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Harmful cultural practices as terror indicators: A reading of select Nollywood video films

Iniese Pius Owoh
Tracie C. Utoh-Ezeajugh


Harmful Cultural Practices are unjustifiable acts of violence meted out mostly on women and children. These violate the human rights of the victims and  reinforce their lower status. Harmful cultural practices can be seen as acts of terror, because not only are their victims filled with dread and fear, but also  their ripple effects can be likened to the effects of any other act of terror. The Nigerian video film industry has been employed in fighting various acts of  terror through the portrayal of these dastardly acts in films, but how effective has this been? This study examines the portrayal of harmful cultural  practices in selected Nollywood films. It is approached through a critical content analysis of Desmond Elliot’s Edikan and Stephanie Linus’ Dry in order to  determine their efficacy in handling the subject matter. The qualitative approach of research is employed for data sourcing and analysis. Focus group  discussions in two cities, Uyo and Owerri are also utilised. Findings of the study show that some Nigerian video films are effectively indicating issues of  harmful cultural practices for purposes of encouraging critical thought and possible redirection while others handle the matter with levity and  carelessness, thereby passing the wrong message and unknowingly encouraging these practices. The study concludes that there is need for film makers  to reconsider their approaches to the making of such films for purposes of creating awareness and generating interest in culturally oppressive practices  capable of triggering off terrorist tendencies in the young. 

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eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562