- Background of the study
Film is an imperative aspect of social communication. Every moving image viewed on screen conveys a meaning that is to be deciphered by the audience. As part of mass communication, it involves the use of vision and sound (audio-visual) in transmitting and disseminating its messages. The messages can be used in educating, informing, entertaining and socializing its target audience.
Film was introduced into Nigeria in the 1900’s by the British colonialists who used it for propaganda purposes, while the church used it to spread the Gospel. The Colonial Administration and the Church saw film not only as a medium for entertainment but as an effective medium of communication (Akpabio 2003). The British colonialist with the Christian missionaries used film amongst other media to persuade Africans to accept Christianity, education and the western culture.
The word “Nollywood” coined following the style of Hollywood (referring to the American film industry) and Bollywood (referring to the Indian film industry) is the generic name for the Nigerian film industry. It grew from the rich traditional culture of Nigeria into a supposedly modern internationally organized industry.
Studies show that, the Nollywood movie, “Living in bondage”, released in 1992, set the stage for the Nigerian indigenous home movies, popularly known as Nollywood. This industry has continued to grow and explode to greater proportion such that it has pushed foreign media off the shelves of movie rental shops across Nigeria and other parts of Africa. (Uwakwe, 2010).
The concern on media Influence has led to the development of different communication theories. This is an attempt to explain the relationship between communication messages and their influences on the respondent.
O’Rork (2006) and Wogu (2008) argue that audiences are more likely to emulate models of behaviour seen on the media if they expect to receive gratification from emulating another person. “…Behaviour is influenced not only by personal or live models but by those presented in the mass media”. (O’Rork, 2006:72)
Analyses on media Influence continue to show that the media have Influence on the pattern of behaviour of its audience. (Uwakwe, 2010; Okunna, 1999 and Okoye, 1993).
Okunna opines that because of their special power to affect the way people think, feel and behave, the mass media have been credited with incredible persuasive ability to change attitude and behaviour (1999). Therefore, this media influence could be in the area of language and behaviour response.
One of the most debated aspects of film is the extent to which violent and obscene scenes influence societal moral conduct. However, there has been little scientific evidence to prove casual relationships such as one between violence exhibited in films and increase in crime rate.
From the earliest days of the medium, adults have expressed concern about the influence of Nollywood movies on the social behaviour of secondary school students. Parents have shown anxiety about violence of film on secondary school students, since at that age, a child’s social and moral adjustment or mental health is affected.
- Statement of the Problem
Nnabuko and Anatsui, (2012) stated that there appear to be an increase in violent acts among secondary school students. Nollywood movies have been accused of portraying violence, and its adverse effect on the behaviours of Nigerian youths and the society at large are devastating. Hornby, (2000) contends that some violent materials in movies include; Sex scenes, nudity, obscenity, vulgar language, curses, indecent dresses, killings, murder, rape, domestic violence, smoking, molestation and harassment. These are self-injurious in nature, and are likely to affect the secondary school students.
In the face of these challenges, it becomes necessary to examine how the Nollywood movies influence the social behaviours of students in public secondary schools in Enugu North. Such discovery is imperative since it will guide the producers and parents where necessary especially if it is found that the influence is negative and detrimental to Nigerian’s norms and values.