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Title:Either One or the Other: Images of Women in Nigerian Television
Author:Adeleye-Fayemi, BisiISNI
Book title:Readings in African Popular Culture
City of publisher:Bloomington, IN
Publisher:Indiana University Press
Geographic term:Nigeria
mass media
Abstract:The author examines the influence of the Yorb travelling theatre and modern Yorb drama on television in Nigeria. In particular, she discusses the cultural context of the representation of Yorb women in the theatre, and subsequently television, and the power of definition the male practitioners have over the representation of women. The author then goes on to cite examples of how women have been categorized into one image or the other, and how the resultant portrayal of women in television is a mirrored reflection of society's attitudes towards and expectations of women. A lot of the drama which features women in lead roles portrays them in an 'either/or' manner. Either they are cast as powerful and dangerous priestesses, quarrelling cowives, witches, and good time girls, or as long-suffering women who shuffle in and out of scenes making a minimal contribution to the production, their roles having little significance to it except as supportive female presences (mothers, wives or other female relations). Two examples of this 'either/or' representation which have been shown on Nigerian television within the past 15 years are I??la Ogun??la's 'Iyawo Alalub?sa' (circa 1980) and Jimoh Aliu's 'Arelu' (1985). Bibliogr., notes.