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Well the power of the cinema and the effect it can have on people when yesterday it was reported that that the Nigerian Government urged its cinemas and film censors to stop showing sci-fi  movie District 9. The reason for this outburst is they believe the movie denigrates the country’s image and the Nigerian Information Minister Dora Akunyili says the film protrays  Nigerians to be cannibals, criminals and prostitutes and has demanded an apology from Sony.

In District 9 there is a group of Nigerians , the only humans living in the D-9 shanty town and they are protrayed as ruling organised crime gang, ‘aquiring’ piles of Alien weapons, illegal food  selling to the aliens, prostitution and there gang leader is seen on screen eating aliens flesh after been told by a witch doctor he would absorb the aliens power.  But what really offended the Nigerians the most was that the gang leader shares his name with one of the countries former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo.

“We feel very bad about this because the film clearly denigrated Nigeria’s image by portraying us as if we are cannibals, we are criminals…..

…..The name our former president was clearly spelt out as the head of the criminal gang and our ladies shown like prostitutes sleeping with extra-terrestrial beings ” – Ms.Akunyili states ,but she wants more action…

“I have also formally written to Sony Pictures Entertainment, the company that produced this film, demanding an unconditional apology for this unwarranted attack on Nigeria’s image,”

Reading the BBC report its seems this attack on District 9 could possibly be a PR stunt to promote Nigeria’s own failing film industry which is going through a “re-branding” period. Eugene Khumbanyiwa an Malawian actor who plays the the gang leader said the Nigerians in the cast didnt seem to have a problems with the portrayal of their country.

“It’s a story, you know,” he said. “It’s not like Nigerians do eat aliens. Aliens don’t even exist in the first place.”

I have to agree with Khumbanyiwa’s point that film depicts humans wanting to eat the fleash of an aliens to gain superhouman powers and shouldn’t be taken too literally. Im Scottish and I can speak for Irish, Welsh and even the English to a lesser extent that we could name a number of movies & Television drama’s that have protrayed people of certain countries /  regions in a negative way ( e.g getting an American actor to play an Scottish or English person with a bad accent plus the assumption all people of that country have red haired kilt wearers, or tea drinking upper class snobs). I can say every country has not liked how another protrays them, if we complained about every single one we would have no film or television industry you just have to take it on the chin and move on. Cinema and Television are there for our entertainment a chance for a person to get away from there stresses of life for an hour or two, we know when we  should voive an opinion and when to move on.


[Source BBC]



  1. jp says:

    You obvously have not been to Johannesburg or South Africa, the Nigerians have fled to South Africa and is involve in many ilegal activ and is one of the reasons of our high crime rate their is over a 100,000 Nigerians scattered around South Africa

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