By Chinwe Obinwanne
As they were pushed on and beaten mercilessly in nothing but their underwear, the boys looked into the eyes of the mob. They searched for pity but found none. They begged for their lives but the blood-thirsty mob was too thirsty to heed their plea.
They were not thieves and they shouted it out for all to hear but it seemed the devil and his agents made their voices just too small to be heard. Like the scene out of a movie, these four lads who their parents had so much hope on were burnt to death like rams for sacrifice.
Good people were there. Good people looked on shaking their heads. So-called good people took pictures and made videos. Good people did nothing to help these boys and stop the jungle justice. And so they died for a crime they didn’t commit. That was the story of the Aluu killing that happened roughly 3 years ago. One that has left four mothers incomplete till date.
The story is also rife of many a victim who are robbed or slain or even downright brutalized by the police; but justice fails yet again to be served. Good people once more offer just pity.
We have somehow become a nation where the silence of good people has caused grievous harm to our humanity. A nation where instead of helping an accident victim, we whip out our phones to either video or take photos of the ordeal while the person fights for life.
A nation where we hear someone screaming at night and from the comfort of our homes, we peep through the window and witness the attack from an assailant and justify our inaction with the reasoning that someone must have called the police to help.
We have shriveled to a nation where armed bandits rob banks or homes within close proximity to the police station and get away with it. Yet again, good people do nothing.
So you ask, where the hell does Nollywood come into the picture?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Nollywood is rated the third most valuable film industry in the world and thus wields such a power I doubt it realizes it has. A power that can effect change: be it negative or positive.
This issue of a nation going to the dogs while good people did nothing is one that is age old. Since this police brutality, jungle justice, corruption and incessant rapes and kidnapping have become the bane of our existence as a nation; it is time Nollywood took a stand on these ills by addressing them squarely in her movies.
It is time scripts are acted out for the purpose of stirring a huge change in our nation and not to enrich pockets. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad in seeking wealth but if you are passionate about your work, sooner rather than later, it will also enrich you so long as you do a darn good job. Such a movie may even get someone international acclaim.
You see, it is saddening that the social proof of influence is uncannily true with us here in Nigeria. We watch someone dying and just because many other bystanders are doing nothing, we join suit and just shake our heads in pity.
If there are movies that hit this greasy nail on its head and hammer home the point but also show what needs to be done, it will be a tremendous help.
Psychologists have found that we act most of the time following what we see others doing without even realizing it. Hence, the saying that bad company corrupts good manners isn’t just a saying but bears a certain truth.
Just like we impulsively refuse to help just because we see others doing so; we can be encouraged to help just by watching films that show that helping doesn’t always end with disastrous results.
Many say that why they cannot help an accident victim is because either the police hold them for questioning or doctors refuse to treat the patient expecting lump sums from them.
This may be true but what happens when we are the victims and people refuse to help us just for these reasons. Let us mull on that.
Maybe if Nollywood used the power of social proof to show that being a Good Samaritan isn’t a curse but a blessing, many will be willing to give help.
Sacrifices are to be made before such movies are produced. Research is to be done by the industry to discern the truth behind the claims of the general public. Time is to be spent to put together a movie that will draw emotions from people and clear the air on any misconceptions as regards the actions of police, public and even doctors.
It’s not enough to produce movies in 3 weeks, let us use Nollywood as a tool to effect positive change even if it takes us 3 years to come up with such a movie that speaks to such ills.
When one has a tool and doesn’t use it, it rusts and subsequently breaks; Nollywood is a powerful tool and we should use it accordingly before the rust sets in.
Pic Credit: I reporters
About the Author
Chinwe Obinwanne is first a storyteller and a journalist. Currently doubling as the Director of Operations for male clothing Dozzy Couture and Freelance Copywriter, Chinwe believes that life is interesting if we live it one day at a time. You can reach her via email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with her on LinkedIn