Archive for the ‘AFRICAN FILMS’ Category

THE VIRGIN AND THE NARROW PATH MOVIE NIGERIAN FORUM, FORUMS, SOCIAL NETWORK, NIGERIA JOB FORUM, BLOG, WEBSITE, SITE, NOLLYWOOD, ONLINE MESSAGE BOARD

January 27, 2010

{{desc}}

via THE VIRGIN AND THE NARROW PATH MOVIE NIGERIAN FORUM, FORUMS, SOCIAL NETWORK, NIGERIA JOB FORUM, BLOG, WEBSITE, SITE, NOLLYWOOD, ONLINE MESSAGE BOARD.

BAYO ADEBOWALE:BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

February 9, 2009

Bayo Adebowale, poet,novelist,short story writer,critic, teacher and librarian,was born in Adeyipo Village, Lagelu Local Government Area of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, on 6th June, 1944,to a peasant farmer and traditional drummer, Alagba Ayanlade Oladipupo Akangbe Adebowale. His mother, Madam Abigael Ayannihun Atunwa Adebowale is a traditional rara chanter and dancer,who hails from the neighbouring Apon Onilu Village,Ibadan, Oyo State.

Bayo Adebowale attended St. Andrew’s Kindergarten School at Kufi I Village, and St. Andrew’s Senior Primary School, Bamgbola, Igbo-Elerin District of Ibadan, where he obtained his Grade A Primary School Leaving Certificate in December, 1955. Thereafter, he was admitted to the Local Authjority Secondary Modern School, Aperin, Ibadan, between 1956 and 1958. In 1959,he became a pupil teacher at St. Mathias Primary School, Busogboro,Oluyole Local Government Area, Ibadan. The need to be trained as a teacher took him to Ilesa where he was admitted to St Peter’s Grade III Teacher College between 1960 and 1961. He was headmaster of St. Michael’s Primary School,Eko-Ajala,near Ikirun, Osun State, from January 1962 to December 1964. He was transferred to head another school in 1965-St. Andrew’s Primary School, Ilawe,three miles from Ifon, Osun State.

In 1966, the year of Nigeria’s military coup,Bayo Adebowale gained admission to Baptist College, Ede for his Higher Elementary Grade II Teacher Training Programme, which he finished in 1967 with Merit in ten subjects, including English Language, English Literature and Music. At Baptist College, Ede, Adebowale’s creativity boomed. He was a College House Prefect, the Secretary Literary and Debating Society,and the Editor of the College magazine,The Echo . He was a voracious reader of English and African novels;an ardent reader of the works of great writers like Gerald Durrel,Rider H.Haggard,Jane Austen, Daniel Defoe,John Buchan,R.L. Stevenson,Alexandre Dumas, Charles Dickens,Cyprian Ekwensi, Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi, Alan Paton, Peter Abrahams and Amos Tutuola. Bayo Adebowale’s creative ebullience was kept alive as a Higher Elementary (H.E.) teacher at Baptist School, Afolabi Apasan (near Araomi Akanran)Ibadan,between d1968 and 1970 and also at Ibadan City Council Primary School, Agugu, between 1970 and 1971.

In October,1971,he was admitted to read English at the Universtiy of Ibadan, having passed his General Certificate of Education(GCE) at both the Ordinary and the Advanced levels, between 1968 and 1971. He graduated Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) English in 1974 and had his National Youth Service Corps at St. Augustine’s Teachers’ College, Lafia, Benue-Plateau State, Northern Nigeria, from July 1974 to July 1975.

Bayo Adebowale was employed as an Education Officer (English) by the Western State Public Service Commission Between August, 1975 and August 1979 when he was posted to the Government Trade Centre at Oyo as an English Instructor. But in-between, Adebowale was given admission to the University of Ibadan for his Post Graduate Diploma in Applied English Linguistics (1976) and his Master of Arts Degree in English, which he successfully completed idn December 1978. His higher educational status qualified him for employment at the Oyo State College of Education,Ilesa,where he was appointed a Lecturer I in English in September 1979. He was posted back to St. Anderew’s College(then a Campus of OYSCE Ilesa) to head the School of Arts as the Deputy Dean,in 1981. He became athe Acting Dean of the School of Arts in Oyo State College of Education,Ila-Orangun in 1987. After the creation of Osun State(out of Oyo State) in 1991,Bayo Adebowale returned to his State of origin, with other officers of Oyo State indigenes working at OYSCE Ila-Orangun and was redeployed to The Polytechnic,Ibadan where he,at various times, as a Senior Principal Lecturer,was a Head of Department, and Acting Dean, and the Deputy Rector of the Institution between 1999 and 2003. Bayo Adebowale completed his Doctor of Philosophy Programmed in Literature in English at the University of Ilorin in May,1997.

