By Iyiola Pedro
A film theorist, Mr Steven Anu’Adesemoye has called for the continued propagation of Yoruba culture and language, through the film industry, as well as enhance competition with other indigenous industries, across the world.
Anu’Adesemoye, gave the advice at the official presentation of Dallas International Yoruba Movies Awards (DIYMA), held in Lagos, on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the DIYMA Awards was previously held virtually on March 6, at Dallas, USA, by the popular sitcom couple, Mr and Mrs Kogberegbe.
It was held in recognition of the contribution of over 18 screen icons across different categories in the industry.
According to Anu’Adesemoye, the film industry has an important role to play in the preservation of Yoruba culture, as it transcends geographical limitations.
He said: ”The only hope for the Yoruba nation in preserving the language is Yoruba film, both home and abroad. People now learn how to speak Yoruba language through what they see in films across the globe.
“So, the Yoruba film industry should not see its language of expression as a barrier to greater height.
“Instead, they should improve on their skill set in filmmaking, to project the language and compete with other indigenous films across the globe.
”Industry players must also pay more attention to the effective use of the language; proverbs, idioms, anecdotes, must be constructed and disseminated.
He frowned at what he termed, ‘backstage role’, which the culture was subjected to, by some film practitioners in the industry.
“If we must protect and project Yoruba culture, the language must first be protected because, it is the key that opens the tradition and culture.
“Language must be used appropriately to protect the originality of the culture,” he said.
Anu’Adesemoye, who is also a senior lecturer at the Lagos State Polytechnic, stressed that collaboration and film tourism should be encouraged as requisite tools to boost the industry’s impact in promotion of cultural value across the world.
”Gone are the days when foreigners are allowed to tell our stories to their satisfaction. Yoruba filmmakers must rise to the occasion by telling their stories the way they want the world to see them.
“Èsù is not Satan. Ifá is not an idol. A Pastor is not better than Babalawo (traditional chief priest). Let there be distinctive demarcations between Onisegun, Adaunse and Babalawo.
”The world must see our real stories the exact way they should be seen and we must take advantage of technology to tell our stories and promote the concept of citizen cinema,” he added.
There were a total of 17 categories of award, which included Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Comedian (Male), Best Comedian (Female), Best Kid Actor, Best Director and Director (America).
Others are Best Dialogue Director, Best Continuity, Best Set Designer, Best Epic Movie, Best Comedy Movie, Best Movie and Revelation of the Year. (NAN)