If know me, you would notice that I have a love/hate relationship with Nollywood. Nollywod is the name for the Nigerian Movie Industry. It is apparently the third largest movie industry in the world, right behind Bollywood and Hollywood. I criticize it a lot, make fun of it as well but I am proud that my country has such a flourishing and actually profitable movie industry. My relationship with nollywood hasn’t always being the greatest. When I was growing up, I was so scared of Nollywood movies. You know the type, “Living in Bondage, Nneka the beauty serpent, Karashika, Blood Money, Agbaranla (Yoruba Movie were the chick would say Aya Matanga)”, to mention a few. You could think of a few right now in your head actually. The weirdest thing is that since I was a kid, I didn’t care much for Nigerian movies but I would sit down and watch it if a family member or friend bought it. Not that I m proud that I have never contributed monetarily to Nollywood, I m just saying. I believe Nollywood progressed from the ritualistic movies with “To God be the glory” at the end (After scaring the living daylights out of me, tschew carry go) to the Love phase of Nigerian movies (This was when almost every Nigerian movie had love in the title), now it’s an amalgam of different themes. You have the ritualistic movies, the love movies, campus movies, comedy and so on. Action is yet to have a strong foothold sadly. The closest thing to Bruce Willis is Sam Dede. I love the comedies though, with Osuofia and co. Okay, it is evident I can talk about Nollywood for days. Todays post is about Runs Girls in Nollywood.
Now, if you have paid attention to Nigerian movies of recent (This might actually be a 5 year span). You would notice that there are a plethora of movies with the Runs Girls theme. In case you didn’t know what a Runs Girl is,
A Runs Girl is a creature that through natural selection has evolved a means to survive and in the Darwinian mold has adopted a lifestyle that entails satisfying the segsy time needs of the male of the species in return for material things. This creature/girl is very similar to an Escort in the sense that even when there is no segsy time involved, the girl is paid or compensated for her time. She could also give the GF experience and act like your GF as long as the money/payment in kind is pouring in.
Due to the fact that I share a room with my cousin who is addicted to watching Nigerian Movies, I have been subjected to movie after movie of Tontoh Dike, Uche Jombo, Ini Edo, etc set in one campus or the other, acting as university babes that only date guys that drive so and so car or sleep with this or that Alhaji because he gives them so much money. Don’t sit there and pretend you haven’t seen the million and one Nigerian movies where women exchange sexual favors or date men for material reward. You have movies where ladies are engaging in inappropriate relationships with lecturers for grades. You also have movies where women marry men so that they can “chop” money. I m not salty at all o. Wetin consign me with Tonto? Get your money boo boo. I honestly wouldn’t want any female friend of mine dating a broke ninja. That is not a good look.
On the flip side, the movies always portray the men as olodos or dopemus. They fall for such obvious game, it’s a shame to manhood. In some Nigerian movies, after the man has gotten his money from his rituals the next scene that is shown is him picking babes. Ashewo dey run belle o! He uses his wealth to get runs girls or ashewos, same thing no difference in my books. One does it for the cash, the other for cash as well and maybe an apartment in Lekki while she pretends to be your girlfriend. Even in the comedy movies, you see men trying to persuade the young lady who is selling groundnut with some money or you will have the “big geh” that will be scammed by the funny man (picture Mr Ibu) and she will follow him like a fly to shit until she realizes that he doesn’t have any money (that’s the punchline).
Why am I even talking about this? I just feel that the emphasis on runs girls and the big girl syndrome that emphasizes that for a woman to make it big she has to have sold herself for material possessions is a very poor look for us in this country. Is it that we don’t value our women that we decide to portray them in such light consistently? Forget runs girls, when you were growing up weren’t many of the witches, evil spirits and so on in Nigerian movies, female? I m not a feminist o but I just feel that there are a lot of positive female storylines out there that do not involve women selling themselves for money.
What do you think? Am I exaggerating? Is there a more positive way to portray our women in Nollywood? (I know the movie industry is improving, I have seen it, but should we still be subjected to things such as Blackberry Babes?). Discuss.