Balancing gender stereotypes in Nollywood: a consideration of Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart
The current increase in the protest for women’s right all over the world, amidst the resurgence of feminist critical thinking in mainstream culture, is giving film researchers a lot to reflect on. Based on previous researches, it can be deduced that very little progress has been made to correct the stereotypical portrayal of women in Nollywood films by both male and female producers. In order to examine the stereotypes and investigate the extent to these stereotypes reflect the social reality of both genders in real life, Lionheart, a movie produced by a veteran Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji, with an average rating of 5.6/10 on IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and was nominated for an Oscar award was selected. Quantitative content analysis was applied and findings revealed that there was an effort by the producer to ‘demystify’ the power of men. The issues raised in the movie are topical and relevant to the feminist discourse on women’s representation in film and in the media generally. The movie also provides a way forward for gender-based discourse and serves as a point of reference for other female directors willing to interpret the role of women in a manner that is more accurate and truthfully reflective of their strengths and capacities. The study is anchored on stereotype content model (SCM).
Keywords: Gender stereotypes, Nollywood films, Lionheart, Feminist critical thinking, SCM