The Influence of Nigerian Home Video Films on Criminality

The Influence of Nigerian Home Video Films on Criminality
The Influence of Nigerian Home Video Films on Criminality



The main purpose of this study was to examine the influence of Nigerian home video films on criminality in Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. Research questions and hypotheses were postulated to guide the study. The researcher adopted the survey research design. The population of the study comprises of all the teachers and students of the selected schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State form the population of the study. For selection of sample size for the study, the researcher adopted the convenient sampling method to determine the sample size. The researcher adopted the convenient sampling method to determine the sample size. Out of all the entire population of teachers and students from the selected secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area, the researcher conveniently selected 80 out of the overall population as the sample size for this study.

The research instrument used in this study is the questionnaire. The responses were analyzed using the frequency tables, which provided answers to the research questions. The hypothesis test was conducted using the chi -square and Pearson Correlation  Statistical tool. The findings of the study revealed that, Nigerian home video films significantly influence the incessant trend of criminality in Uyo local government area and Nigeria as whole. Conclusions and Recommendations were raised by the researcher.

The Influence of Nigerian Home Video Films on Criminality





1.1      Background of the Study

The Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, is Africa’s most prevalent movie activity in both the number of productions and value, roughly producing between 1,000 and 1,500 movies annually. Nollywood is making its mark in the film business. According to the article, “Nigeria’s Film Industry: A Potential Gold Mine”, Rebecca Moudio (2013) states, “The Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, produces 50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood- more than Hollywood in the  United States.

Although its revenues are not on par with Bollywood’s and Hollywood’s, Nollywood still generates an impressive $590 million annually” (Moudio, 2013). This in turn assists the government with creating employment growth for the country by providing job opportunities. According to the article, “About Nollywood”, the average production of Nollywood films costs approximately $15,000 and takes only 10 days to make a movie (Sacchi, 2006). Nollywood films last between an hour to two hours and they are occasionally broken up into multiple parts. Some films are split into parts on one disc or up to three discs, which may include advertisements and promotional content in-between the films.

The video film era, also known as the home video era, is a period in Nigerian cinema, typically from the late 1980s / early 1990s to mid 2010s, when Nigerian films were made using affordable video format. The video boom era emerged after the downturn of the Golden era of the Nigerian cinema in the late 1980s. The term “home video” stems from the concept of staying at home to watch the films, in contrast to films of the Golden Age which were watched at the movie theatres (Kolar, 2015).

There is no gainsaying that, the introduction and development of films and cinemas mark an important epoch in the history of mass communication. It combines sound and vision to produce media contents used in communicating ideas and issues. Through films and videos, the cultural background and identity of a nation are exhibited to the outside world. Over the years, there has been a propagation of indigenous films and home videos in Nigeria. The films and home videos have been used to exhibit the desirable aspects of Nigeria’s culture internally and to the outside world. The films are exported to propagate our norms, values and traditions. They are meant to educate, socialize and play a therapeutic role in the entertainment function of the mass media. There have been issues of concern over the role of Nigerian films and videos and the image that they have portrayed about the Nigerian culture.

According to Meltzoff and Moore (2017), heavy exposure to television is believed to be one of the causes of aggressive behavior, crime, and violence in the society. Youths are most likely to become emotionally interested in the situations that concern their changing views of the world and growing status in the society. These issues include identity formation, college life, moving away from home, driving and cutting out parental control Bello (2011).

The level of emotional involvement of youths, with film content can affect aspects of their psychosocial development. In the Nigerian society, the situation is quite alarming, in that, Hollywood films considerably influence attitudes and moral values of youths; and worse still, Nollywood films, which are mostly anchored on western models, consolidate these films; thereby promoting western values in the Nigerian societies.  

