A Critical Analysis of the Representation of Women’s Health Conditions in (Yorùbá) Nollywood Films and its Implications.
Literature, through any of its genres, is a reflection of the sociology of the people where it has its sources. It highlights among other things, their beliefs, hopes, aspirations, development and relationships. The film, which is currently the popular theatre among the (African) Yoruba of the South-West Nigeria, is the literary genre through which this study critically examined the implications of the portrayal of female gynecological, physiological and mental health conditions. This was achieved by criticizing selected films whose major and minor themes are gynocentric. The female among the (patriarchal) Yoruba, is seen and related to as a second fiddle, the OTHER; whose existence is basically for procreation and the general well-being of her home, especially that of her husband. This cultural pattern, though in lesser magnitude now than it used to be in the past, permeates the entire aspects of the living of a Yoruba female, including the very important issue of her health. ‘Health’ meant here, is not merely the absence of diseases, but a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being. It has been observed that there is a close relationship between patterns of ill-health and social class, gender and race. Apart from this, (cultural) living conditions are very basic in contracting and combating ill-health. Our theoretical framework is therefore hinged on Parsons’ (2008) functionalists’ perspectives on health, to the effect that when people are sick, they are unable to perform their social roles and this hinders society’s functioning. The study concludes that the (African) Yoruba populace needs re-orientation and conscious efforts towards a change in patrifocal cultural patterns. The Nigerian government must put in place health schemes that have positive considerations for women’s health; for the hands that rock the cradle rules the world.
Keywords: The Yorùbá, Women, Sociology, Health, Re-orientation