The Negative Effect Of Home Video On Nigerian Children (A Case Study Of Owerri Municipal)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Negative Effect Of Home Video On Nigerian Children (A Case Study Of Owerri Municipal)


The media is evidently seen as one of the agents of socialization in our society. This means that the media is capable of influencing the attitude, character, lifestyle and culture of individuals either negatively or positively. Today, the nature of most Nigerian movies have grown or evolved from bad to worse, especially on the part of those that portray sex, pornography and vulgarity.

This is evidently malevolent because since members of the audience of Nigerian movies also constitute mostly children, and the media, especially television, is as well, capable of influencing children’s behavior, the negative effects of these videos will also indirectly affect the society at large. Therefore, this study seeks to look at the extent of the malevolence of Nigerian movies in our contemporary society, by looking at the nature and content of these movies and why it is still being patronized by audience members despite its malevolent nature.

The objectives of this study, aims at finding out the negative effects of Nigerian movies generally, and how it affects the children by posing as malevolent. This can be done by trying to ascertain if there is an over-emphasis of negative themes in Nigerian movies and identifying the negative effects or disadvantages associated with watching these movies as well as to find out how Nigerian movies can affect the children.

The expected outcome of this study is that the government and parents as well will get to realize the level of negative influence that watching of home videos has on not just children, but on the society at large. Though various methods of data collection suitable for this study include, observation, questionnaire and interview, but the only method of data collection used in the study was that of questionnaire.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One:

General Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Purpose / Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research Question
  • 1.5 Scope of the Study
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Delimitation and Limitation
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Historical Background
  • 2.2 Negative effect of Home video view ship on children
  • 2.3 Way out

Chapter Three:


  • 3.1 Research design
  • 3.2 Area of study
  • 3.3 Population of study
  • 3.4 Samples & Sampling procedure
  • 3.5 Sources of Data
  • 3.6 Instrument for Data collection
  • 3.7 Validity and Reliability of Instrument
  • 3.8 Administration of Instrument
  • 3.9 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation And Analysis

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Data Analysis
  • 4.3 Discussion of findings

Chapter Five:

Summary Of Findings, Conclusion & Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • Questionnaire

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Home movies, popularly referred to as Nollywood movies, produced by the Nigerian film industry uses formats such as video cassette, video compact disc (VCD), and more recently the digital video disc (DVD), in producing their movies. These Nigerian movies are also shown on some channels such as “Africa Magic”, “Nollywood”, “Magic Africa”, etc, on DSTV, “Cine Africa”, “MYTV”, as well as other cable networks which people subscribe to and which are viewed by the audience through the television, which is classified under the types of media, among others.
The media is evidently seen as one of the agents of socialization, in the study of the society.

This means that the media is capable of influencing the attitude, character, lifestyle and culture of children either negatively or positively. Therefore, it is important to know what kind of movies are being produced for viewing, since as a result of technology, more and more people in the society, have access to television.

According to Daramola(2005), “The mass media are very powerful socializing agents. The mass media are mainly newspapers, magazines, radio, television and movies. They are impersonal sources and they reach large, heterogeneous and widely dispersed audiences. Their exact role in socialization is controversial but as disseminators of news and entertainment, they are extremely influential. The mass media therefore, especially the television, have been linked by several studies of having great influence upon socialization of children, adolescents and even adults”.

Consciously or unconsciously, people, most especially children and youth, learn different aggressive and violent acts as they constantly watch these movies and most times they end up exhibiting such acts within their neighborhood, in school and within other social gatherings. As they watch movies with violent themes, they are likely to exhibit various criminal acts like bullying, kicking, raping and other delinquent behaviors. (Oslow, 2003).

The themes of these movies are indeed broad and covering Nigerian, African, and universal issues such as, the evils of polygamy, extra marital affairs, elopement, different forms of rituals, cultism, betrayal, marriage, witchcraft, incest, clash of Western and traditional cultures, landlords and tenants, widowhood, teenage pregnancy, drug trafficking, campus life, tribal conflicts, religious conflicts, organized crime, murder, etc (Akpabio, 2003:138-139).

Some other movies have themes solely based on Christianity and the evils that go on in churches and among pastors, such as those produced by Mount Zion Ministries, for the purpose of spreading the gospel and pointing out the ills that go on even in churches. Some examples include, “Busy but guilty”, “Blood on the altar”, “One careless night”, etc. Many other movies could be educative and portray some Nigerian culture, while others could also be in form of documentaries, showing the history of some Nigerian culture as well as how it has evolved.