Notably, the Nigerian movies, popularly referred to as Nollywood movies, produced by the Nigerian film industry uses formats such as video cassette, video compact disc (VCD), and more recently the digital video disc (DVD), in producing their movies. The Nigerian audiences’ first experience in film screening was in August 12, 1903 at the Clover Memorial Hall in Lagos (Uchegbu 1992). Even though film was introduced by a European merchant, it took the combined efforts of the colonial administration and the church to sustain the industry (Ekwuazi 1987). During this time, film was also used as a tool for education as evidenced in the screening of educational documentaries on farming, health and other important issues through the mobile free cinemas that would tour Nigerian villages. The content of such films can be easily discerned. The British colonialist used it for their “civilizing” mission as well as to indicate the blessedness of being colonized. The church, as their involvement in education and the media industry has shown, used films for spreading the gospel.

However, the Nigerian film has expanded and grown in leaps and bounds and became the third most popular and largest producer after Hollywood of the United States and Bollywood of India. Adesanya (1997: 15) notes that cost of production greatly hampered film production. Film makers unable to cope with cost of shooting on celluloid first turned to reversal film stock and later on, video tapes. So unlike the American and Indian film industry, the Nigerian film industry popularly called Nollywood uses the video cassette format and recently the Video Compact Disc (VCD). As a consequence, the films are not shown in Cinema houses since they are shot straight into video tapes, replicated and sold for home viewing hence the term home videos. It is this ingenuity that has changed the face of the Nigerian film industry.

In most homes, many adolescent and youths glued their eyes on the television watching movies of all kinds. Some movies that are may adversely affect their emotion, psychic, moral behaviour and cognitive development. The prevalence of immoral behaviour among youths has been linked with the types of programmes, movies they view. Recent research has shown that high rate of crimes in Nigerian schools and society at large could be related to influences of bad movies or videos they watch. For instance, the display of pornographic films or shown during most the Nigerian movies has affected many youths and exposed them to all forms of sexual harassment like practice of homosexuality, incest to mention but a few. Practices like adultery, witch craft and ritual practices are glamorously shown; and most of the young people do not border about the end of the practice which is usually shown at the end of the movies. Marriages and family breakdown is being trivialized.

The effect of television movies could be seen in different ways ranging from presenting model of behaviour for the viewers, information to viewers that extend far beyond one’s personal experience or environment and lastly to suggesting appropriate values and ideas for particular positions among others. Psychologists and sociologist has confirmed that people especially the youth are highly influenced by what they see to a great extent very gullible. Most young people accept it as subconsciously as an acceptable code of conduct in a contemporary society no wonder the popular slogan among Nigerian youth is “the in thing”.

Nollywood films are popular in Nigeria because they have indigenous content and address issues relevant to the mass audience. Through an amalgamation of Nigerian narrative techniques (African storylines) and Western technology, these films document re-create socio-political and cultural events that occurred within and beyond the country’s borders. Video films are not only popular in native Nigeria and other African countries, but in less than twenty years they have attracted the attention of many media practitioners, film festivals like Cannes, and some American and European universities. In fact, DSTV (Digital Satellite Television), a digital satellite service in Africa, features “Africa Magic’ (Channel 112, 114, 115, 117, and 118), these are channels devoted to Nollywood films and some other West African movies from countries like Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic etc.

Although Nigerian films have been dated back to the 1960s, it was the advancements in digital filming, producing, and editing that boosted the countries film industry. However, most of these Nigerian home videos is in no doubt influence the viewers especially the young populace negatively. Therefore, this study aims to examine the influence of Nigerian home video films on criminality.

The Influence of Nigerian Home Video Films on Criminality

1.2      Statement of the Problem

The success in home video productions and the corresponding audience interest have attracted a lot of attention to the film sector.  The impact of home video on culture, religion and moral behaviour has generated a lot of concern and uneasiness to many Nigerians. Much fear looms in the area of traditional values and culture of Nigerian nation; even though some claims that it is merely for entertainment and as such does not raise any pertinent moral questions. The truth and reality of the video industry confronts us with a situation which demands immediate response; hence the problem remains how Nigerian home video films influences criminality among the citizens of Nigeria.

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.