A STUDY ON THE ATTITUDE OF AUDIENCE OF THE NIGERIAN ENGLISH LANGUAGE MOVIES
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
There is an increasing concern nowadays as to the role which films can play in the life of an average Nigerian youth especially students. The pattern of film broadcast in recent times is unarguably better than that of 10 years ago and the rate at which Nigerians sit glued to their television sets when watching films these days is high compared to that of some years ago.
About a decade ago, nobody seemed to realize the effort of Nigerian English Language Films but reverse is the case these days as Nigerian English Language films have now taken over the film industry. The industry which came up not long ago has actually achieved a lot during its little period of existence. Since Nigerian English Language films came, there have been a lot of developments and most of these actors and actresses used in these, started with featuring soap operas on Nigerian Television station. Before they actually came into lime light. Earlier actors had to start their career in film production with stage drama which is usually shown in the cinema houses. They engage in this stage drama for a number of years before they started with the production of home video. During the mid Nineties, English Language films (Nigerian) that made waves could be seen in so many houses, films such as true confession, Glamour Girls, Domitila and so many others. But nowadays, Nigerian English Language films have been taken on a new dimension as films have now dominated the market scenes.
This study seeks to identify the disposition of the audience towards Nigerian English Language film and to ascertain their reactions towards these films. It will also be helpful a lot in the sense that it will be of help in folding the diverse attitude of audience. If the submission of the students of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree could be an effective representation of the aggregated views of Nigerians
The value of films, particularly home video films as medium of mass communication is fast assuming a highly important position through out the world. All over Nigeria today according to Tell magazine publication of June 1994 there are over thirty million people watching Nigerian English Language Films.
During the general conference of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held in Nairobi Kenya in 1976, the world body was almost turn apart by threats and counter threats that have the deficiencies and imbalance in the global world that has it communication corrected films in all forms, particularly video films was one of the areas in which this imbalance exists and also a vehicle for the perpetual of cultural alien nation.
In the modern world, much of what people know about their countries culture is learned from films that are viewed on video tapes, this is not learned through personal channels as the case may be, film experts suggest that the influence of the media on our social realities correlates with the extent of our dependence on the media for information, the impact of film will be high when dependence on the media is high. Many years ago, Walter Lipman (134) explained how we formed “the picture in our head” people could not possibly experience most events of the real world. Hence, people derived their knowledge of the world through these films.
Several theoretical formation support the view that the impact of films in a society will correspond closely images of the world portrayed in these films will be internalized and accepted to be accurate. In Ifedayo Daramola 2004 (INRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION) explained learning theory as how people learn different behavior values and stereotypes from observation made. It also shows how some people react after watching some films on video tape or in the cinema houses.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
The attitude of audience of the Nigerian English language film profound an interest and attention, hence it deserves a penetrating study. It has been estimated in Obafemi Lasode 1994 that over 50 percent of the films on Nigerian film industry are English Language mainly from educated actors and actresses.
Nowadays, one discovers that most of the films programmes on television are presented in English Language and as one would expect, these English Language film programme are alien borrowed to our culture. A school of thought subscribes to the fact that some Nigerian English Language films are not good enough and some adjustment still needs to be made. Hence, this study seeks to check the authenticity of this assertion.
A scholar Awodiya (1989) observed that “in the course of a quarter, the Nigerian English Language film goes abroad than it stays at home”. From the first day of each month to the last day, producers releases as many film as possible. Such as Dangerous Twins, Blood Sisters, the Refuge, and Hostage which are recent home videos.
Interestingly, most of these films contain a lot of educate act, this could be disapproved. Most of these films feature against moral attitude such as prostitution, robbery, stealing and all sort of crime being committed. Nigerian film Censor Board (NTB) Audience Research Department reported in 1998 that “English Language films are mere educative and entertaining than dialect produced films and involved creativity more often”.
If such films (Nigerian English Language films) could find their ways overseas, it will help in preservation of custom, culture and idea than how one would find their way to Nigeria, where each new films is hunting for cheap production which will at lest occupy its time schedule.
Nigeria English language film producers do not seem to see anything unusual about this situation. It may be relevant to known that 50 percent of films produced in a year to are Nigeria English Language films according to Bateman Lassoed 1994.
