Much ado about Runs Girls and Nollywood

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If know me, you would notice that I have a love/hate relationship with Nollywood. Nollywod is the name for the Nigerian Movie Industry. It is apparently the third largest movie industry in the world, right behind Bollywood and Hollywood. I criticize it a lot, make fun of it as well but I am proud that my country has such a flourishing and actually profitable movie industry. My relationship with nollywood hasn’t always being the greatest. When I was growing up, I was so scared of Nollywood movies. You know the type, “Living in Bondage, Nneka the beauty serpent, Karashika, Blood Money, Agbaranla (Yoruba Movie were the chick would say Aya Matanga)”, to mention a few. You could think of a few right now in your head actually. The weirdest thing is that since I was a kid, I didn’t care much for Nigerian movies but I would sit down and watch it if a family member or friend bought it. Not that I m proud that I have never contributed monetarily to Nollywood, I m just saying. I believe Nollywood progressed from the ritualistic movies with “To God be the glory” at the end (After scaring the living daylights out of me, tschew carry go) to the Love phase of Nigerian movies (This was when almost every Nigerian movie had love in the title), now it’s an amalgam of different themes. You have the ritualistic movies, the love movies, campus movies, comedy and so on. Action is yet to have a strong foothold sadly. The closest thing to Bruce Willis is Sam Dede. I love the comedies though, with Osuofia and co. Okay, it is evident I can talk about Nollywood for days. Todays post is about Runs Girls in Nollywood.

Now, if you have paid attention to Nigerian movies of recent (This might actually be a 5 year span). You would notice that there are a plethora of movies with the Runs Girls theme. In case you didn’t know what a Runs Girl is,

A Runs Girl is a creature that through natural selection has evolved a means to survive and in the Darwinian mold has adopted a lifestyle that entails satisfying the segsy time needs of the male of the species in return for material things. This creature/girl is very similar to an Escort in the sense that even when there is no segsy time involved, the girl is paid or compensated for her time. She could also give the GF experience and act like your GF as long as the money/payment in kind is pouring in.

Due to the fact that I share a room with my cousin who is addicted to watching Nigerian Movies, I have been subjected to movie after movie of Tontoh Dike, Uche Jombo, Ini Edo, etc set in one campus or the other, acting as university babes that only date guys that drive so and so car or sleep with this or that Alhaji because he gives them so much money. Don’t sit there and pretend you haven’t seen the million and one Nigerian movies where women exchange sexual favors or date men for material reward. You have movies where ladies are engaging in inappropriate relationships with lecturers for grades. You also have movies where women marry men so that they can “chop” money. I m not salty at all o. Wetin consign me with Tonto? Get your money boo boo. I honestly wouldn’t want any female friend of mine dating a broke ninja. That is not a good look.

On the flip side, the movies always portray the men as olodos or dopemus. They fall for such obvious game, it’s a shame to manhood. In some Nigerian movies, after the man has gotten his money from his rituals the next scene that is shown is him picking babes. Ashewo dey run belle o! He uses his wealth to get runs girls or ashewos, same thing no difference in my books. One does it for the cash, the other for cash as well and maybe an apartment in Lekki while she pretends to be your girlfriend. Even in the comedy movies, you see men trying to persuade the young lady who is selling groundnut with some money or you will have the “big geh” that will be scammed by the funny man (picture Mr Ibu) and she will follow him like a fly to shit until she realizes that he doesn’t have any money (that’s the punchline).

Why am I even talking about this? I just feel that the emphasis on runs girls and the big girl syndrome that emphasizes that for a woman to make it big she has to have sold herself for material possessions is a very poor look for us in this country. Is it that we don’t value our women that we decide to portray them in such light consistently? Forget runs girls, when you were growing up weren’t many of the witches, evil spirits and so on in Nigerian movies, female? I m not a feminist o but I just feel that there are a lot of positive female storylines out there that do not involve women selling themselves for money.

What do you think? Am I exaggerating? Is there a more positive way to portray our women in Nollywood? (I know the movie industry is improving, I have seen it, but should we still be subjected to things such as Blackberry Babes?). Discuss.

Silly video below, I m ashamed for the guy.


