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The Nigerian video film industry - codenamed Nollywood - has been criticised on various bases. One of such bases is the myth that, its productions insidiously tarnish the image of Nigeria on the international scene. Related to this criticism is the claim that these films are in the most part over exaggerated stories which distort the Nigerian socio-cultural reality and mislead foreign audiences into seeing Nigeria in a bad light. Although true to a category of Nigerian films, this reading must be nuanced for at least two reasons: first, reality is a complex concept which may, in some contexts, even be very elusive; second, films are theoretically speaking a window into their society of origin. Although make-believe, they do have elements of reality. All may depend on the definition the Nollywood film critic or audience gives to reality. In this conceptual paper, a systematic review of secondary sources and critical observations are used to examine how Nigerian films’ ability to reflect or distort the Nigerian socio-political reality is fuelling the social debate on Nollywood’s contribution to the Nigerian image crisis. 


Nigerian Image Crisis Nollywood Film Industry Reality Media Literacy Cinematic Representation Perception

Article Details

Author Biography

Floribert Patrick C. Endong, University of Dschang, Cameroon

Floribert Patrick C. Endong holds a Ph.D. in Theatre and Media Arts from the University of Calabar in Nigeria. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in cinema and TV studies at the Department of Performing Arts and Cinematography, University of Dschang, in Cameroon. His areas of interest include visual anthropology, cinema, theatre criticism, photography, cultural studies, and religious communication. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the above-mentioned areas of interest. He edited The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Digitalisation of Diplomacy (2023), Deconstructing Images of the Global South through Media Representation and Communication (2020), Popular Representation of America in Non-American Media (2019), and Exploring the Role of Social Media in Trans-National Advocacy (2018).

How to Cite
Endong, F. P. C. (2023). Nollywood Films’ Depiction of the Nigerian Society: A Reflection or Distortion of Reality?. Pan-African Journal of Education and Social Sciences, 4(2). Retrieved from


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