Of Evil Spirits, Nollywood and Mount Zion movies

I hate Nigerian movies with a passion, and I could say this a million times over again.

To date, I do not think I have watched a nollywood produced movie from start to finish. I haven’t even watched half of such without getting bored and pissed off. What I’ve watched so far are Mount-Zion movies, and yes, I watched / finished watching my third mount Zion movie yesterday (Sunday night), titled ‘The Broken Pitcher’.

My dislike for Nigerian movies is plainly because they have no other story behind them, other than the general African-centric-always-evil-centered(sorry, but this is true) story line. This usually revolves around the following:

  • juju power battles between persons/families,
  • husband and wife quarrels/relationships with a third woman – the home wrecker,
  • disobedient daughter who eventually gets pregnant, 
  • evil power sources which is either from a calabash, suitcase, forest, river/waterfall etc., used by some witch or wizard etc., There would always be an old and ugly man or woman as the devil incarnate.
  • evil pastor/preacher’s rise to fame and the attendant consequences on his decieved members. In this group are coca-cola-bottle-sexy female members of the church who eventually bring down the great pastor who forgot his initial calling and went after the flesh.
  • extremely lame romance and love stories where a kiss can last for 5mins.

The list is too long to mention. If you watch Nigerian movies, you could do a better job on the list above.

The worst of them all is the extremely colorful CD cover which is usually the summary of the whole movie. In fact, after seeing some CD covers, you might not need to watch the movie to know the whole gist.

The general depiction of wealth and satisfaction also pisses me off:

example: the camera captures ‘a rich character(male/female)s’ house from head(top/aerial roof view) to toe(toilet); focuses on the tiles in the house, soft carpets(and how the character’s feet sinks in when walking); the walls of the mansion, kitchen utensils and gadgets, air conditioners, expensive mobile phones etc., The shot soon goes outside and starts ‘stupidly’ shooting the tires of parked cars(usually Jeeps with no number plates) in the garage until you can see the manufacturer of the tire on your TV/computer screen? Damn.

All these part1, part2, part3 to infinity movies also get on my nerves. A lot of scenes in these movies aren’t needed, and yet there are like 3–CDs to a single movie.

They would even shoot the rich man/woman sluggishly wearing a shoe and slowly picking up a bag/suitcase; slow motion picking up a car’s keys(and focus on the inscription on the car key, so you’ll see it’s a Mercedes/Jaguar); a majestical walk out(with background music) to the garage, until he/she enters the car, and then the camera focus is now on how the key is inserted into the car’s-key hole…capturing painted fingernails(of ladies especially) until he/she turns it clockwise and then you’ll hear the engine start up……..shu, I’m tired……… Sometimes, I ask myself if these ‘producers’ have formal education/training on how to produce sensible movies that would have some solid story line.

Broken_pitcher

As much as Mount Zion Faith Ministries claims to be a Christian organization and they make ‘Christian oriented movies’, the idea of associating / having some evil power behind every hook and corner in a movie-characters life is what makes me quite a little doubtful about the whole Christian-movie idea.

The broken pitcher is about a Nigerian couple departing Nigeria for America, only to get drawn into the search for money and wealth at the expense of their spiritual lives. The husband(Gabriel) soon, unknowingly gets drawn into a covenant with an evil goddess from Jamaica while the wife is having her own flings. Thank God for the ‘Nigerian Church’ pastor who prays both husband and wife out of satan’s claws. The movie ended with Gabriel dropping in his resignation letter in his place of work. His wife also got fired from her office the night after she could not bring herself to sleep with her boss. The thunder of God chased away the Jamaican goddess that even phone calls to her phone number was unreachable.

My question / argument however is: why does everything have to do with evil spirits?

Why do/does the typical Christian in Nigeria, the typical pastor attribute every tom, dick and harry thing, event, situation or whatever, to some evil power somewhere. I am a Christian and I believe and have faith in God and not in the devil. I would rather tell someone about what God can do in the life of a man rather than expantiating on past exploits of Satan. I am forced to ask myself if all Christians believe in Christ’s victory at Calvary. A lot of preachers in Nigeria get one major point wrong. They talk about satan so much that God is left out of the picture. Listening to some of this pastors on the radio, I sometimes feel within me that such are not Christians. A lot of such never talk about the power of God. In a 45-minute sermon, they would rather talk about evil powers for 40-minutes, talk of Gods power for deliverance for 5-minutes and then close with a 5-minute prayer.

