9th July, 2010
The First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, has joined other Nigerians to condemn the exploitation of women in Nollywood. She therefore wants an improvement on the prevalent themes in our movies.
Mrs. Fasholaâ€™s call to “do something about this in the near future” set the pace for the series of sessions at the first African Women in Film Forum (WIFF), at the Colonades Hotel, in Ikoyi, Lagos on the 17th of June, 2010.
Convened by the African Women Development Fund (AWDF) and organized by the Lufodo Academy of the Performing Arts (LAPA), the two-day event brought together practitioners from within the industry and members of the academia as discussants in various sessions of the programme.
Zimbabwean film maker and writer, Tsitsi Dangarembga, a highly anticipated discussant at the forum, was unavoidably absent.
Other foreign based speakers in attendance were Dr. Abena Busia who delivered the lead presentation; Akin Omotoso South (Africa based filmmaker); as well as Bunmi Oyinsan and Nollywood scholar Onookome Okome (both based in Canada).
The various discussants during the two- day forum included Tunde Kelani, Mahmoud Ali-Balogun, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Emem Isong, Amaka Igwe, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Biodun Ibitola, Omoni Oboli, Dakore Egbuson, Reuben Abati, Funmi Iyanda, Iretiola Doyle and Emma Isikaku.
Also in attendance were Nollywood stars such as Chioma Chukwuka, Bimbo Manuel, Uche Mac-Auley, Monalisa Chinda, Saheed Balogun, Rose Odika, Carol King, Ego Boyo and Dupe Jaiyesimi.
In a paper titled ‘Women and the Dynamics of Representation’, Dr. Abena Busia called for proper representation of women in Nigerian movies saying, “There is a need to redress the discrepancies about how we are seen. We should never underestimate the differences between how we are seen and how we see ourselves because when it becomes abuse, we fight.”