John Okafor on Nollywood and rituals – Popular Nollywood comedian John Okafor popularly known as Mr. Ibu, has opened up on some of Nollywood’s and Nigeria’s issues in a recent interview.
Speaking to Vanguard, Okafor spoke on why many Nollywood movies focused on rituals, saying it was a way of warning people to stay away from them.
He said: “Films are a reflection of the society. Nobody believes he is a poor person in Nigeria. We are trying to give proper interpretation of what is happening in the society. Films give back the life in the society. But,already,we have held a meeting that all things should go and give way for films dwelling on family,tragic,comedy stories. The issue is that the ritual thing can’t even go in the society. My father for instance, was poisoned to death by his best friend. I was small then. When my father died,he told my mother in a dream about three weeks after, that it was his best friend that killed him. In that dream,my father told my mother,invite the man who killed me but nobody should hurt him.
“My father equally instructed my mum to invite my brothers and relations inside our compound. Tell them what I said. My mother invited the man, as my father instructed and other relatives. My fathers instruction was done exactly as it came. They told the man what my father said. He denied and they said okay,you will eat the yam roasted on my father’s grave. If you did not do it,you will go home, but if you did it,you will die here. The yam was roasted on my father’s grave in the presence of the man. All the elders in my village ate the yam and said the yam was sweat and that we did not put poison in the food roasted on father’s grave. Then came the turn of the man. The elders asked him to say that if he was responsible for the death of my father,Emmanuel Okafor,let this food be the last food he will eat.
“But if he did not know anything about my father’s death,let his life span be increased. The man who killed my father refused to eat it. And remember,my father had warned us in the dream,that we should not touch him. When he refused,nobody touched him and he left. That is to tell you that the rituals we are shooting is real. But the new generations coming up,they are oblivious about these concoctions. That is why we shoot films to highlight these things so that people will know and shun such evil ways.”