Back to Nollywod and Mount Zion:
If all names of evil-gods/goddesses of waters, mountains, rivers or shrines, forests, sky, lands or seas ever mentioned in Nigerian movies were put together, such names might be up to the population of some states in Nigeria. The typical nollywood movie always has some evil-spirit element  somewhere and here comes Christian movies in the same line. I wonder what kind of Bible some Christians read nowadays and I also wonder if our Islamic brothers / related movies tow the same line(I haven’t watched any Islamic movie yet).

On a more serious note, are there evil spirits too in America? I am imagining an American evil spirit who raps like Eminem, plays basketball like Michael Jordan and looks like Michael Jackson.

The Naija answer to my question is: who sent you?

On a less serious note:
What if Nigerians swap places with Americans and Europeans, what kind of movies would we be producing in America?

  • Nollywood would have made movies about evil spirits in areas like rugby, basketball, coaching careers, bungee jumping, American racing etc. Other spirits behind boxing, wrestling, and ballet dancing would be identified in a matter of time. In fact, sports would be a no-go area as we would be all concerned about evangelism.
  • There would be no scientific discoveries, there’ll be no Bill Gates, there’ll be no Silicon Valley, there’ll be no computers, there’ll be no technology etc., as such extremes of intellectual exercise and research, even for the benefit of mankind would be classified as works of evil spirits etc. A quick example is the spirit of artificial intelligence. Movies produced with these themes would include destroying such through prayer.
  • There’ll be Texas based cowboy spirits flipping rifles like they flip pens, smoking demons like cigarettes and making movies all the same.
  • Mr. Bean won’t be a funny face to behold. The spirit behind him that makes everyone laugh and laugh until tears come out of their eyes would have been identified long ago by our white garment churches.
  • Past American president Clinton would not have needed to bother about Monica Lewinsky. He would have just attributed everything to the devil – The Spirit of Lewinsky, and once she’s bound, she would be cast out of the white house – case closed. 
  • All the mami-water spirits residing within all female fashion models and Miss world contestants since 1600 to date would have been identified by Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries. These would be cast out regularly during Miss World contests.
  • If only the god of Samuel Peter was at the ring side, maybe things could have been different today. The evil spirit that recently worked against our man, that got him beaten black and blue would have been discovered within a couple of days. P.S: Don King would be a Pastor in Nigeria.
  • By now, Nigerian movie makers would have found out the name of the evil spirit behind Chelsea and Manchester United, and why Nigerians are crazy about these teams and their players. Also, the Juju power behind the highest goal scorer in European football would have been discovered.
  • See, Michael Jordan wound not be the greatest basketball player ever, because he would have been accused of using Jaz, and would have confessed a long time ago. All those slam-dunk brouhaha-contents would be a thing of the past. Nigerians would have identified the spiritual link between M. Jordan, Scottie Pipen and Dennis Rodman.
  • Definitely, the planes that crashed into the World Trade center  would be attributed to flying spirits and not terrorists. Meanwhile, Nigerian soldiers won’t be deployed to oust Saddam and Bin Laden, it would be pastors sent it there to pray down fire.

And now that Obama beat Clinton, I believe the angel from Heaven working with Obama would have been identified as well, and Gods name would be praised.

Continue the list for me, pls.

On a more serious note, I believe Nollywood needs a revamp. Christian Movies, actors and actresses need a re-think. Nigeria is not as bad as the movies potray it to be.

32 thoughts on “Of Evil Spirits, Nollywood and Mount Zion movies

  1. Hello,

    Honestly, is Nollywood a reflection of contemporary Nigerian society?

    Because if it is, then you are railing against the norm, much as an enlighted elite might see these depictions as irksome, if the majority are taken by these plots you can hardly sell or market something more objective.

    The task of objectivity can still be explored by altruistic people and audiences, but those efforts are unlikely to be profitable.

    What do you say?

    Regards,

    Akin

  2. @Mr. Akin,
    true word spoken.

