Nollywood and the Sexploitation of Women

Nollywood and the Sexploitation of Women

They are a very important necessity to life in today’s society; either be it for good or bad. You can never underestimate their value and importance.
They are the reason why a man can pro-create his likeness, they are the attraction that’s designed to soften the hard core of a man’s heart. They wield the ‘kryptonite’ that would make every strong, bold and powerful man fall to his knees.
They are the reason why many are wealthy and the reason why many are poor.
They are the reason why many rise and also the reason why many fall.
They are the ones that bring forth a man’s sweet side and also the ones that conjure his innate violence.
They are the ones who can enslave a man and also the ones who can submit to a man.
They are the mothers, wives, lovers, friends that make good things happen. They can also be the whore, nag,  fraud, mistress that make bad things happen.
It all depends on which perspective they operate from.
And the world in its vain and infamous glory has found a way to exploit women, most especially for one of the most powerful weapons that they carry – their sexuality.
Switch on any music channel on cable or on TV. They are there in their youthful exuberance being exploited via the reckless flaunting of their vivacious bodies; video vixens shaking every element that palpitates the sexual heartbeat of any male that dares to glare at their movements.
The music artiste that lacks creativity has come to find them to be the key element to boost viewership of his music video on air. They are the eye candy that any man extra-fond of the female gender can neither resist nor gainsay. This has become the norm; creativity is going extinct as smut and sexuality is being touted as imagination. While the music industry in the western world has overblown the exploration and sexploitation of women in their videos and moved on to showing scary esoteric visuals, Naija has firmly embraced of the art of flaunting the feminine gender as sex eye-candy in videos.


Nollywood Chick Flicks: so many things in common
And just when the glass cup of the Naija music scene was foaming and frothing over with sexual exuberance, Nollywood decided to up its ante by exploring the idea of amplifying it further.
Sure, men are also involved but a man doesn’t pull in as much ratings as a nude or half clad woman on a DVD cover. But it’s not even only about manufacturing misleading DVDs covers but now about shooting movies that focus entirely on women and sexcapades or using risqué scenes of a flick to sell movies.
Currently, the trend has spread across Nollywood and we can see it oozing from the numerous movie posters about video clubs and movie shops. Movie producers have now delved into all kinds of productions of these Naija chick-flicks most of which have storylines surrounding a clique of scandal-minded or adventurous young women. To push the edge, sex scenes have become more graphic and pronounced in many of these flicks (I wrote stuff about this some time ago).
The trend has blown out so much that even our Ghanaian counterparts have also caught the bug and churned out their own chick-flicks as well. Oh, did I mention that Yoruba Nollywood also has a big share in this trend? Oh yes…and it’s never stopped escalating.
While these chick-flicks may draw the attention of women for the fact that they can relate to the issues reflected in the movies, the men are drawn by the vivacity of women displayed in the movies. Have you noticed how the costumes are usually extremely flashy? The ladies in these chick-flicks a lot of times are not just dressed to kill, they are dressed to mutilate.
Each time I see any of these movies I watch how the camera shots visually harass the actresses – focusing on their ‘arsenal’ at naughty angles, accentuating them in ways that could turn a celibate priest into a hypocrite. Even in love-making scenes, the focus most of the time is on the woman. I can only conclude that producers or directors are out to make sure they exploit every avenue of exposure as much as they can.
No wonder almost every chick-flick has age rating ‘18’ on them – another way of saying ‘watch at your moral detriment’.
Another paramount trend is the cheesy and naughty titles of many of these movies.  Even the titles appear to be a cheap exploitation on the female gender. You see smutty titles like; Vain Girls, Sexy Girls, Hot Girls, Angolo Girls, Tattoo Girls, Airline babes, College girls, Lagos girls etc. Some also exploit social media, famous and infamous brand names to hype their flicks. You see movies with titles such as;Fazebook Babes, Omoge Facebook (Yoruba counterpart),Twitter babes, 2go Babes, Obama Babes, Blackberry Babes, Bold Five Babes, Brazillian Hair Babes, Aso-Ebi Girls, Illuminati Girls. From the Ghanaian stables comes others like; Azonto Babes, Perfect Girls, Government Girls, Bigger Ladies. The Yoruba offers its own share with movies like, Omo ghetto (Ghetto Babes), Omo Gucci (Gucci Babes), Awa Obinrin (We the women), Gbogbo Bis Gees (A spin off idea from Funke Akindele’s Jenifa which refers to high profile chicks) . It seems the words ‘Girls’ and ‘Babes’ have become a recurring decimal in this trend.
Chick-Flicks exploiting social media and trending names
Some flicks have however managed stay clear of using the now cliché qualified-gender titles and have gone the way of other cheesy titles like Private Part, Girl’s in the mood, Mama and the Girls, Girl Connection, All My Ladies (Kukere)  etc. The list is almost endless.
It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t seem to have any end in sight; there’s a bandwagon that’s carrying ambitious producers in its wake and they keep churning out more and more of these kind of flicks every day. The appalling thing about them most of the time is that the titles don’t have much or nothing at all to do with the story lines.
But this is not to say that Nollywood is on a total regression. I have come to differentiate Nollywood productions into two classes  – like it or not but it has become evident that Nollywood movies can now be categorized into the High budget productions (A list productions)and the Low budget productions (most of the time referred to as B-movies in the western movie circuit). Some fall in-between and fare well in quality but those that fall in the B-movie range can be classed as the productions pursued by Alaba Market based producers. The desperation of this class of producers has driven them to explore sexploitation themes.
Yoruba Nolly representing.
As of three years back, Nollywood’s advent into shooting sexually graphic scenes caused so much commotion and many decried it. Today, they have gotten more adventurous with it and even explore more sensitive themes that would leave many aghast.  And to add salt to injury, some well known actors and actresses who may have been faced by the threat of irrelevance in the industry are taking up challenges to feature in graphic flicks.

