Have been feeling under the weather since the weekend, so used that opportunity to watch Nollywood films with the parents. Unfortunately, I could not get to flea market to collect movies from my usual Senegalese hook-up. Anyway, Youtube to the rescue.
I have always admired veteran Nollywood actresses and film, The Maid, starring Eucharia Anunobi, amongst others, caught my attention. It's a religious film - which is more palatable to my conservative parents (as opposed to films such as this one). Anyway, the film, produced in 2004, follows a Christian family and their maid as they come into a better financial situation and slowly lose their faith. The maid, (played by Mercy Johnson), later becomes demon possessed and enlists the help of the Eucharia's children - no older than 12 or 13, in carrying out demonic activities in school and in the family.
You can already figure out the rest of the film - maid and children run havoc in various homes and schools, powerful pastor comes in to cast out demons and "To God Be the Glory." No need for spoiler alerts here. However, in light of this year's revelations of the child witches phenomenon, I found the portrayal of the maid and children as agents of Satan to be incredibly disturbing. The scene below opens with a child in a cast who was injured during one of these violent exorcisms. Later, another young boy admits to killing his parents and preventing "locking up" the success of his uncle's business.
Such scenes are highly reminiscent of testimonies from rescued "child witches" who claim they were severely abused or abandoned because similarly minded "pastors" accused them of causing the misfortune of their parents through occultic means. Also, many are familiar with the all to familiar story of justifying abuse metted out to house helps who also may be deemed as "witches and wizards." Unfortunately, as in the case here, reality, at times, inspires some Nollywood themes. However, Nollywood, in turn, reinforces some of these realities through films such as these. Not only does to further ruin Nigeria's fragile image, it also supports the notion that yes, some children are indeed agents of evil, bearers of evil spirits which require purging. Films such as these demonstrate the need to reign in Nollywood's negative portrayal of Nigerians.
Speaking of Nollywood, check out the NollywoodForever blog, which provides detailed reviews about the latest Nigerian and Ghanaian films. Highly recommend it. Much better than my short-lived attempt (couldn't support the habit at the time).
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