To date, Bayo Adebowale has published over one hundred short stories in magazines, journals and papers in Nigeria and abroad.He admires a lot the works of distinguished writers, in the short story genre, like Edgar Allan Poe, Guy de Maupassant, Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham, Toni Morrison, Doris Lessing, O. Henry,Jack London, Stephen Crane, Judith Wright, Agnus Wilson, Chinua Achebe,Eyprian Ekwensi, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o,Ben Okri, A.G.S. Momodu, Rasheed Gbadamosi,Lekan Oyejide, Nadine Gordimer, Lekan Oyegoke and Danbudzo Marechera.

In 1972,Adebowale’s short story,”The River Goddess” won the Western State Festival of Arts Literary Competition, in Ibadan, Nigeria and in 2002,he edited a collection of new Nigerian short stories-Talent-involving the words of fifteen Nigerian writers,including those of Femi Osofisan, Wale Okediran, Akeem Lasisi,Lekan Oyegode, Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade,and Amos Tutuola. Adebowale’s short stories had appeared in important Anthologies like Frontiers:Nigerian Short Stories (1992)d;A Passage to Modern Cicero (2003) and Horizon Journal,University of Ibadan (1975). Adebowale’s short stories are collected in book form in Iron Hand,Girl About Town; and Book Me Down. His collection A New Life was published in 2006 by Bounty Press,Ibadan.

Over ninety per cent of Bayo Adebowale’s short stories have rural setting, and deal with local community people in Nigerian villages and hamlets. A common trend of culture runs through them, stretching into his poetry and his three full-length novels.

For Adebowale the so-called modern society has nothing to offer to communal African village life “except chaos, corruption and other manifestations of of western narcissim”. Africa,for Adebowale,is a passion. “The contemorarisation of the mystic of the African essence is an addiction”.

Bayo Adebowale exhaustively examines the theme of culture in his poetry. Village Harvest,his first book of poetry,bears testimony to this. All the fifty-eight poems in the collection discuss sceneries,seasons,people,places, experiences,events and beliefs of the rural community people. This same trend is discernible in his second book of poetry,A Night of Incantations; where Yoruba traditional incantations are broken into three broad categories, viz: Malevolent Incantations;Benevolent Incantations and Propitiatory Incantations. In 1992,Bayo Adebowale’s poem, “Perdition” won the Africa Prize in the Index on Censorship International Poetry Competition in London. Quite a good number of his poems have been anthologized in Poetry for Africa 2(United Kingdom),Index on Censorship Journal (United Kingdom),African Literature Association Bulletin(Canada);Poetry Drum (Nigeria) and Crab Orchard Review(United States of America).Adebowale’s latest collection of poems, African Melody (2008) gives a realistic literary repositioning of the African Continent and has been acknowledged as”deeply reseached and a compotently crafted work of art”.

Today, Bayo Adebowale is most well-known as a novelist. His first novel,The Virgin, has been adapted into two home videos under the titles of “The White Hankerchief” and later as a thirteen week National Television Serial under yet another tile- “The Narrow Path” -all by the Main Frame Film Organization of Lagos under the directorate of the ace Nigerian cinematographer-Tunde Kelani. Adebowale’s second novel,Out of His Mind has several tiimes also been adapted for the stage. Both novels have been used by researchers as final-year Long Essay Projects in Colleges of Education, and for the Bachelor of Artrs degree final-year research and for Master of Arts dissertations in Nigerian Universities. His third novel, Lonely Days is probably his most ambitious literary endeavour to date. The novel predictably deals with an important aspect of the African culture-widowhood- and has its setting, predictably also, in African rural environment. Adebowale has two other yet to be published novels:Sweetheart and Lone Voice Bayo Adebowale has been described variously as “an advocate of the grassroots people”,”a village novelist” and “a protagonist of the African culture and tradition”and “Africa’s Charles Dickens”.

