Nollywood and the Nigerian policy on same-sex relationships

Ugochukwu, Françoise (2017). Nollywood and the Nigerian policy on same-sex relationships. In: Mano, Winston; Knorpp, Barbara and Agina, Añuli eds. African Film Cultures: Contexts of Creation and Circulation. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 241–257.



While most of early Nigerian films seemed to prefer focusing on culture, history and family matters, from 1999 onwards, some film-makers, encouraged by the advent of democracy after years of military rule, gradually broadened their scope to approach a number of other issues still widely perceived as current societal problems. This led to the production of new films regarded as ‘beyond taboo’, offering an opportunity to re-consider controversial subjects like Islam-Christianity encounters, ethnic politics and sexual practices in the light of current national events affecting their audiences. This paper will consider the gradual introduction of homosexuality/lesbianism in Nigerian films and highlight their links to the subjects of nudity and pornography. It will examine the cinematic treatment of these societal issues and assess its impact by sampling viewers’ opinion on that, as reflected in forum conversations online. It will finally trace possible links between the growing numbers of these films, the federal government’s stand on the issue and expressed public opinion from both within and outside the country.

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