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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

LANGUAGE IN YORUBA NOLLYWOOD

The Yoruba genre of nollywood has come of age. It has spread like forest fire to a fault. The beauty of the language has been reflected in many ways: classic examples are the proverbs used, the various dialects, the dressing portrayed amongst others but recently a major distraction is coming into this genre of the Nigerian movie world.

The major movie producers who are really portraying us in good light have done a good job to carve a niche for Nigerian Yoruba literature. There are some of these movies that had portrayed the errors of the past and the joy of looking into the future. They have made literatures of the past into great movies that are educating and enlightening.


The current day reality of Yoruba nollywood is really showing the bad side of Yoruba language. In short scenes, there must be words with curses and abuses. It will degenerate to a point when parents would not allow their children to watch Yoruba movies again or thoroughly screen the types of Yoruba movies that they watch.

What I am trying to say is not that abuse is not part of life for correction and castigation but in a situation wherein it has become dominant, then there is a need for caution. Our culture does not celebrate abuses and curses as it is been celebrated today in Yoruba nollywood.

As we know and agree that most parents are in the habit of speaking English to their wards today, how do we justify education from the movies? How do we tell these children that these words are not to be picked from the movies? We need to know that cultural orientation is important and the message must be pivotal in any movie.

In this age of religious tilt, how would a parent who is doing all within his or her reach to properly train his or her children religiously now leave such children to the negative values entrenched in the movies. Must a parent come home on a daily basis to correct wrongly picked words from movie?

Pay TV has encouraged availability of many Yoruba movies to children at all hours of the day. This is commendable that we can watch tv always and not like the days we were growing up that we wait for the tv station to start transmission at 4pm and close by 12 midnight. It advanced later to the early hours of the morning between 9am and 12 noon, then transmission resumes at 4 pm. What training is being made available for 24 hours? What value is being added to the children? This must be measured.

The effect of the societal ills in Lagos, the seat of the movie mogul is having a toll on our movies. Lagosians wake up to see neighbours abusing one another, agbero and conductors in abusive duel without fight amongst others, market women abusing prospective buyers but this must not be the only message in the movies.

Finally, to keep market dominance as our culture is one of the most spread Nigerian culture, all over the world, we must evaluate our language used in the movie, Yorubas believe more in prayers than curses and also believe that children without good moral upbringing does abuse. Other tribes look up to our movies just like we once looked up to Indian movies and we cannot do less. Yoruba nollywood is the beautiful for us to belittle with abuses and curses.

Olutayo IRANTIOLA
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