Going by the rumor that the attitude of audience of the Nigerian English Language films are not all that favorable, some school of thought believes that the Nigerian English Language Films on home video is not something good to write home about, hence this study would prefer viable solution to the problem with a view to helping the producer of these film in the production and packaging of this films
Therefore this study will address audience attitudes toward Nigerian English language films.
1.3 AIMS AND PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH
This research work aims at identifying the disposition of viewers toward Nigerian English Language films and also to ascertain their reactions towards these films.
Furthermore, most of these Nigerian English Language films tend to be on entertainment and love, hence, the research seeks to determine the reaction of the audience to this situation (entertainment and love) or they will prefer more educative and public enlightenment films. Again this research will go along way in determining how variable such as ages, sex, religion, and marital status help in the formation of such perception or attitude.
Finally, this research work will comes up with suggestions on how the producer of Nigerian English Language films can serve their audience and also to make necessary adjustment in the packaging and production of their film if need be.
1.4 RESEACH QUESTION
1) Are the viewers/students of Osun State Polytechnic Iree aware of Nigerian English Language Films?
2) Do the viewers/students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree watch Nigerian English Language films?
3) Does Nigerian English Language Film have any impact on the students of Osun State Polytechnic Iree, be it Negative or positive?
4) Do audience/students of Osun State Polytechnic Iree prefer Nigerian English Language films to any other language films?
STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
In order to ascertain the views and reactions of the audience attitude towards Nigeria English Language Films and also to determine its impact, the following hypothesis will be stated:
Audience/student of Osun State Polytechnic Iree aware of Nigeria English Language films. (Nigerian English Language films refers to as films created or produced in Nigeria and acted by Nigeria actors in English language)
Audience/student of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree watches Nigerian English Language Films. This has to do with audience and students of Osun state polytechnic, Iree viewer ship of these films (Nigerian English Language films) as shown on television stations or in the cinema houses.
Nigeria English Language Films usually have impact (positive or negative) on the students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. (Positive impact here refers to those films with more emphasis on teaching of some lessons, skills and language) while (Negative Impact refers to those films) with (anti – social activities) such as abusing fighting, killing and some other aggressive tendencies.
]; 4. Students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree prefer Nigerian English Language films to any other language films because most of it usually enlighten.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research is limited to the students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree. This has to be done as a result of the limited time to be spent on the project and also because of financial constraints.
SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
This research work will be helpful a lot in the sense that it will unfold the diverse attitude of students of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree towards Nigerian English Language films. It will also help to determine the extent at which these films have affected students.
This project would enhance and recommend ways which Nigerian English Language Films producer can make necessary adjustment in the packaging and production of that film.
Again, this study will be of great importance to future researchers who intend to carry out research on a related or the topic itself, it will also help to transform or rather serve as a guide for the producers of the Nigerian English Language film.
Finally, it will help the producers of these films a lot in packaging their films in favorable manner that would bring about positive effect on the audience.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Certain limitations posed great deal of problems to the researcher who intended to ascertain students’ views and these limitations are as follow:
Firstly, the lack of fund is an impediment to the total success of a research such as this. And this is because finances are needed right from the start of the research work to the end.
Secondly, the limited time frame in which the research was carried out prevented a much mere in depth investigation in the phenomenon that is being studied. One has to consult some libraries to get relevant facts about the study as well as doing some other assignments which on their own are taking enough.
Thirdly, there was also the problem of access to record information that is vital to the study relevant materials, textbooks; Newspapers were also not available at the library.
Finally, the issue of high-cost of materials, since a lot of typing and photocopy of records data and information has to be done. And considering the unfavorable economic situation one was handicapped in adding and getting more information which would have made the research effort more complete.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
ACTOR- Actor as used in this study means films hero, artistes, and performers.
ALIEN- Alien in this study refers to some important programmes like foreign video, tapes and others related materials.
FILMS- Films as used in this study refers to series of moving pictures recorded with sound that tells a story shown on television or at the cinema houses.
FOREIGN FILMS- Refers to films which are dominated by foreign actors.
INDIGEOUS FIMS- Indigenous films as used in this study refer to films which are created or produced in Nigeria and acted by Nigerian actors.
LOCAL PROGRAMME: - Local programme in this study refers to television programmes locally produced by Nigerian artistes.
