The politics of sorcery between Nollywood-Hollywood by Acheme Ramson

When Nollywood movies are juxtaposed with Hollywood it gives a ridiculous feeling. Hollywood productions always appear more excellent in terms of picture quality, exquisite storylines, great casts and brilliant concepts. Viewers would praise American movies for their themes which often revolve around justice, glory, enlightenment and freedom cause. On the other hand, Nigerian movies receive heavy criticism for portraying traditional contents such like our indigenouspractices and belief systems. Many don’t hesitate to scream, ‘Nigerian movies are full of magic and evil deeds’. Have these wailers ever thought that movie is a universal medium of telling a society’s story? Nollywood and Hollywood tell amazing stories of their societies in the best ways they can.

The miss-en-scenes of American movies maybe great but that do not change the fact that they reveal clearly how Western society was and is. The Game of Thrones shows vividly the ‘super horrible’ things which pervade the Western society. The Game of Thrones romanticizes all sorts of unimaginable atrocities humans ever committed on earth: black magic, hypocrisy, betrayal, backstabbing and debauchery. Other deplorable acts seen in Game of Thrones are incest, cannibalism, regicide, filicides, and occult practices. Parents shamelessly betrothed their underage daughters into marriage; lords skinning their offenders flesh and impaled on trees. This ‘fine’ movie certainly did a great job in revealing the rot in a so called advance society which often refers to African society as diabolic. At least we know where the word barbaric originates from.


Great Nollywood movies like “saworoide”,“Igodo”, etcetera, did not receive much appraisal like the foreign epic movies. These movies with great storylines were tagged “demonic” by the naïve local viewers who could not understand the socio-cultural connotation of our local movies. Nollywood filmmakers are shying away from such kind of epic movies to avoid criticism, they don’t have to. It’s our story and has to be told. We have seen worse from Western videos. There are lots of our stories echoing in muffle voices to be heard, for instance, the Afonja-Alafin struggle, the rise and fall of the Jukun Kwararafa Empire, the Owu-Egba war, and many more would stir a stream of consciousness in our society. Nollywood, give us more!