The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has stated that mercantilists were in a hurry to assemble films in Nollywood and end up mis-presenting Nigerian culture, hence, the preponderance of what he termed, the cultural confusion.
Stating this in a keynote address at an International Conference in Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria, with the theme, “Nollywood, Women, and Cultural Identity,” Dr. Ayakoroma said the phenomenon has persisted because filmmakers were after creation of wealth for their pockets rather than the country’s economy.
Admitting that the industry had projected Nigeria’s image to Africans and the Diasporans, to a large extent, he contended that the approach needs serious re-examination, because, film is supposed to serve as a medium for cultural history and cultural promotion, and that Hollywood productions consciously project the American dream.
The ES said that there is a lot of cultural confusion in Nollywood, which explains why what the audience learns about Nigerian culture in the films are not true representations, but that the Industry had fallen short of writing very good scripts reflecting or representing the Nigerian culture.
Averring that the challenge, which Nollywood faces is how trained filmmakers can produce works that would adequately promote the Nigerian diverse cultures, he said for this to be done, there have to be structures to strategically fund and regulate film productions.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charity Anya, appreciated the presence of Dr. Ayakoroma, as well as participants, saying, “The theme of the conference is apt. I hope what comes out will be implemented. I appreciate Dr. Ayakoroma’s presence. Thank God he is here; so that people like him will help us take the message to Nollywood.”
On his part, the convener of the conference, Dr. Gowon Ama Doki, who is the HOD Department of Theatre Arts, said: “It is a thing of delight to see you at this exciting intellectual event, which is the first in the history of the department. The conference is to help us examine the women as characters and subject matter in the film sector of the Nigerian economy.”
The event, which took place at the Theatre Arts Complex of the University, under the chairmanship of Nigerian Ambassador to Canada, Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Government House, Makurdi, Dr. Tivlumun Nyitse, attracted personalities among which were Professor Maureen Eke from Central Michigan University, USA, the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Dr. T. A. Varvar, Director, National Open University (NOUN), Professor James Alachi, the National President of Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists (SONTA), Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, the 2nd Vice-President of SONTA, Professor Sunnie Enessi Ododo of the University of Maiduguri, the SA to ES, NICO, Hon. Nelson Campbell, and the Executive Director, Benue State Arts Council, Mr. Richard Tsevende, among others.