His pet project, The African Heritage Research Library (at Adeyipo Village, Lagelu Local Government Area,Ibadan,Oyo State,Nigeria) is the first rural community-based African studies research library on the Continent. The objectives of the Centre are (i) to serve the educational needs of students, researchers, scholars, documentalists, and archivists in Africa and all over the world;and (ii) to serve the socio-cultural needs of the local community people:peasant farmers,local artisans, craftsmen and women in African villages and hamlets. Adebowale’s Centre at Adeyipo Village, now incorporates the cultural aspect of the life of the people with the introduction of a Music of Africa Auditorium,a Medicinal Herbs Garden and a Talking Drum Museum.
The establishment of the African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre (AHRLC) has helped a lot to enhance the quantity and quality of Bayo Adebowale’s literary output.The African Heritage Research Library has a formidable Board of Advisors which include eminent scholars and writers all over the world like Ngugi Wa Thiong’o,Elechi Amadi, Niyi Osundare,Bernth Lindfors,Akinwumi Isola;Femi Osofisan;Sam. A. Adewoye,Lekan Oyegoke, Tony Marinho and Niara Sudarkasa.

“FROM NOLLYWOOD TO NOLLYWEIGHT?OR REFLECTIONS ON THE POSSIBILITIES OF LITERATURE AND BURGEONING FILM INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA”BY PROF. FEMI OSOFISAN FROM AFRICULTURES.COM

May 19, 2008

from africultures.com

From Nollywood to Nollyweight ? or, Reflections on the Possibilities of Literature and the Burgeoning Film Industry in Nigeria
by Prof. Femi Osofisan
Femi Osofisan
publié le 18/07/2006

[Cet article est pour le moment disponible exclusivement en anglais] Being the text of keynote by Prof Femi Osofisan – dramatist, actor and director and lecturer at the University of Ibadan – to the 6th ITPAN FORUM, held July 6 to 8, 2006, at the Lagos Business School, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.

