“Corruption Wahala – an Everyday Tale”: Using films to drive social change in Nigeria
“It has not been easy getting admission into university in Nigeria. I have applied to many universities but instead of looking at my application, each one of them requested for a bribe to secure admission. It is sad that one has to bribe his\her way to gain access to education”. These words from 20-year-old Esther Nduka* illustrates how corruption is affecting the lives of many young Nigerians in their quest for a better life.
To highlight the obstacles that corrupt practices place in the way of ordinary Nigerians from all walks of life, filmmakers are using movies as a vehicle to drive social change by challenging people to change their attitudes and take action. Movies such as the “Hate U Give”, “Minding The Gap”, “First Reformed” and Marvel’s “Black Panther” have been employed as a subtle way to provoke social change. And now, the UNODC-sponsored cartoon short “Corruption Wahala – an Everyday Tale” has been selected for screening at the Africa Film for Impact Festival taking place from 3 to 7 November 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria.
In 2019, with support by the UK Government, the National Bureau of Statistics and UNODC conducted the second large scale corruption survey in Nigeria. “Corruption Wahala – an Everyday Tale” summarizes the key findings of this study in a relatable and easy-to-understand manner with particular appeal for younger Nigerians with the aim of improving their understanding of the dynamics and impact of corruption on the nation. The animated film premiered in August 2020.
The Film Festival, which is also supported by UNODC, will showcase, celebrate, sensitize and empower filmmakers committed to social change as well as other stakeholders from the movie industry in Nigeria, and across the African continent. It will also serve as a platform for young filmmakers to engage with the audience, government, donors and other social change partners at the festival.
According to Ms. Fehintola Simeon-Umukoro, Programme Officer at the Film For Impact Foundation, “Corruption Wahala – an Everyday Tale” was selected because “it speaks to the usual ills around corruption in Nigeria. It paints the perfect picture of the kind of things that we want to fight in the country”.
According to her, movies are effective tools to change societal perceptions on certain issues that affect every day living: “I think movies are vehicles for social change because pictorial depictions do a lot to the mind and that is why we see the use of films to drive social change as being effective. We believe that such movies can provoke behavioural change in the minds of the people who watch. Social change movies can leave positive impressions on viewers. As such, we want to do movies that are interesting to watch and passing across vital messages.”
Corruption Wahala has been getting rave reviews from the critics. Playwright and scholar, Professor Femi Osofisan praised the animation film and noted the need for more such educational tools using real live examples of corruption incidents and their impact on people. And award-winning screen and stage actor, Dakore Akande, stressed the power of film in reinforcing values and hereby changing the narrative of corruption in Nigeria.
The fight against corruption and the damage corruption does by holding back socio-economic development has become a global challenge. In Nigeria, UNODC continues to provide support to the Federal Government, private sector, civil society and other partners in their efforts to fight corruption in the country.
UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, acknowledged the obstacles facing reformers and called on ordinary citizens to show their support by speaking out against corrupt practices: “We will not talk corruption away. We will need to get engaged. We will need to act if we want to put an end to this corruption wahala so that we can create the Nigeria we want and the Nigeria you deserve!”
“Corruption Wahala – an Everyday Tale” is currently available on the UNODC Youtube Channel through this link: https://bit.ly/2GyisiE
*The name has been changed
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