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The Nollywood Movie Stirring Controversy

Even in Africa’s most vibrant cinematic market, Ife stands out. The tale of love between two Nigerian women is so controversial the filmmakers scrapped plans to release it locally. Producer Pamela Adie and director Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim said the aim of the film was to show an accurate picture of lesbian and bisexual women in Nigerian movies. If a lesbian woman does appear in a standard Nollywood movie they are often portrayed as being possessed, influenced by bad friends or forced into homosexuality and always needing “saving”. Homosexuality is an extremely contentious issue in many parts of Africa and Nigeria is no different. It is a highly religious and traditional society and its influential Christian and Muslim organisations oppose homosexuality. As a consequence, Nigeria is one of 30 countries on the continent where it is criminalised.