Mass Communication Project Topics

An Appraisal of Ritualism in Nigeria Home Videos




Background Of The Study

Since the advent of home-video movies on the Nigerian entertainment scene in the late eighties, it has become a widespread form of family home entertainment as well as providing a lucrative source of livelihood for a good number of movie makers, some of whom had to find a way of staying in business after the decline of celluloid film(Okeckukwu, 2016).  Home video has also been a route of creative fulfillment for a significant number of gifted performers who required a medium other than the conventional theater to express and exhibit their innate ability (Tasie, 2013).

The home-video movie or film provides a dramatic tale containing a conflict between good and evil, which typically incorporates the supernatural as well as the plots, schemes, and machinations of people who wish to acquire rich and to live a lavish lifestyle (Haynes, & Okome, 2000).

Furthermore, widely described according to the language used for conversation, the video movies are known as Yorùbá, Igbo, Hausa, or Pidgin “films,” “videos,” or “home video movies(Okeckukwu, 2016).  They narrate stories utilizing the diverse cultures and beliefs – both past and contemporary – as sources. The liveliness of Nigeria’s home-video business and the rate at which it creates them seems to overwhelm the popularity warranted by tales and the numerous unusual personalities and events in them.

Most home-video movies flourish on what is now the familiar ground of the presentation of ritualized activities. These offer bizarre portrayals of spirits or else entities whose usual activity has been altered(Nwogu, 2007). The prominent motif in these films is the exploitation of rituals and grotesque characters to establish settings in which luxury and riches transfer the actors from a regular reality to a realm of fantasy.


Although this road to the imaginary realm of wealth is frequently riddled with terrible acts and individuals, however, within the story, it is their existence and practice that delivers “success”.  In fact, success frequently turns out to be fleeting and may be more in the form of an aberration of reality than the construction of a new permanent reality(Nwogu, 2007). Ritual sacrifices are generally necessary to accomplish the desired outcome, and the “journey” to it bears irreparable implications since the ritual sacrifices are nearly always humans.  The claimed moral goal of the videos is to show this practice and belief as a sort of evil behavior in order to prevent people from indulging in it, but the rivers imply the reverse.  Thus, against this backdrop, this study is meant to examine ritualism in Nigerian home movies.

Statement Of The Problem

Home videos has been acknowledged as a conveyor of popular culture which not only mirrorizes and tells tales which it subsists; but reflect the lifestyles, attitudes, surroundings and activities inside a specific society (Alawode & Uduakobong, 2013 ).   Nollywood home videos in aiming to catch audiences’ imagination and curiosity employ themes and scenes that communicate tales that are not health for the society (Kumwenda, 2008).   Films about ritualism are among the extensively utilized subjects in Nollywood home films to demonstrate African content and cultural pattern. However, the act of ritualism is conducted largely for money earning motives as portrayed most commonly in Nigerian movies. The creation and watching of these sorts of home films presents a concern in the society as they considerably have a large impact on youngsters most notably(Okon, 2015). According to Tasie, (2013), The killing of a living creature(including humans) as a ritual to a god or spirit used to be termed a blood sacrifice or ritual killing is an old-fashioned term that focuses attention on the spilling of blood by cultists and ritualists with the belief that this act usually follows with a return of good fortune, but these spiritual scenarios and sacrifices has dominated the content of most Nigerian home (Tasie, 2013). However, critics and the regulatory body (National Film and Video Censors Board) have severely criticized Nigerian home videos for placing too much emphasis on what is described as ‘negative themes’, which include occultism, blood, corruption, sex, violence, fetishism, ritualism and other negative practices.  Despite the critiques, new videos are launched into the market therefore requiring this investigation.

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Objective Of The Study

Generally, the study is based on the appraisal of ritualism in Nigeria home videos. However, the study will be explored through the following specific objectives;

i. Investigate the impact of ritualism in Nigeria home videos on the societal morality.

ii. Determine the effect of ritualism in Nigeria home videos on audience perception towards wealth creation.

iii. Ascertain whether ritualism in Nigeria home videos  have attributed to ritual practices in Nigeria.

 Research Questions

The study will be guided  by the following questions;

i. What is the impact of ritualism in Nigeria home videos on the societal morality?

ii. Does presentation of ritualism in Nigeria home videos have a negative effect on the audience perception of wealth creation?

iii. Has ritualism in Nigeria home videos  attributed to ritual practices in Nigeria?

 Significance Of The Study

The presentation of ritual practices in most Nigerian home movies has gained an increase in the recent times, and its implications especially for youngsters cannot be overlooked. Therefore this study will critically highlight the implications of excessive ritual themes in Nigeria movies. And as a result, study will enable the Nigerian government  realize the need to strategize on screening and regulating what the movie industry is displaying through television shows so that the cultural, social and moral behaviour of the society is not destroyed. Likewise the study will call up the attention of key communication bodies in the country to regulated home videos production and consumption, hence the need to ban some movies that contradict our culture, tradition and moral.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as literature review. This means that, other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to the appraisal of ritualism in Nigeria home videos.

 Scope Of The Study

This study investigates the appraisal of ritualism in Nigeria home videos. The study will further narrow down to the impact of ritualism in Nigeria home videos on the societal morality, the effect of ritualism in Nigeria home videos on audience perception towards wealth creation, and ritualism in Nigeria home videos  and its attributes to ritual practices in Nigeria.  The study will therefore be delimited to Ogun State.

Limitation Of The Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Definition Of Terms

Home Video: This is a prerecorded videocassettes or videodiscs marketed for home viewing.

Ritualism: the regular observance or practice of ritual, especially when excessive or without regard to its function.


Alawode & Uduakobong, 2013. Ministerial oath to reinvent Nollywood.

Haynes, J. & Okome, O. 2000. „Evolving Popular Media: Nigerian Video Films‟ in Haynes, J. Nigerian Video Films.

Kumwenda, 2008. From rituals to films: A case study of the visual rhetoric of Igbo culture in Nollywood films.

Nwogu, L.I. (2007). Cultural Promotion And Image Portrayal In The Nigerian Movies. M.A. Dissertation Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria

Okeckukwu, (2016). The Effect of Portrayal of Witchcraft/Voodoo in Nollywood on Nigeria‟s National Development.

Okon, G.B. (2015). Viewers‟ Reactions To Excessive Ritual Themes In Nigerian Home Videos: A Portharcourt City Survey.

Tasie, G. (2013). African Traditional Religion in Nigerian Video Films: A Rethink.



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