Entertainment as a Tool for Cultural Resistance

Entertainment as a Tool for Cultural Resistance



Entertainment as a Tool for Cultural Resistance

            Films, in particular, present the opportunity to integrate cultural and religious themes into foreign entertainment transmitted courtesy technological infrastructure to reflect domestic sentiments. Nigerians perceive the global economy as oppressive. It is structured to perpetuate the global dominance of the West at their expense. It follows that Nigerians actively seek opportunities to liberate themselves from this system. Towards this end, Northern Nigerians have adopted an alternative form of entertainment that demonstrates their freedom from Western subjugation. The piracy phenomenon that pervades Nigeria has aided the country to selectively adopt aspects of modernity that they value as well as create a legitimate framework for the advancement of local themes. Entertainment presents an opportunity for resistance to the third world countries otherwise absent in other media.

            Piracy has facilitated the creation of domestic entertainment in most third world countries aiding them to de-link from an otherwise exploitative global economy. Piracy, inherent in the transmission of western media across Africa, represents a breakdown in technological infrastructure (Larkin, 2004). This collapse has facilitated the emergence of new economic ventures in the country, conduits for local media content. The unsatisfactory quality of pirated movies, the norm of accessing foreign media in areas like Nigeria, has helped stimulate interests in films and develop a level of expertise among the locals. Subsequently, the newfound proficiency created an environment to nature a local alternative. Out of the previously illegal enterprise, a legitimate practice was formed and corresponding facilities to serve the new ventures. The above can be contextualized by the presence of traffic jams, a failure in the transport infrastructure, providing a platform for hawkers to sell their merchandise, in turn; creating establishment like restaurants to serve the latter’s needs. The domestic media firms become private economic venture autonomous from the respective state’s control.

            The increasing popularity of Indian films is symbolic of the departure from the monopoly of entertainment previously held by Hollywood. Western films have hitherto been perceived as the threshold of quality and modernity reinforced by the politically and financial hegemony (Shohat & Stam, 2003). The influence of Bollywood provides a platform of sampling other cultural phenomena away from the seemingly prescribed movies. However, the global flow of the Bollywood films is indissoluble to western media given its acceptance is aimed to counter the cultural imperials the latter represents. While to Indians in Diaspora it represents a cultural learning tool helping them regain lost tradition, to the rest of the world it presents a third way where individuals can be modern without being western. It represents a cultural battle and a political statement with the former taking precedence. For instance, Movies in Northern Nigeria integrate Indian themes to their cultural heritage to form a conglomeration of social influences to the modern youth.

            Entertainment is a primary channel of globalization. As such, an active resistance to its cultural influences creates an illusion of freedom from the opposition. Though it is impossible to completely remove one’s self from the global economy, one can leverage its infrastructure to advance one’s cultural identity as is the case in Nigeria. Nigerians have used the piracy used to transmit western media to nurture their own local film industry. Their desire for a cultural alternative to the holly wood is represented by the adoption of Indian films by the northern part of the country. Nigerians recognize that western media is a force to reckon with in the film industry and that its influence on its audience transcends entertainment value. It is an aspect of cultural expression a property they strive to harness for the advancement of the national and regional identity.


Larkin, B. (2004). Degraded images, distorted sounds: Nigerian video and the infrastructure of piracy. Public Culture, 16(2), 289-314.

Shohat, E., & Stam, R. (2003). Multiculturalism, postcoloniality, and transnational media. Rutgers University Press.

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