Muted conspiracy: The (Mis) representation of the Dibia institution in Nollywood

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Chisimdi Udoka Ihentuge


The Igbo of South East Nigeria has played significant roles in Nollywood - the film industry in Nigeria. Nollywood is peopled by a fair percentage of the Igbo in sensitive positions. Hence, Nollywood films easily attempt to portray aspects of Igbo culture, tradition and worldview. Bearing this in mind, it becomes worrisome that many traditional Igbo institutions and philosophical standings are grossly misrepresented in many Nollywood as if this is a silent attempt to join the conspiracy to erode every important aspect of the African life in general and those of the Igbo in particular. One of such institutions so badly represented in Nollywood is the dibia Institution. This work looks at the image of the dibia institution in Nollywood with a view to assessing its representation in that film industry. This is approached through documentary research and content analysis of selected Nollywood films. Findings of the work show that there are gross misrepresentations of the dibia institutions in Nollywood especially in areas such as none categorization, costume/make-up, shrine depiction, application of effects, and depicting the dibia as jobless people. The dibia took care of a bulk of the needs of the Igbo people long before the coming of the colonial master and still does same for some persons. The work concludes by admonishing Nollywood filmmakers to attempt to abandon their stereotyped image of the dibia in Igbo cosmology and conduct research on the dibia institution and use the instrument of film to re-tell our stories and set records straight.


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Ihentuge, C. U. . (2023). Muted conspiracy: The (Mis) representation of the Dibia institution in Nollywood. Advanced Journal of Theatre and Film Studies, 1(2), 49-54.