    I am of the opinion however that as we all become more and more educated, and ‘alive’ as far as the real world is concerned, evidences / traces of such should be seen in the society, with Nollywood as a starting point.

    ‘Television’ has a great influence in the life of people and if only to the present generation ‘positively’, so that they dont get bound up with the same backward mentality as their grand-fathers who died in ignorance, I just feel Nollywood stakeholders should know better. There are a lot of better and more-educative story-lines, than what we presently have…..as I have listed in the post.

    Coming back to the ‘church’, if the movies produced in the church have no difference with those produced in the ‘world’, then I wonder what exactly the difference is between the two.

  3. I agree with you in so many ways. The plots in the movies, the story line and of course some irrelevant points of emphasis. I have had to share this with as many who cared to hear me out.
    They demonise every little occurence. But i dare say that you may not actually be a very enlightened christian judging by some of your comments. The devil looks to see what he can destroy about our lives. The bible says so. We dont look for an appropriate time to bring up the subject. Apostle Paul said not to be ignorant of the devices of the devil. That does not mean paying him undue attention but to be discerning. In mount Zion films there is a lot of spiritual education. The academic mind may not appreciate this. They are produced under GOD`s inspiration. I know how they have helped my spiritual life. I dont think demons. But I know when they play pranks and how to deal with such situations by HIS grace.

  4. Great blog! Although I do love my Nollywood you make some excellent points. I try to stay away from the spiritual ones because it is all nonsense to me, however it does show how that way of thinking pervades every aspect of Nigerian life.

  5. Your write-up is quite interesting and I agree with you totally on a number of points you raised especially as it relates to the quality of production from our “home video” producers.
    I think they can do better with some education, as it is now, we still have a long way to go.
    Segun

  6. To be honest with you I am utterly fed up with the rubbish called Nigerian film or movies. I am a Ghanaian and refused to enjoy viewing Ghanaian televisions. Especially in the late mornings between 10 a.m-12 p.m wherever you tuned in all that greets you is witchcraft, act murder, armed robbery, thuggery paraded in the so called Nigerian movies. I have learnt the producers of this movies pay huge sums of money for promotion of such film at the expense of decency and moral integrity in the Ghanaian society.
    As an M.Phil student with a focus on contemporary African theatre I don’t think the right message is being preached. Theatre is a powerful tool for development. It must be made to reflect the thinking, the vision, the aspiration of the people. To me about 90% of the Nigerian movies depicts the aspirations of the stone age where every single occurrence, bad or good was attributed to a witch or an god somewhere. We need science and technology, participatory democracy, free and fair elections, press freedom, human rights, rule of law, hope, self confidence, exemplary leadership to move (not only Nigeria or Ghana but the entire continent of Africa) into the mainstream of the world economy. We can’t afford to be fooled by few individuals who want to capitalize on the innocence of our illiterates (and even some literates) to make money for themselves.

  7. hi writer, i feel your passion, u want something great out of nigeia, especially the entertainment sector and i share in that pasion too, i am an upcoming producer. but i stand to correct ur misconceptions in some areas. you know the media portrays the society. so wateva u see on t.v is the replica of real life but exagerated. i studied mass communication so i am speaking from my wealth of experience. remember the devil is a serpent which is the spirit of deciet, it crawls in the green grass and u don;t seem to notice until he bites. the greatest harm the devil can do to a man is to make u believe he doesn’t exist, this way he gets u wen u are off guard. u wont blame mount zion for writing stories that has to do with the work of the Devil. they are impacting lives, bcos they are teaching people to be conscious of the enemy. a city without watch will be easily defeated by the enemy city. so please think about it well, like i said the media portrays real life but can be slightly exagerated. so wat we see in our movies is a replica of what we are. therefore the solution is to change who we are, then wat appears on our t.v will change. when nigeria starts having many scientific discoveries, they we will have movies centered on that. pray that God will deliver us from the sins of our fathers. remember, the American’s forefathers were missionaries, so they have paved the way for them, but ours were herbalists, idol worshippers, hunters who use charms<e.t.c. i cud continue forever………………….. but time…………..is a valuable asset.

