Movie or Porn?

March 4, 2012

Is it just me or are some of the Nigerian and Ghanaian movies bordering soft porn? What is going on in the industry? Heart of Men, Dirty Secret, 4Play just to mention a few. I am even embarrassed to post their trailers.

I remember when Heart of Men came out. My Ghanaian friends were in an uproar about how graphical it was in some scenes. Their comments were not enough, so I watched it. I wasn’t a big fan of Ghanaian and Nigerian films to start with, but I didn’t mine watching a few good movies here and there. But Heart of Men alone, pretty much turned me off Nigerian & Ghanaian movies altogether.

After the movie I remember messaging my friend in Ghana complaining. He saw no reason for me to complain, neither did my cousins. I couldn’t and still don’t understand how movies such as the ones I have mentioned are considered tasteful!

At the premiere of Bed of Roses in Houston a fan kindly asks Ghanaian actors Majid Michel & John Dumelo about the sexually explicit scenes which are now common in films (She starts speaking at around 1:45min). She said she watches African movies with her children because they are a way for them to know about their culture, but some scenes are now getting to uncomfortable to watch with her children.

When I was younger, Ghanaian & Nigerian movies were an insight to what Ghana was like and how my parents lived in Nigerian. The movies were the ones which made me realise that there were tarred roads, juju was a big thing and people had enough money to buy BMWs and extravagant houses.  Movies are probably not the best example to learn about culture, but with World Vision ads showing children on rubbish piles, the movies were surely opening me up to a new view of Ghana & Nigeria. Now the movies are shocking me!

The fan goes on to say that scenes can be acted in a different manner to create the same impression without being so graphical. I totally agree with her.



  • Keke

    The central issue is not the prescence of sex in Nigerian movies is but whether it is relevant to the plot and how it is handled.We differientiate porn from nudity because everything is contextual.I think the main issue is the quality of our films in general. Nollywood is two decades old and we are still turning out the same storylines with the same bad production quality. In addition to this our movies rely too much on sensationalism and that is why sex is handled badly in our films. Until we improve the quality of our stories and the way in which we tell them sex in mOvies will be a problem. While I love Nigerian movies as they are for their entertainment value we don’t use them as a means of portraying the full extent of the richness and diversity of the cultures in Nigeria or Ghana. And the reason for this is partly to do with the fact that as the audience we are still drawn to sensationalism so it is going to take a large shift in everyone’s minds to expect a different quality of films. And the fact that we are portraying sex in our movies now is an indication of this shift. Sex is part of life and we should not avoid them for morality or modesty sake. The increasing prescence of sex in movies show there are people willing to push the envelope and that the audience is expanding its world view. As for whether our kids watching if we improve the breadth and quality of our films we can have a range of age appropriate films that still portray our society and culture. So the girl misdiagnosed the issue: the representation is of sex is the symptom but the overall quality of our films is the cause. With time this will hopefully change.

  • Gillean

    Well said Keke. You are right it is the quality of the films which is an issue. There are so many underlying issues involved and it will take time to for things to change.

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