Sociological Analysis of Money Rituals as a Recurrent Theme in Yoruba Films

Adagbada Olufadekemi


The film, though a relatively modern innovation, is rooted in the age-long human tradition of telling stories. Today, the film has transcended being a tool for ‘twilight enjoyment’. Globally, it is being used to highlight the state of nations folklorically or contemporaneously; portraying their struggles, worldviews, hopes, aspirations and economic, political and social experiences. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has rated Nollywood (the Nigerian film industry) as the second largest producer of films in the world, with Hollywood (America) and Bollywood (India) being in the first and third positions respectively. The loudest criticism of the Nollywood films however, is that of overt and undue emphasis on the supernatural. The apparent downward trend in the socio-economic conditions of the average Nigerian, has led to increase in the number of people using occult practices to come to terms with contemporary socio-economic demands. The focus of this paper therefore is to critically analyze the recurrence of money ritual as a theme in Yoruba films. Pivoting the theoretical framework of the study on Marxism and drawing upon the works of Max Weber; to the effect that many groups apart from class stratification, can be in conflict for the scarce resources in the society. The paper concludes that money rituals’ recurrence as a theme indicates the signs of times. Apart from this, it is a form of voice-lending to demands for a more positive, meaningful and people-focused egalitarian governance. The punishment/negative aftermath of the vice is didactically used as deterrence to portray the ritual as illusionary.

Keywords: Economy, Poverty, Social Honour, Governance, Ritual

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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