SEX IN AFRICAN MOVIES

By on February 20, 2013
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It is given that the typical African is not as exposed as his Western counterpart. It is also accepted that Africa is replete with various cultures and deep-rooted beliefs and norms. These beliefs have featured prominently in Nollywood movies. That is, from the onset.

Living In Bondage and the likes paved the way for this giant movie industry, rated third in the world. Though lacking in many technical aspects, these movies never failed to bring to the fore the values and tradition of the continent, and they sold worldwide. The past five years has witnessed great improvement in Nollyood – from storytelling to production, and even distribution on all available platforms.
However, following that achievement, a lot of sex and sleaze has sneaked into Nollywood movies. And the virus is spreading.

Sex sells, they say. But do African movies need sex to sell? Our stories centre around culture and grappling with civilisation. Even the romance-themed stoylines hardly delve into the ridicule of sex and soft porn. Why has this become a trend?

Could it be the pressure to match Hollywood? Or it is the devious push by mediocre producers, who lack the artistic capacity to be outstanding in Nollywood? Sex is part of our culture, but it is not a part of our lives we flaunt with reckless abandon.

Africans are known to be reserved. We have shame. We have various social units to check our behaviours – from religious bodies and associations to communities and families. Swear words and vulgarity has also increased. Who is checking these anomalies? Or has the censor’s bodies adjusted their criteria for ratings? Who would check this worrisome trend?

Liz Benson, Bukky Ajayi, Omotola and Genevieve became superstars without selling sex. Let’s keep it that way. Many African children watch and learn a lot from television. Picture little children feeding off a load of sex-themed and lewdness! If it doesn’t make you shiver, it makes me want to reach for the remote-control!

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