Costumes and Character Portrayal in Nigerian Home Video: A Study of Select Nigerian Movies

Author: Okafor Anulika Kosy
Department: Theatre Arts
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Clothes (costumes) are never a frivolity; they always mean something. And so every costume contains a particular form of narrative that explains and determines its uses and control on the body of the actors and actresses. However, with the emergence of Nigerian video films as a new form of narrative; it has increased wider viewership and of course massive employment opportunities for many Nigerians. This comes as a result of the genre’s ability to bring different creative minds as; costumiers, makeup artist, music composers, actors, camera men, script writers,
editors, directors, producers, and marketers- together to create a new entertainment culture into the Nigerian entertainment industry. This thesis therefore focuses on the use of costuming for effective character portrayal and seeks to investigate if the designers in Nigerian Video films possess the requisite skills in costume design. For easy access to the study, the research has been based on critical viewing of selected Nigerian video films. These video films were picked through the random sample technique. Content analytical methodology was used in carrying out this research. However, existing literature on the subject were reviewed and information gathered from the research study shows that costume designers in the industry in a bid to achieving effective character portrayal are relegated by numerous factors. These factors includes; budget, inadequate time available for research, non collaboration among crews, indiscipline on the part of the actors and actresses, and many other deficiencies. Based on this outlook, the study has been able to establish that costuming in Nigerian video films is yet to rise to the challenges of effective
character portrayal in their various designs.

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