Sunday, June 20, 2010


It was an exhilarating, exciting two days of deliberation as women in Nollywood came together to discuss the way forward in film in Nigeria. In a two day workshop held on the 16th and 17th of June at the Colonades Hotel, Ikoyi, and organised by the African Women's Development Fund (AWDF) in collaboration with Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts (which is owned by veteran Actress, Joke Silva) the women came together and discussed spiritedly and passionately on topics that were presented in various papers at the event such as; 'Telling Women's Stories, presented by Dr. Abena Busia of Rutgers University, Dr. Bunmi Oyesan, 'Saints, Whores, Nags & Witches: the four Nollywood stereotypes presented by Emem Isong and moderated by Funmi Iyanda,'Talent , Opportunity & Versatility' by Kate Henshaw who was unavoidably absent but still sent in her paper that was read by Joke Silva. Discussants were Dakore Egbuson, Omoni Oboli and others. Also present at the event were Her Excellency Mrs Abimbola Fashola (The wife of the Governor of Lagos State) Mrs Bisi Adeleye-Falemi (Exec. Dir. AWDF) Amaka Igwe, Tunde Kilani, Sandra Obiago, Mahmoud Ali-Balogun, Ope Banwo, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha, Monalisa Chinda,Nse Ikpe-Etim, Uduak Oguamanam of Royal Arts Academy,Bola Aduwo of and many others from the film and television world.

It was a delight to see practitioners from the different strata of the media come together to rub minds on the way forward. The kernel to be got from the event was that Nigerian actresses are tired of being portrayed as 'Saints, Whores, Nags and Witches' in Nollywood films. They clamoured for not a perfect portrayal but a more rounded portrayal of who they really are; which is strong, supportive, intelligent and hardworking. (Are the men listening?) All in all, it was a great time as the women aired grievances and generally bonded over coffee and later lunch! Kudos to Joke Siva and AWDF for that very timely programme.

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