Ladies and gentlemen,
1 The first appropriate gesture I must make, on this platform, is that of gratitude. With your kind permission, I want to use this opportunity to publicly express my gratitude to the entire artist community, my friends, and all well-wishers who have so warmly and so generously rejoiced with me on the occasion of my birthday. What a wonderful world – to paraphrase the great bard – that has such good and friendly people in it !
Next, please also allow me to thank the organizers of this Forum, for the honour of being asked to give this keynote address. I am not myself, as you all know, a film maker. I am just one of your customers.
I take it therefore that, if you have asked me to give the keynote address today, it is because you want some feed-back from your audience. That is something certainly that I can offer, and I hope I will not disappoint you. My business is literature, not film. I deal with words, with the texture and architecture of the written phrase ; you with pictures and frames, the tones of light and shadow, colour and chiaroscuro. As a dramatist, I tell stories, just as you also do ; but only for the stage, and not for the screen. However, already in that magical territory of fabulation, of story-telling and myth-making, you can see where we have a meeting place and share a common interest.
This means that we should be able to work together, we writers and film-makers, as indeed we have witnessed in other countries and in other film industries. But so far this kind of collaboration has been rare in the Nigerian film industry. And it is this lapse I intend to talk about today.
2 The enormous commercial success of the contemporary film in Nigeria – at least of the genre that has come to be known as “Nollywood” – is now a familiar, if astonishing, fact.
Everywhere you care to travel, both within the country and outside our borders, the Nollywood films, you will discover, would have preceded you with their ubiquitous presence. In most African homes on the continent or in the Diaspora, the films have established themselves conspicuously as the staple diet of domestic entertainment. And in places as far distant from one another as Nouakchott or Ndjamena, Banjul or Nairobi, even the minor stars are household names. Like the icons of the football field, they adorn the covers of glamorous magazines ; their lives provide the juicy menu of the gossip journals and newspapers ; some of them are better known than many heads of state.
Such has indeed been the scintillating tale of the Nollywood adventure that even the Federal government, not normally known to accord any importance to mere artists, however gifted, startled all of us recently by coming out openly to shower encomium on the industry and its practitioners. It even talks of collaborating with them for some future projects !
This is by any consideration a most phenomenal story, for a business that began almost by accident, was sustained by expediency, and has not benefited from the support of either the political Establishment or the orthodox financial institutions. A totally homegrown industry, all that has kept it afloat and buoyant has been the fabled ingenuity of the Nigerian entrepreneur !
It will never cease to be a marvel then, the fact that a group of half-literate dramatists of the popular travelling theatre tradition, seeing their trade tottering on the brink of extinction because of the harsh economic policies of the time, could, out of desperation and entirely on their own volition, seize a hitherto neglected and subsidiary technology, and, in alliance with spare parts traders and such small-scale businessmen, harness it with such inventiveness that they have turned it into a multi-million naira business, till their products have almost completely displaced the far more sophisticated, far more technically competent products of Hollywood and Bollywood.
Without any precedent example, without recourse to foreign assistance, without the benefit of hefty budgets or of any of the dazzling gadgetry of Hollywood, the Nigerian Nollywood outstripped all its former predecessors and competitors, within the first decade of its birth, and initiated a completely novel cinematic genre. It is worth a celebration.
3 So, in the wake of these sterling achievements that it has garnered, how does one dare voice any negative criticism of the industry – “that is, without the risk of subjecting oneself voluntarily to derision or abuse from its practitioners ? Especially if one has himself never produced a single film, how can one criticize without seeming to be asking to be fed with hemlock ?
But it is a gamble nevertheless that one has to take, if only because the industry is one that has enormous implications for our people’s development. The films have been proven to exercise a tremendous impact on our people’s minds, on their ways of thinking and their habits of perception, on their attitude to the world, to work, to family, to their neighbours. The films also have significant influence on the way that others see us, and hence on the way they relate to us. We cannot but be concerned therefore about what they are saying, what attitudes they are promoting, what image of us they are projecting.
Precisely because they have deservedly won ovation everywhere, the Nollywood films have come to assume an authority over our values and our lives, such that what people see in them comes to be taken not as just a fictional projection by one imaginative consciousness, but as the true, authentic mirror of what we really are, as a veritable marker of what our society represents, and much worse, of the ideal that we aspire, or must aspire, towards.
This is where the films present us with a great dilemma, and where, in spite of our pleasure, we must take a stand in the interest of our collective survival. For we cannot but remark that, however popular the films may be, and however much in demand, the picture that the majority of them present of our world is one that we must not only interrogate, but indeed reject very strongly, if what we seek is the transformation of our society into a modern, progressive state.
I will not, as you know, be the first to make this complaint. Even our friends outside have voiced the same unease about the ambiguity of Nollywood. The common question that people ask, as you know, is – “why this unceasing preoccupation with juju, this relentless celebration of dark rituals and diabolical cults ? Practically every Nollywood director seems to have been caught in the spell – “mix a diet of grotesque murders and cacophonous chants and bizarre incantations, and smile all the way to your bank !
Then, again, those who wish to be different from the rest, who want to demonstrate the ineffectual power of juju rituals, what do they do ? They show us scenarios where the brutish African cults and priests are overpowered and devastated by the agents of Christianity ! Thus one mythology replaces another – “this time the one imported from abroad simply replaces the barbaric local variant. Tarzan is reborn, only this time in black skin, and wearing a cassock ! And it is a sign of the deep damage done to our psyche and our consciousness by decades of European proselytizing that the filmmakers themselves are blissfully unaware of the racist and cultural implications of this fare they offer to the public !