10 thoughts on “Much ado about Runs Girls and Nollywood

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    taiofierce said:
    August 8, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    As in ehn! I’m sure that’s why all those stray lebanese/indian men in Nigeria think every girl in town wants to give them segzy time because they manage to access small money…kmt!
    Nice write up!

      Sir Farouk responded:
      August 8, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      Lol! @ stray lebanese/indian men, some girls dig it o, on an “Aristo” P. Thanks for commenting though.

    anon said:
    August 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I totally agree! One time at the cinema hall of abt 15 ppl a lebanese guy handed me my bag and sat by my side only to start rubbing my thigh oh so lightly! Perhaps I was supposed to slip my number or just get with the program.

    MimiB said:
    August 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    @Anon: Ewwwww. I’d have given him a knuckle sandwich. LOL.

    Ok seriously. I agree with you o,Nollywood needs to be more responsible with how they portray Nigeria and Nigerians in general. Our movies have a tendency to end up in the most unlikely corners of the earth, we are sending a message if all we make movies about is runs girls. They make Nigerian women look at best stupid and at worst like Gold-digging you-know-what’s. Not nice at all.

    Lipamboli said:
    August 11, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I always wondered what where Runs Girls, I learned something. Indeed, we need to be careful about the representation of Nigerian/other African women, to the world.

    We cannot complain about the representation of black people in worldwide media, then promote negative stereotypes of Africans through our emerging African Cinema.

    Humor might have its place with Runs Girls-themed movies, but we must be cognizant of putting our best foot forward. The joke should not always be on us.

    Esco said:
    August 14, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Nice one Sir F,

    Lol @ ” The closest thing to Bruce Willis is Sam Dede”
    The guy in the video was ridiculous. Is it not one of the great ironies of Nollywood scripting that the guy chats up/prices the girl like a cheap slut, but crosses over to open the door of the car like a gentleman after she accepts to go with him. Haha

    Ms Catwalq said:
    January 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Oooooh, my department!!!!

    As a filmmaker, analyzing the products of my nation’s film industry, I have come to realise the main reason why these stories keep coming up:

    1) Most of the script writers (especially in Yoruba movies) that we have did not actually complete a formal education in any institution and so are writing what they imagine to be the reality of young girls in college. For all the movies that come out that are set on campuses, I am yet to see one (except “A campus Tale” circa 1995 or thereabouts) where we can see the drama that happens as students try to find seats in an overcrowded classroom, the disillusionment in the eyes of a professor or lecturer who has been teaching for over twenty years and seeing the quality of instruction and students decline with nothing he/she can do, the male student whose siblings’ education has been put on hold so he can proceed and who is in a constant state of panic because he is struggling with his course materials, the small businesses that these students run to survive, the study patterns etc. There are so many stories to tell but you can only know those stories if you either research or have lived through them.

    2)The “runs” phenomena is actually an evolution to the second-class citizenry of women in the country. When the odds are stacked against you as a woman to succeed, and you get farther through the sale of your agency, you switch your efforts towards more achievable goals like finding an older and more established man to provide the financial security that other gainful employment ought to have done. So, in that same perverse way that Yoruba women spend so much money on gold jewelry because historically, they really didn’t own land or property so bought jewelry as their form of investment (investment that was shared amongst their children in the event of passing or sold in the event of a downturn of the family’s circumstances) but now it has now evolved to a sickening display of ostentatious behavious; so also, the “runs” girls have evolved out of competition for survival amongst young Nigerian women.

    3) Women do not write these scripts. Nigerian men do and at the very bottom of their minds, if they are honest, they will admit that they see their women as second to them, followers, designed to cater to and uphold them. It then makes sense that women in Nigerian movies are either long suffering or deceitful and manipulative creatures. Or we are sickeningly “holy”

    4)The movies are selling. Notice how after the movie “Reloaded”, every movie out was about couples dealing with infidelity and contrived Lagos-middle-class issues? Ehen. Money determines what will be made.

    So, if you would like to see better movies, you can visit my site and support me on my ventures…abi?

    endurance said:
    November 10, 2012 at 7:53 am

    i’m even bord of watchin nigerians runs girls movies.bcos girls r nt trying at all.

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