ATTITUDE: - Attitude as used in this study means the way you think and feel about something and also aggressive behavior that shows you do not care about other people’s opinion and the habit of doing thing in an individual way.
IMPACT- The powerful effect that something has on some one.
It is a widely acknowledge fact that there have been studies carried out in the field of Mass Communication, it is important to note that the result of these studies are not available for public consumption and review but not widely available and this make it difficult for researcher of this type of work to cite enough literature to complement their studies.
Attitudes of students to films and its impact is just gathering momentum in Nigeria, hence not much work has been done in this are area of Mass Communication. However, one could observe that a lot of researchers in many developed countries of the world have carried out survey on audience attitudes to films and its impacts and the viewer. This study is an attitudes survey. Since impact most times is a determinant of attitudes, this literature review focuses on both the impacts of films on audience and their attitudes towards films shows on television or in the cinema houses.
The research by Morton-Williams (1952) although was strictly on cinema films, discovered that
“As a medium of education and entertainment, the cinema in African society is known to be effective but the mode of its effectiveness is still largely unknown” he concluded that “systematic investigation into audience reaction should enable reliable techniques for making films to be developed much more rapidly”.
Nwuneli (1979) in the survey conducted on the movie going habits of Lagosians discovered that: “over one half (53 percent of the sampled population would prefer Nigerian films to films produced outside Nigeria)”.
The researcher also discovered that only 39 percent of the respondents have ever watched film produced from other African Nations. He concluded that the findings tends to suggest that:
“The future is bright for films produced in Nigeria if the industry could be stimulated and encouraged”. A study by Aliu (1982) found outs however that “Lagos University students will tend to prefer foreign films to Nigerian one”.
Aliu went further to say that these students watch foreign films not just for entertainment, these films equally play an important role in influencing the students” choice of dressing pattern. This study led him to conclude that:
“Nigerian University students have become a brain washed set of youths who think more of transient and banal ideals of foreign cultures rather than their own”.
Nigeria youths are not alone in this regard, according to the permanent conductor of the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation, Mori (1983) Japan.
“Western music is primarily popular with the younger people”. The writer further note “it is western not tradition music that has become the Japanese Lingua franca. But the attitude of younger people can not be use as an index to generalize on the entire population as students and young people all over the are known to have contra-cultures which in most cases are deviation from the norms of the society”
Many criticisms have been leveled against the films shown in Africa today. The Senegalese Films maker Ousmere (1977) has observed that’ indeed, the taking over of the various autonomous state television services, by the federal military Government in 1976, was as a result of the concern expressed about the apparent inability of the Federal broadcasting media to contribute to the process of National integration in Nigeria. In 1977, the supreme military council (SMC) indicated that the federal government’s take over of television was intended to achieve the following objectives: To assist in general education, enlightenment and motivation of the nation, To produce cultural and tropical films for expert; To exploit the rich cultural material of the country and render its output which should be indigenous in character: To respond to and fulfill the national need rather than partisan or sectional interest.
Muritala kayode once wrote the general consensus is that the activities in this films (Nigerian English Language Films) are affecting the mode of lives of the people especially the students. Most people, he wrote are of the opinion that thieves armed robbery, pick pockets and tricksters learn a lot of their tricks and use of dangerous weapons through their medium.
In a recent article, in the Guardian Newspaper Janne (1983) added a Nigerian perspective when he said what is good for Europe is not necessarily good for Nigeria or Africa. He said in his words that most Nigerian English Language films producers are to be faulted as they usually affect western cultural person into the Nigerian policy’
Aig-Imoukhede has noted that “many Nigerians have complained of the poisonous context of films shown on the screen in Nigeria”. Alaba (1970) is of the view that “The basis of dynamic African television and film industries exists and films can make a far more effective contribution to National and pan-African development than they are making at present. He then suggested way of solving the teething problem confronting films industry in Africa among which are the development of television and film should be done on a continental and regional basis rather than national, and that a body like organization of African unity should act as a central co-coordinating body for films;
It’s not untrue that television contents (films) do have effect on audience.
Fanon (1975) has written extensively about the negative consequence of un controlled exposure to current Western Culture. As if echoing fanon “The son of colombol (1981) has observed that western style television will raise people’s aspirants far beyond what the government can help them attain perhaps leading to instability”.
EDUCATIONAL ROLES OF FILMS IN NIGERIA