  8. @Opeyemi,
    thanks for your comment on the above piece. I understand that their movie plot/story lines are taken from what is happening in the society. I was just thinking….you know our religious leaders(ex:Christians) of today emphasize more of the devil and his powers, over and above the Power of God Almighty. These so called Christianity-centered films devote 90% of screen time showing and displaying the different exploits of evil powers, witches, wizards, etc.,(how someone died in an accident, how another person ran mad, how a newborn baby died, how the sick died etc)., Check out how much scrren time is devoted to how the prayer of deliverance set the captive fee? the next scene will be less than 5-minutes.

    Now as much as I do not expect producers to be doing a deliverance-from-satan’s-claw-session in slow-motion, the truth is that the youth of today who watch those films hardly remember how the film ended in good terms. What is stuck up at the back of the mind of an average viewer are the scary and gore scenes of blood, scenes of witches and wizards, how the spirits travel in broad daylight, and the over-emphasized scenes of evil-entities proclaiming curses on their victims-to-be, etc,.

    You hardly find a film where the message of salvation is given a good show time, where the listener/movie watcher is taken through necessary steps to receive salvation. I’m not talking about the idea of asking everyone to raise up their hands and get saved, all as a show, and without genuine repentance/information about what repentance is all about. I might be sounding like a pastor here, which Im not, but you know, at the end of the day, its more like evil is glorified over good, and yet we say we are watching Christian movies.

  9. i wish to be one of your member ,and am interested in your acting christian films,i ll be very glad if you can accpet me.

  10. Those who are in favour for the positive things are simply saying they should look so much into the good aspects of our lives and existence, and produce films out of it. Who will do something about our history, the beautiful landscapes from Badagry to Obudu, and documentaies from west, south, east and north. Success stories of the cocao era that built edifices such as cocao house in Ibadan and University of Ife. Such can renew peoples interest in the trade.

    The good things that will impact positively on the society, that can then generate a change. I don’t watch those films except for 1 or 2 mount zion films. But I have heard all sorts of responses even from those who enjoy them. I saw Oleku when I was working on a publication (good work) and the production can not be compared with many of what obtains in Nollywood.

    I also believe that bad things can and should be shown in a way to discredit them, take for instance issues of politics, known cases can be cated out and pu shame on the uunserious politicians we have today, of sit tight rulers whose endings like Mobutu are not palatable. Lessons will be drawn.

    However I know they can be better, when Nigerians decide to do it right, Yes they can.

  11. Well, I have had some problems watching Nigerian films as some of the story lines are just not logical.

    However, films usually reflect the general thinking, attitudes and culture of the society, so I wouldn’t crucify them that much.

    I think within the context of the limitations and the peculiarities of our dear country some of which are unprintable, I think the film industry has made some appreciable progress.

    Of course there are films which i will not touch with a long stick because i am a christian but then to put all the films into one one basket will be unfair.
    As per your comment on mount zion films, i will say that they have made tremendous progress in their presentation and they deserve our appreciation.
    Whether we like it or not, evil spirits do exist and the fact that humans are often under evil influences is a fact.

    Even the so-called secular Europe still has a lot to do with spiritism and occultism!! People consult mediums and necromancers who have now assumed nice official titles and are even considered to be celebrities!!

    The fact is simple, the law of sin is in operation in the world and only the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus can set this generation free from the law of of sin and death!!…. sorry, I went a little theological!!

    As per my comment on mount zion, please see this link as a proof of their improvement http://www.thetimesofnigeria.com/Article.aspx?id=1934

    Cheers!

  12. Didnt read the article completely but I like the feel and pace of it – well done “Mr. Blogger”. I think you did a good job on this one. Please remove the “zain scandal” one – i’m still beefing you seriously for that one – u know try at all at all

  13. No one can deny the impact caused by nigerian movies.In the years past they were very good evangelism tools in Cameroon,particulary mount zion films.I remember ULTIMATE POWER which brought many to christ in our villages.I think also of
    THE PRICE by Liberty films which remains a blessing even today.What is regratable racent Nollywood movies is centred around what the call love,with little and sometimes no morals.Some of theme are not good for family view for the very low morals the communicate.What has happened to mount zion faith films.