In a world where there are movements fighting for the emancipation of womenfolk from various forms of abuse, this is one form that may not get much leverage because of the many factors involved. Many ladies in question would willingly not mind getting paid for being exploited as the mind-set of ‘using what you have to get what you want’ reigns supreme. The threat of poverty and financial lack is equally a motivating factor.

And so what next? What will Chick-flicks look like in the next few years to come? Is it going to get worse? Is the degradation of women going to escalate into more alarming proportions?

Only time will tell.


33 thoughts on “Nollywood and the Sexploitation of Women” by Afronuts (@Afronuts)

  1. ‘No wonder almost every chick-flick has age
    rating ‘18’ on them – another way of saying
    ‘watch at your moral detriment’.’
    And so what next? What will Chick-flicks look
    like in the next few years to come? It can only get worse my brother, God help us.

    Nice article Afro I relate to them wella.


  2. Jo (@josephoguche)

    What else do you expect when you adopt a style from a different context and apply it to your own unique context … We all have to go back to school and learn all over.

    1. @josephoguche

      Hmm…if you’re referring to the bandwagon mentality, then you’re spot on bro.

      1. Jo (@josephoguche)

        I mean the industry is trying to copy the culture of nudity in other movie industries without a corresponding civilization … @Afronuts

  3. You wondering what it would look like in few years to come? My guess is……WORSE.

    Just my view.

  4. I get what your are saying, but ain’t women the engine that gets life moving?

    Everything in this life has a woman’s input, and their flowery nature adds spice to life.

    We men take of this advantage of women to make a kill, and kill we do, because women are just but the catalysts.

    It’s not a Nollywood thing, it’s Catholic

    1. @vincentdepaul

      A Catholic thing? I don’t get you.

      And yes….women get good things in life moving….but we can’t ignore the fact that they are being exploited to move ‘bad’ things as well.

      1. I am sure he meant universal.

        1. @Afronuts, relax, am not attacking your church, I meant universal @Nalongo has said.

          1. @vincentdepaul

            Bros I think you misinterpreted me. I wasn’t inferring that you were attacking the Catholic church…and I’m not even Catholic!