An example of such documentary movies is “Towards a metaphysics”, produced in 2010. But unfortunately, the most common themes evident in the majority of Nigerian movies includes violence, which umbrellas cultism, murder, rape, aggressive fights, etc, and Romance, which covers sex, nudity and vulgarity or the use of strong language, etc. Another common theme is that of rituals and the use of traditional medicine.

Most of these are evidently negative themes and are therefore malevolent to the development of personality and behavior of its audience members in our contemporary society, especially the youth and children who are still at the primary and secondary stage of their socialization or learning process, and are vulnerable or prone to picking up or adopting attitudes and behaviors from what they observe in the movies.

The portrayal of negative themes has been the base of Nigerian film industry, probably because of the gains gotten from constant patronage from its audience as well as the interest the audience members have in pornography, nudity, violence and the likes. The industry was accused of over-emphasizing negative themes. The National Film and Video Censors Board, (the industry regulatory body), in its guidelines for motion picture producers, called for production to be above board in portrayal of violence, crimes, sex, pornography, vulgarity, obscenity and other sensitive subjects (NFVBC, 2000:107-111).

Today, the nature of most Nigerian movies have grown or evolved from bad to worse, especially on the part of those that portray sex, pornography and vulgarity. From experience, a comparison of older films such as “Outcast 1 & 2” and “Night Out (Girls for sale)” produced between 1999 and 2000 and more recent ones such as “Dirty Secret” and “Men in Love” produced between 2010 and 2011, has proven that the level of the portrayal of nudity, pornography and sex has become worse than before, the actors and actresses are now more comfortable with being nude, while acting.

This is definitely malevolent to some audience members who will develop more interest in pornography and may eventually become addicts. This will not only increase the number of rape reports, but will also give rise to more and more cases of teenage pregnancies, abortion, as well as abandonment of unwanted babies which increases the number of children to be cared for at motherless babies homes.

Another issue is the constant production and distribution of these movies, which goes to show that people actually patronize them by buying the movies for either personal viewing or to rent to people in video shops, in spite of the nature of most of these movies.

Therefore, in trying to find out how home videos can pose as malevolent to our children, it is also important to find out what the children thinks about the nature of some of the themes portrayed in home videos, as well as what their attitudes towards such movies are, since it directly affects them.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Nigerian Nollywood movies have been accused of been portrayal of violence, and its adverse effect on the behaviors of Nigerian children and the society at large are devastating. Hornby, [2000] contends that some violent materials in movies include: Sex scenes, nudity, obscenity, vulgar language curses, indecent dresses, killings, murder, rape beating up women, smoking, molestation and harassment.

These are self-injurious in nature, and likely to affect the youths etc. It is obvious that Nollywood to a very large extent contributes to violence in Nigeria. A worrisome aspect of these films is that none of the film-makers actively canvasses for the discouragement of the negative tendencies acted out on the screen. And the failure by movie producers to make any strong comment against social ills is a short coming of the films that use violence in their messages. The implication is that such films rather than amelioring violent acts in our children tend to aggravate them, Folarin, [1999].

Therefore, this study seeks to look at the negative effect of home video on Nigerian children, by looking at the nature and content of these movies and why it is still being patronized by audience members despite its malevolent nature.

1.3 Research Questions

This study will seek answers to questions such as:

  1. Is there an over-emphasis of negative themes in Nigerian movies?
  2. What are the negative effects or disadvantages associated with watching Nigerian movies on children?
  3. How can Nigerian movies affect the children indirectly?
  4. What are the best possible ways to prevent or reduce the negative effects or malevolence caused by Nigerian movies on children?

1.4 Objectives Of The Study

The major objectives of this study, is to ascertain the negative effect of home video on Nigerian children.
The specific objectives of the study are as follows:-

  1. To ascertain if there is an over-emphasis of negative themes in Nigerian movies.
  2. To identify the negative effects or disadvantages associated with watching Nigerian movies on children.
  3. To find out how Nigerian movies can affect the children indirectly.
  4. To suggest ways to prevent or reduce the negative effects or malevolence caused by Nigerian movies on children.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The study looks at the negative effects of home video on Nigerian children. The study does not dispute the fact that the television which is one aspect of the media, is also very beneficial to learning and development processes, and as a matter of fact, goes a long way in socializing individuals by helping them blend more easily into the society due to the amount of information passed on to the audience through well coordinated motion pictures with various contents and storylines.

As a medium of communication, the home videos are influential media and have the capacity of sending a wrong message or impression to the viewing audience especially young people in their vulnerable stages of growth. Moreover, such impression could spell a big problem to the entire society owing to the fact that the youth learn more easily from what they see or observe than from what they hear.