4 What I am saying is that, with all their commercial success, our films parade a number of serious deficiencies, viewed from the cultural and ideological perspectives. These have been summarized before into four broad areas, and I will rapidly recall them here, as follows : – First, is their lack of thematic profundity, of subtlety and complexity in characterization, and the repetitiousness of the scenarios ; – Second, the lack of adventurousness in the area of filmography, or is it “videography” ; with the most basic rules in such matters as costuming, lighting make-up and so on, being regularly compromised ; – Third, the promotion of superstitious habits, of the belief in miracles and witchcraft rather than in concrete, empirical extrapolations and direct physical participation in social struggle. This, ironically in spite of the fact that all the special effects they employ to conjure up their magic are achieved only with the aid of technology, with scientifically-manufactured implements ; – And the fourth, the most serious of them all, is their open promotion of cultural alienation and inferiority complex among our people, even more brazenly than the colonialists and their films did.
It is not of course that the films deliberately set out to do these things. Rather, these perceived deficiencies are due, obviously, to what one may describe as the intellectual deficit of the people involved in the profession. [Now one has to be careful here, not to appear to be patronizing these practitioners or to be undervaluing their intelligence.]
What I mean, to be more precise, is that those who provide the financial means, as well as those who conceive the scenarios for Nollywood are, for the most part, only interested in film as a fast business, as a means merely of making quick money and raking a quick profit, (just like their imported spare second-hand goos), and so can not be bothered by the larger aesthetic or ontological dimensions of film production.
This is why indeed there is most often no script available at all for the actors on most locations ; what you will get is only a scenario, or a series of scenarios, which will be verbally announced by the director or producer as a general guide for improvisation, just as in the old days of the travelling theatres.
5 Given all these problematic areas, all these cultural and philosophical anxieties, the suggestion has been made that what we need for Nollywood is a stricter and more extensive form of censorship. Some have even called for an outright ban.
But censorship is never safe nor fool-proof, nor even predictable. It is not to be trusted ; it can be a dangerous tool in the hands of dictators. Especially with our experience so far of government as terrorism in Nigerian history, it will be most careless of us to assume that the ogre of dictatorship can never rise any more to haunt us. To approve of censorship in such circumstances is to deliberately shut our eyes to danger, and help prepare the way for our own eventual subjugation.
In any case, the effect of censorship is quite often to drive the forbidden good underground, and, like cocaine, make it even more attractive to the consumers. There is such a fervent demand by our people for films that whatever they find available will be gobbled up as soon as it comes out, whatever its quality, and however much they complain afterwards about it. This compulsive appetite of our people, this uncritical and almost insatiable demand for film products should, in my opinion, be a guide about what solutions to suggest.
I want to recommend therefore that, instead of wasting our time with censorship, the line that will be more productive for us to pursue, in order to displace the deficient films from the market, is simply to embark on the production of an alternative repertoire of films, and to making sure that they are abundantly available for consumers. Now, this is where I believe that we writers can come in, as it has been done in other places. An alliance between film makers and the producers of literature is what I believe is most urgent for the necessary recuperative work that Nollywood requires, and deserves.
Our writers are not only good story-tellers, but they have proved for the most part to be story-tellers concerned not primarily with material gratification, but rather, with the overall wellbeing of the community. They entertain, but also instruct and enlighten. They propagate our cultural heritage, but without necessarily glorifying superstition or on the other hand, deliberately demonizing our local religions and customs. They have, that is, the ingredients to enrich and radicalize Nollywood, even while boosting its revenue potential. A good number of books are there on the bookshelves that can be made into profit-yielding projects on film.
Only Tunde Kelani, (and the younger less well-known Demola Aremu), have tried so far, to my knowledge, to exploit the potentials of this fruitful collaboration, but it is no exaggeration to state the immense success that TK has reaped, and is still reaping, from the venture. Almost all his films, until recently, were film adaptations of the works of Professor Akinwunmi Isola, one of our most talented writers, and they helped catapult TK to his position of eminence among the film producers.
There are two possible ways of undertaking the kind of collaboration that I am calling for. The first is to select from a number of successful books already in print, and adapt them for the screen. Here, one can suggest a few titles, apart from the already much-recycled Things Fall Apart. There are also the same author”s Arrow of God, Man of the People, or Anthills of the Savannah. From Cyprian Ekwensi, there are Jagua Nana, the sequel, Jagua Nana”s daughter, The Passport of Mallam Illia, Iska, and so on ; Elechi Amadi”s The Great Ponds ; Onuora Nzekwu”s Danda, Chukwuemeka Ike”s Toads for Supper, Wole Soyinka”s Ake, Isara, and Season of Anomy ; Saro Wiwa”s Sozaboy ; and numerous recent works by Eddie Iroh, Ifeoma Okoye, Zaynab Alkali, Ogochukwu Promise, Akachi Ezeigbo, Maik Nwosu, Okey Ndibe, Helen Oyeyemi, Tony Marinho, Chimamamba Adichie, Sefi Atta, and others.
Apart from novels, there are also very dramatic plays which could yield exciting film scripts, such as the works of Sam Ukala, Olu Obafemi, Ahmed Yerimah, Akinwunmi Isola, Bayo Faleti, Emman Nwabueze – ¦ the list is long ! Nor does the choice have to be confined to only those books written by Nigerian authors. In both East and Southern Africa alone, there are thousands of books waiting for an adventurous film maker !
The second approach I can recommend is for you to liaise with some of the established writers mentioned above, and to commission them to produce original scripts. You will be amazed by what you would generate from them, and then from others who will be inspired by them. Certainly the current bogey of thin stories and trivial or merely sensational themes, of insipid dialogue and worn verbal and lexical garbage, of dull and uninspiring plots, and so on, will become a thing of the past, if the film-makers agree to exploit this idea of collaboration with our writers.
And instead of “Nollywood”, what we will be celebrating, come next season, will be the advent of “Nollyweight !”
I thank you for your attention,
Femi Osofisan

[english] [imprimer] [retour]

Cet article vous intéresse ? Réagissez :

[Ajouter un commentaire]
Ceci n’est pas une lettre à Africultures mais un texte à faire lire à tous.
Pour s’adresser à Africultures, utiliser le formulaire “contact”

[Ou créez gratuitement votre blog sur Afriblog]

– il n’y a pas encore de commentaire lié à cet article –