  5. ‘Exploited’ is the word and I feel for this generation of women.
    What about the obscene posters plying the streets, shouldn’t those be rated 18 too? ‘look at your own moral detriment or cover your face while passing by’

  6. It’s rather sad as some of these films are made by women, they are actually contributing to the sexploitation of ladies, There was something similar happening in America in the 60’s -80’s called ”Blaxpliotation” where whites portrayed blacks as less than what they were and stereotyped them in their flicks but things took a different turn after black directors came along and started telling the stories of people with color by themselves off their movies not the old Cleopatra Jones(Pam Grier), Richard Pryor, Fred Williamson movies of old, It brought about the advent of the Van Pebbles– Melvin and Mario , Spike Lee, John Singleton e.t.c Black directors telling real stories of black people not some Hollywood cooked tripe.
    I expect women film producers/directors to be able to do similar stuff : The only flick that I have seen similar to this is ”Mr & Mrs” : Positive brainy stuff not the mind numbing commercial driven tripe being churned into the market using ”star” appeal to move them in the market. (Awa Obirin was not bad as a movie too)
    The women are the ones going to bring about the change/revolution they seek. They have to be at the vanguard of this ”fight”.
    My tupence@ afronuts.

    1. @LEROY

      Thanks Leroy for that indepth insight of information. You’re very right about the Mr & Mrs movie. I think there are a number of others out there too that set a good trend like that. The reference to blaxploitation movies too was apt! Your comment is well informed. Thanks.

  7. So on point. The things that we tolerate these days in this country and in this world eh….
    The one that pains me most is the BBA……a state of total moral decadence

    1. @sylvia

      That BBA is another yamayama matter oh! Thank goodness people have written on it…I for start enh

    2. Till date, I keep asking fans of BBA what the show is really about. They think for some seconds, stutter, try to explain something idiotic, then ignore me. Alas! Common sense is not so common.

      1. @Mee


        Rita this your comment was so funny I had to tweet it!

  8. Sigh… The thing that exasperates me most is the fact that the sexploitation is classless, complete turn-offs. The names of the movies are put-offish. Sitting through the movies would get one annoyed to the point of wanting to break the CD’s. Sex sells, and they are selling it hard and cheap.
    Nollywood, like Nigeria, need to go back to default settings and start over again.

    Interesting piece as always, Nutty. Well done. $ß

    1. @ sibbylwhyte

      I’m hundred percent with you Bubbllinna. Hundred percent.

    2. @sibbylwhyte

      Hmm…Good point Sibbyl….the cheapening and not just the selling of sex.

      Default settings we seriously need.

  9. Naija film, who still dey watch am??? @Leroy, feel you. Afronut as always hits the nail on the head without mincing words. Things should get better is my prayer. Though I’d pick any A list high budget Nigerian movie anytime any day.

    1. @clemency

      Yeah…the A list class are making us proud today and gaining international recognition.

  10. luke_corradine (United Kingdom) wrote: “Although I personally believe this country [Nigeria], under the right political vision, can be made into a gold mine for film, it is more than realistic to say that all that we have, for now, is a very productive although sub-par industry which most of the times calls films, what are in fact just video productions….” Ref –

    @Afronuts It’s getting too much that in a few years, I think acting naked would become common place. Very silly movies at best. The Westerners whom they attempt to copy don’t even go this far unless it contributes in some way to the movie. The titles are downright stupid. Who directs a film like “Twitter Babes”? I know Tablet abi na Ipad babes is in the making, if not out sef. *long hiss*

    1. @Mee


      I’m gonna be on the lookout…I am sure this your prediction will come to pass…Nollywood can be so predictable.
      Just yesterday I was passing through Ikeja and I saw another one – ‘Secondary School Babes’ and they were wearing school uniform in the most scandalous fashion…haba!

      1. @Afronuts
        “Secondary School Babes”??? Goodness!!! Now that is downright idiotic.

        1. @Mee

          I did question if it would ever stop and how worse it would get…see? Cornier titles will never die!

  11. Bros na tru talk u talk abeg…
    Thanks for d eye opener @Afronuts

  12. Oh, they would get worse…creativity has been sacrificed for hype…

    Those titles are really annoying sha…i have long dissociated myself from nollywood and reading about these titles reinforces my decision to steer clear

    Well done

  13. The truth remains that the authorities that are supposed to curb dis graphic menace eating up the very fabrics of the entertainment industry find relish in viewing them. We only pray that the industry does not fully degenerate to one that produces hardcore porn cus that is the stage we are fast advancing to.

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