ANALYSIS: Yoruba Films and the Reign of Mediocrity, By Adegbenro Adebanjo

Photo extracted from a Yoruba movie [Credit: Youtube]

I first watched Ti Oluwa ni Ile in the early 90’s and I’ve watched it( the part 1) for over 10 times. I could watch Kosegbe and Saworo ide and Oleku again and again. All the films are classics from the stable of the inimmitable Tunde Kelani.

But watching a 90-minute offering from the Yoruba new generation film makers is sheer waste of time. Their films lack depth, plot and direction. They are so amateurish that professionals will cringe.

I cannot see any successor generation in the Yoruba genre. Daily we are assaulted with poorly acted , badly directed and obviously unscripted films. Some of the films in the Yoruba genre are so bad that even 10-year olds can see through their terrible plot and amateurish setting and characterisation.

The themes are bland , the charaters are flat and the plot never verisimilitude with the events of actual life.

If the truth must be told most of the films of the Yoruba genre in the last five years and those currently being done are nothing but pure farce while the comedy is simply burlesque.

The films are so pedestrian that the element of suspense has been thrown overboard. After a few minutes you already know where it will all end. So why watch it to the end?

And when some of them mimic the Oyo dialect they cannot sustain and switch back to the Eko Yoruba in the same dialogue you feel like caning somebody.

The most worrying aspect is that supposedly tested thespians lend their names to such charade through full or cameo appearances.

The Kelanis and other leading lights of the theatre and the industry must arrest this very ugly situation.

The Yoruba film industry must not be abandoned to charlatans and mediocres.

Mr. Adebanjo was Associate Editor/Head of Newsroom at TELL Magazine.


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