Saturday, 9 August 2014


Nollywood has been around for a very long time now, at least I remember watching what I call modern Nollywood more than two decades ago, starting with 'Living in bondage', what we all popularly call 'Andy' because of the lead actor and 'Circle of doom' popularly called 'Paulo'. Looking back and looking at where we are today, I'd say a great job has been done with the industry (both the music and movie aspects - not sure if they are together or a separate entity though). I would stop here, but you all know I'm not an entertainment blogger or a journalist that carry the latest news. The reason I decided to write this post is because I keep complaining about something, and have actually done nothing about it. My complaint is more than 8 years old and it has to do with proper research in the industry before dishing out anything to the general public.s

For this post, I'd limit the discussion to research into the medical fields before playing the role of a doctor or a nurse on set. Certain impressions have been created about the members of the healthcare team by the general public. The nurses are seen as wicked and the doctor as insensitive saviour. I am sure there are concrete interactions between patients and their healthcare givers that have formed such an impression and I'm not here to refute that. This is because these days, lots of conferences are held for doctors and many  of them advocate the need for a good doctor-patient relationship and communication. What really bothers me is that we are depicted in many Nollywood movies as dullards following the statements the make, and the procedures they carry out even during routine clinical exams. These are information that can easily be gotten from any intelligence (especially practicing) doctor.

Have any of you really taken your time to watch a foreign medical drama? E.g. #house, #greysanatomy, #scrubs, even in regular movies that have to have a hospital scene. You will find that these scenes are shot in proper hospitals and clinics no matter how small, or made to look exactly like one. The actors act like they are real doctors, in fact, sometimes I learn something new from these soaps. They challenge the mind. The content of the script, I mean what they say isn't false, even when they carry out procedures, you see the knife cutting and the needles piercing through skin. These things are not so difficult to achieve. But before you get to the point of trying out scenes of invasive procedures, can I please appeal that the ones we can manage now be properly research upon and presented. I mean, if an actor or actress can memorize pages of scripts, then they can memorize lines and correct information written by a medical practitioner. They can learn to make procedures like siting of an intravenous line look real enough. They can learn where the heart actually is so they know where to put the stethoscope during examination, or how to check for pallor or pulse rate.

Many years ago, while still in the university, my friends and I used to make a joke out of the mistakes they make in the movies. We guessed that they would improve as the years go by. Rightly, they have improved in many aspects except in the medicals. Sometimes, I wonder where they get these information. So last night, I was watching a movie, (granted it was an old one), but I noticed these same mistakes. Imagine what happened as we were all doctors watching the movie. The next movie got me writing, it was more recent. I realized the medical aspect of Nollywood wasn't improving. Here are some of my observations;

Doctor: Nurse give me blood, O positive B, negative pint. (a blood pint cannot be O+ and B- at the same time please!!!)
The patient died and he tried to resuscitate, You could see that the effort was exacted more on the doctor's shoulders than on the patient's chest. (Obviously, the actor acting as the patient didn't want that force applied on her) after about 2 "chest compressions" he checked the patient's ankle for the pulse rate, (I wonder oh! then auscultated the abdomen for heart sounds, and announced to the family members "sorry, we lost her" and walked into his office, no empathy to the bereaved 

In another movie, the actress held the right side of her chest when dying off a heart attack after holding the left side oh! abi, she get dextrocardia? (heart on the opposite side of the heart). If I may ask by the way, what is it with most of the actors and actresses that die of a heart attack, die after about 1 minute following the onset of pain. It doesn't always follow that pathway. In fact, people that die so suddenly after the onset of chest pain have other predisposing/ risk factors and may have been experiencing chest pains (usually without seeking or adhering to medical advice) before the one that claims their lives.

Another very good example is the one of siting IV lines with the needles facing the fingers. Blood flows in the opposite direction up the arm into the body and not towards the fingers. So, your IV fluids should follow the same direction.

I'm stopping here because the examples are countless and I could go on forever. I appeal to anyone who knows a Nollywood actor, actress or director to take this message to them. We need to always give our best in our fields not being satisfied with the phrase "I tried now, afterall, it's not my field". An actor/ actress has no field and at the same time all the fields. You are compared to the family physicians amongst the medical doctors. You have to know much, much more because of the versatility of your career.

Dear directors, actors and actresses, please do proper researches before acting your movies. It will only make you the best in quality, not just quantity.


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