Opinion: The Media And Our Views

by Victoria Willie
When I was much younger, I had this notion for universities as a result of watching too much Nollywood. 
Dress sense
I used to think in universities, every girl had a classy and overtly stylish dress sense. I thought every girl wore high-heels, fixed different types of weavons with a suitable makeup. Although, the last two are prevalent but the high-heeled shoes… The only time I saw a girl wear heels ever since I became a Uniuyo student was when I was in year one. I don’t remember where this particular coursemate was headed with her suit and wedge shoe but I know the high-heeled shoes she wore that day made her suddenly popular amongst us. 
I never envisaged meeting ‘Mgbeke’ girls in school but I must assert that I’ve met more garishly dressed and simple young ladies than I thought I would. 
Up until now, I still believe every male student gets assualted by cultist while in a higher institution whereas there are many males who do not even suffer such unless they are hapless enough to fall into the trap of ‘Show-me-love’ boys. Don’t blame me, it’s an effect of media representation. Nollywood made me see – even before I gained admission – every guy has a prospective cultist who either succumbs to their threats or gets assualted mercilessly. 
Hostel and suitors. 
Prior to my becoming a student of the University of Uyo, I thought every hostel was a room with two medium sized Mouka foams shared by two girls each. I thought bunk beds were for secondary school dormitories. My brothers and sisters, when I entered UNIUYO and saw a hostel with four bunk beds and ten roommates, I realized Nollywood was a hoax. From my speculations, I had envisaged being in a hostel where a suitor would come check up on me and drop flowers or boutique packages for me with a roommate on meeting my absence but I can boldly say that that has never happened and I doubt if it ever will. Males only enter our hostels two times in a year – during matriculation parties and after the result of the SUG election has been announced to showcase the new president to the girls. Even at that, they don’t enter rooms. And by the way, where do I want to see a guy with a bouquet of flowers and a package from a boutique? 
Let me tell you my ideal relationship advances by painting this picture :
A girl is walking with four of her friends with books clutched in their left hands and kept close to the body (You know the way university girls carry books back then), four guys are sitting under a tree and then the five girls pass by, one of the guys whisper his interest to his friends and then they urge him to go for the chick he wants. He walks up to them, begins to blah and then all of a sudden, aunty yells “Please, I’m not your type. If you don’t mind I have better things doing “. 
Better things doing? Trudging lazily around? 
On becoming a Uniuyo student, I realized that when guys are gathered under a tree or seated in our prestigious Convo park, they are either arguing politics with every ounce of strength in them or making jest of the lecture they just had. I mean, I’ve passed by tons of guys gathered under trees in my school and if they even get to glance my way amid their headless political blatherings, what I manage to hear is : “Sweedy pie pie”. Nobody walks up to me and I never get to use that phrase – “You are not my type”. I’m not saying guys no longer leave their friends to walk up to a girl like Nollywood taught me, I’m saying these days they’d rather walk up to Buhari than do that. 
Amid others, I thought knapsacks were for primary and secondary school students alone and university girls carried hand bags. You don’t have to tell me I was wrong, I’ve seen a lot of girls carry knapsacks than handbags. I thought every student’s notebook should be those higher education notes or hard covers but the only time I ever used a hardcover note was my year one first semester, and you know why? I’m just never good at handling them. Short exercise books are preferable to me please. 
Those are just some of the wrong notions Nollywood gave to me. I virtually thought a university comprised older looking students from probably age 23-28. I thought I would be the smallest in my class but when I got there and saw people smaller than my younger sister and people older than my father, I was forced to curse Nollywood. 
Many of our views and orientations about life have indeed been shaped by the media. If you ask any girl if she’d like her mother-in-law to come live with her after her wedding, her answer is likely going to be negative and this is so because they think every mother-in-law is a replica of Patience Ozokwor ‘s movie roles. 
If you ask me what I think of Western countries, I’ll tell you heaven. I’ll even go further to tell you that there’s no sand in America and that is because their movie industry has brainwashed us with the thoughts that there are only luxuries in America and no suffering. If at all there is a slum, then it should be where Black Americans live. 
Not every thing you see on screen or read in books is reality. Not every relationship ends with happily ever after. Not everybody who leaves the village to the city eventually finds greener pastures or does money ritual. Some actually suffer worse than they did while in the village. 
Become media-literate today so next time someone tells you ‘Akpan’ is a name for gatemen, you’d boldly tell him or her that Akpan is a name designated for first sons while ‘Ekaete’ , which means ‘Father’s mother’ , is not for only house girls from the South-south. 

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