However, as every research work is expected to add to the existing knowledge, this study should serve as a referencing material to students and other researchers who will be carrying out research on related studies.
Also Nigerian film makers will benefit from the information contained here as a yard stick to measure the level of their weaknesses and compare it with the strengths they have which could serve as a guide to correcting their weak points for a better future of their products and the society at large.

This study’s significance is also justifiable on the grounds that it will contribute largely to the understanding of the negative effects of home videos or the malevolent nature of some home videos towards our contemporary society, which would spur film makers to improve on the quality and the contents of the movies produced.

Parents will also become aware or be exposed to the negative effects of movies and how they can influence their children’s behavior both on the long and short run. This would cause them to seek means of controlling their children’s viewing habits and be conscious of what they watch and the themes embedded in these movies. Resultantly, this would reduce the negative impacts, as well as the level of malevolence caused by movie watching in our contemporary society.

Based on various theories, or rather as a result of these theories, film makers will then try to adhere to National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) laws by differentiating the age ratings for various movies, while the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation will also try to review and censor the movies before they get into circulation. And the parents on the other hand will ensure that children watch only the movies specified for their various ages.

To conclude, this study is significant because it seeks to investigate these issues of negativity in movie themes and its effects on people and the society at large, as well as identify and proffer possible solutions to curb the problem, by finding out the roots of these problems. Although it may be impossible to completely erase them, the study seeks to discover how the problem can be reduced and controlled.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study is restricted to children only in Owerri Municipal. Also, while investigating the negative effects of home video on Nigerian children, the researcher shall limit herself to the negative impact on children’s lives.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

In writing this project, the researcher encountered some difficulties. One of which is time factor. The time was limited and choked due to industrial action embarked by ASUP members.

The problem of insufficient materials on this study and this could be attributed to lack of sufficient material. The financial aspect of this work is not left out and also being that things are hard in the country.

1.6 Definition Of Terms


The total change of persons behaviour and attitude towards something.


A young human being from time of birth to the completion of body development


This is defined as “the showing of motion pictures or the motion picture medium”, by Merriam Webster’s Dictionary”.

Home Video:

This refers to the Nigerian motion picture medium, or the showing of Nigerian motion-picture.


According to the same source, contemporary is marked by characteristics of the present period. It is also seen as, “happening, existing, living or coming into being during the same period of time”.
In this study, contemporary means, “this present day society, which we exist or live in”.


According to the Oxford Advanced learner’s dictionary, delinquency can be defined as bad or criminal behavior, usually of young people.

Chapter Five

Summary Of Findingr, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Summary Of Findings

The study has shown that there is a negative of home video on Nigerian children. Since home video messages like any other mass media messages affect attitudinal changes as they are effectively designed to alter the psychological functioning of individuals, children who watch such programs are immensely affected. The majority that answered the fourth question agreed that home videos have effects on children’s behavioural tendencies. Also in an interview conducted on this study two-third of the respondents agreed that there is a nexus between the using rate of crime amongst children and that of the home video viewer ship.

There is also a belief that violence are more predominant in home videos. Also in the questionnaire most of the respondents preferred comedy film to other films. It is believed that drama or tragedy film has the greatest number of violence in its program content. Such film viewership is the cause of the rising crime rate amongst the children because at that age, children social adjustment or mental health is affected by his violent viewership.

5.2 Conclusion

Nigerian Home movie producers have failed to make any strong comment against social ills in our society, instead use them in their messages without realizing that arts can be viewed as having therapeutic effect that can both mirror and heal the society of its perceived ills. One question that critics have failed to answer is that, whose job is it when children watch movies and often times get influenced by what they have seen?, is it the parents!, the regulators!, or the children themselves?.

Finally, Our movie producers have taken a needless chance with our children’s welfare by permitting them to see such a parade of violence across our picture tubes. Instead of playing a positive role in the child’s up bringing, our films are designed in a way that violence are paraded. This makes our children go ahead to reproduce violence after watching them on the screen.

5.3 Recommendations

The producers’ of video films should know that they owe the larger society a duty to promote the greater good of the society, and should realize that the ennobling virtues which the society covets should find expression in their video productions.

Parents should however pay attention to the kinds of movies their wards are exposed to in order to prevent them from ending up in jail at the long run.

The Media need to be really careful when packaging a message, since it affects those that are exposed to it.
National broadcasting commission (NBC) should not only make laws for the broadcasting houses in Nigeria but also make sure that the laws are sticky implemented.

Film censorly commission should monitor all the films aimed in the television houses in Nigeria for every quarter and makes sure none of them parades bad films.

They should withdraw the license of any television house that parades bad films.

They should organize lectures every quarter for all the television and film producers on the negative effects of bad movies on the children.

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