Don't Blame Nollywood For What Your Children Watch
So, it happened that the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) is worried about the paucity of G-rated movies in the industry.
Simply put, Nollywood producers are no longer making movies that our children can watch.
Some of us who can relate with statements like “Iyama...they are showing their pant” or “Daddy, they are shooting, they are bad people” will understand why the board is worried.
In its 2017 review, the Executive Director of the censors’ board, Adedayo Thomas, wondered why producers are now focused on producing movies for mature viewers only.
“The creativity of the Nigerian movie maker and scriptwriter is being challenged to address the scanty offering in this segment,” he noted.
I feel this is a battle too late to start.
Perhaps, checking out how well the few G-rated movies have done in the market is a clever way to understand why producers have lost inspiration.
We need to understand that this is a business and if movies with violence, sex and vulgar language continue to do better in the box office, you cannot blame the movie makers.
Something is wrong if a society consumes these genres more than the ones that are clean.
That said, let's look at the role of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB).
Dear NFVCB, the days when we only saw movies when we bought them or borrowed them at video clubs and neighbours are far gone.
The days when children sat before their TV sets, watching colour bars for hours till 4PM when television stations opened have been forgottem.
We now have 24-hour cable TV and our kids own smartphones and tabs with some even connected to the internet.
While cable TV provides them with more than enough content, they now also have online access to enough games, cartoons and movies.
So, one would ask, with YouTube and the many video-on-demand platforms like Netflix, iFlix, Irokotv, MyFilmhouse.ng and others springing up in Nigeria, what exactly is NFVCB censoring?
Let me just see the complaints by the board as the pain of an analogue organization that is fast losing relevance in a digital age.
Or at best, an awakening to the fact that censoring what our children watch has slipped away from our censors board and Nollywood itself.
The Nigerian Broadcast Commission (NBC) can also try all they want but times have changed. For every single Nigerian channel, there are two foreign channels not controlled by NBC.
Now that parents have cable TV at home and refuse to password it; when we hand smart phones to minors and they are without parental lock, we cannot blame censors board or Nollywood for the moral decadence.
You sign your child up on Instagram and Facebook and you want to blame Nollywood and celebrities for their bad behaviour? Why?
Dear Daddy and Mommy, kindly fix your children’s lives by paying more attention to what they watch.
Nollywood makes movies to make money and there is an audience for every content. The best a content producer and the distributor can do is to label their content appropriately for you to make an informed decision.
If you cannot make the informed decision, blame yourself. If you cannot tell 10-year-old Junior to avoid a movie rated 16, then it’s your fault if they start acting out.
Nollywood star, Kalu Ikeagwu, said: “I find that disturbing because I have a daughter and its always on my mind what kind of moral we bring her up with.
“But you must also take into consideration that the culture is becoming more global. And with the advent of cable and the internet, particularly YouTube, that restriction of content is not really there (anymore).
“So, making a movie, the censors board really doesn’t have that much control over the content as it used to because we’ve got a lot of media to show it through.
“I’ll be hard-pressed to have much optimism in the hope that there could be some sort of censorship. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
At this point and with these points, I hope I have been able to prove that it is useless to blame Nollywood for what your children watch.
I rest my case.WATCH: From EU To Donut Making- The Story Of Iwa Airiohuodion