identity

Charles Effiong, Lucy Michael Iseyen


Film culture in Nigeria has become very popular among Nigerian and transnational audiences especially in Africa to the extent that there is hardly a day people do not look for new films produced by Nollywood. In the same light, there is hardly a street in the country where one cannot find at least a video shop that distributes these films. Young and old people especially those in the rural areas are often found hanging around these shops to catch a glimpse of any of the films advertised by retail outlets. This has therefore proven the popularity of Nollywood productions among the people, who see in these films issues of culture that engage their attention and also try to give them awareness about socio-cultural practices that are common in the society. A major problem of concern is that although these films expose and treat cultural issues that affect the society, their promotion of a true national identity is questionable. In this regard, this paper is an attempt to examine how the films produced by Nollywood have been able to promote national identity vis-à-vis showcasing the cultural values of the people that can be cherished in the Nigerian society and beyond.  Arguments on this will be done through qualitative (interview) method and supported by Kantian morality theory, which will help in concluding that as popular culture, Nigerian films have created among Nigerians and the world some cultural practices that tend to give the Nigerian people a negative identity. 


Popular Culture, Aesthetics and National Identity.

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