  14. pls. i would like to join the mount zion film industry. i am a born again christain.
    i love d mount zion films i’ve watched so far, i’ve equally been blessed by them.

  15. Society matters in what ever humans do on earth. The evil part in Nigerian movies is mostly centered on Igbo happenings. So do not blame many of the actors or film makers. The issue is – what you see is what you get. Evil doings were more in Igbo land in 1800, which explains why the early white christians concentrated in that region of Nigeria. Although they ended up taking people into slavery to meet their agenda.

    As Nigerian you can contribute a script to show some elements of modern world; still you cannot avoid happenings. American films indicate their tradition and values – killing, even in churches, organised crimes, love making and kissing in public, even in the presence of their kids.

    O boy, whether you are a christian or not, Nigerian films are all about the society you live in. Personally you might not know all that, but try to put up with Nigerian films.

  16. Hello , u have just express exactly , how you feel.That is ok , however , it is not pleasant to condemn what people had taken time to produce and countless time of prayers to bring forth to reach out to life .If you dont like it , it does not mean another is not bless. Many have been able to examin themselves everynow and then with the broken picther. If you have your reservation with nolly wood i agree with you but not mountZion . I am not a member of mountzion neither do i know them from adams , however , no time i watch their movies that i dont get blessed and therefore helps me to be wacthful , the bible says we should not be ignorant of the devices of the enemies . I am sure there is you are missing out

  17. I won’t write too much only because what I was thinking has been mostly written.

    “Whether we like it or not, evil spirits do exist and the fact that humans are often under evil influences is a fact….The fact is simple, the law of sin is in operation in the world and only the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus can set this generation free from the law of of sin and death!!”

    –Exactly. No worldly or “intellectual” argument can or will stand up to this. It’s just the truth. What can we do? Oh well.

    As for Mount Zion, their movies, for me, are edifying. I was actually searching them in Bing when I stumbled across this blog. LoL.

    Toodles,

    http://www.overwhelmingfullness.blogspot.com

    O.F.C.J.

  18. Movies are made to cater to those who are interested. Yes you made some real good points. However. That is their culture. It is the same here with American movies. The motion picture industry in America only make the kind of movies that people want to see. Depending on the culture, climate, and —beliefs of the majority rulez. I can complain on and on about American movies. Everything is violence, drug use, sex out of wedlock, guns guns and more guns and lets not forget the misuse of God’s name. That’s American movies! The mount zion african movies do have a strong moral to them which American movies lack soooo much. Christian movies made in america don’t hold a candle to Mount Zion movies. Sorry, but if Kirk Cameron makes another Left Behind movie I don’t know what I’m gonna do?!

  19. Kirk Cameron is not a bad actor and I admire his work. However, everyone here in America (that go to Church or have read the Bible) is familiar with the Rapture and the Mark of the Beast theme. I would like to see different themes in American Christian movies and I would like to see more black actors in Godly roles. Mount Zion (African) movies have more to offer it’s viewers.

  20. je suis une congolaise vivant en Belgique et je pense que certains films de Mount Zion Productions ont été fait pour toucher la vie des personnes , pour transformés la vie des personnes.Je suis contre toute critique sans fondements, si vous êtes vraiment chrétien(ne), alors vous constaterez que ces films ont été fait dans un but d’évangélisation et pour prévenir les chrétiens des risques de certaines façons de vivre .

  21. u are right to some extent. . but how do u show true demonstration of God’s power in a movie without without a contest with demonic powers. . whether we like it or not we are wrestling against principalities and powers of darkness and these movies do a lot by showing us how to overcome these powers which is through the ultimate power of God.

  22. It is perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy. I have read this submit and if I could I desire to counsel you few interesting issues or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles relating to this article. I wish to read more issues approximately it!

  23. Ahaa, its pleasant conversation on the topic of this piece
    of writing here at this weblog, I have read all that,
    so now me also commenting at this place.

  24. hi!,I love your writing so so much! percentage we communicate
    extra about your article on AOL? I need a specialist
    on this area to unravel my problem. Maybe that is you!
    Having a look ahead to peer you.

  25. Please,iv been longing to join dis ministry and I dnt knw aw to go about it.please help me out bcos I already left school bcos of dis.help me…shalom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s