The Yoruba Film Industry in the last couple of years has developed into a high octane productive and creative sector with possibilities for greater development.
It has, without an iota of doubt, become a popular source of employment for millions of Nigerian youths and the general public with budding creative talents.
It’s overwhelming global acceptance remains highly significant and mind-buggling to say the least.
This general acceptance is gradually being eroded by a very uncharacteristic and unnatural trend of undue poliferation of English lingo in the scenes and dialoques to the alarming extent that presently it has become increasingly challenging to decipher whether you are watching a Nollywood English Film or infact a Yoruba Film.
It is a known fact that educated Yorubas like Ibos naturally speak Yoruba with a spice of English to depict a natural situation and not the other way round.
The act of film directing and production rests solely on the act of make believe as such directors should follow this trend.
Of course there is a distinct difference between a cultural film and the regular Yoruba film with the cultural film distinct in its costumes, traditional setting and Yoruba being bonafide lingo spoken all through.
The regular Yoruba films on the other hand have erroneously attained a very high English potency of 60 to 70 % with viewers begining to wonder if they are tuned to DStv Trybes or Rok Channel.
What is really going on? Are we trying to change the natural direction or infact proof that all of a sudden Yoruba film actors are actually educated?
With hindsight and back in the days, you would think that many of this actors were not educated or confident enough in the natural transition from Yoruba to English and vise versa. All of a sudden they have become proffessors of English and will at every opportunity like to showcase it in every scene on every film set or is there an ongoing competition on how much
English can be spoken on each production set?
I must categorically and unequivocally state that this is very detrimental to the growth of the Industry.
Why have the directors and producers all of a sudden gone English crazy in their productions? What are they trying to achieve or communicate?
Are they forgetting the fact that they are actually further deriding the same institution that depicts creativity, success and source of livelihood for them and thousands of others?
As a major stakeholder, film critic and Executive Producer of the popular Celebration of Creativity in the Yoruba Film Industry (Yoruba International Film Festival and Awards) I have simply found it increasingly challenging to categorize films as purely Yoruba films when English has more or less become the prevailing lingo.
What percentage of English scenes or dialogues should ideally be allowed in Yoruba films to qualify as authentic Yoruba films? Is it 70 to 75% or ideally 25 or 30%?
Sincerely, the answer to this simple question has to be a major cause to ponder on amongst major stakeholders, directors and producers going forward as we seek continuous global acceptance.editing
Its an obvious fact that there has been a significant improvement in the general technical quality, scripting, casting, directing, lighting and production, among others in the Yoruba film Industry.
There is also an urgent need for a major legislation on the need to do the needful before we get it all wrong thereby losing focus and the essence of why the industry is being accepted and celebrated globally.
Going forward, without mincing words while we aknowledge the significant improvement in the industry in the last five years in all ramifications in the same vein it’s imperative to state the obvious before Nollywood Yoruba is transformed into Nollywood English thus losing its traditional identity and focus.
Yes new entries, trend and the 24th century syndrome will come to play but there is an imperative need to set believable production standards and adhere to them.