The media has shown that all hands must be on deck in address mental health issues.
Tuesday, October 10, 2023, is World Mental Health Day to raise awareness on the issues surrounding various mental health illnesses.
For that reason, we take a look at what the Nollywood film industry in particular has contributed in raising such a crucial topic to the plane of discussion.
Although a very sensitive topic, the use of the audio and visual abilities of film has proven to be an effective way of creating sensitisation for people scattered around various geographical zones.
So in no particular order, here are five Nigerian movies that have addressed mental health issues:
For Maria: Ebun Pataki
For Maria follows the harrowing experience of a first-time mother who struggles with postpartum depression. It stars Meg Otanwa, Gabriel Afolayan, Tina Mba and Judith Audu.
Postpartum depression is a condition that affects mothers often after birth, many have heard the term but For Maria helped shed light on a very silent but serious issue affecting women.
I’m Not Fine
The film depicts the mental health struggles of six adults in Nigeria, who tell their life stories especially pertaining to issues like depression and attempted suicide.
I’m Not Fine is a 2022 documentary by Lota Chukwu and is currently available on YouTube.
Iyawo Mi (My Wife)
Iyawo Mi (My Wife) is a short film written and directed by Mo Abudu. It tells the heart-wrenching story of a young married man named Kunle, whose nightmares begin when he returns home to his wife, Eniola, hallucinating, screaming at their children and neighbours with a threat to kill everyone.
The film, predominately in Yoruba, features Adedimeji Lateef, Bolaji Ogunmola, Segun Arinze, and Jude Chukwuka.
Her Perfect Life
Her Perfect Life is also a short film directed and written by Abudu, about the life of Onajite Johnson Ibrahim, a woman with a seemingly perfect life.
At 39, she has it all; a flourishing career, a growing business, a loving husband, and two bright and beautiful children. However, beneath it all, she desires to end everything.
It features Pearl Thusi and Joseph Benjamin as lead actors, whilst the support roles include Omawunmi Dada, Uzo Osimpka, Christian Paul, and Mary Lazarus.
Oga John is a 10-minute short film that sets out to increase awareness about mental health issues in Nigeria. The film takes us through the life of Alero, a young lady who appears to struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Written by Oje Ojeaga, the film shows a glimpse of the possible frustrations of suffering from OCD in a place like Lagos.
Directed by Tolu Ajayi, the film features Ade Laoye as Alero and Imoikor Joseph as Oga John.