‘Marriageism’: The self-identity of the Nigerian woman in selected Nollywood films

Olubunmi Tayo Agboola
Keywords: Culture, marriageism, Nigerian women, Nollywood films, patriachy, self identity
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2022 4(1), 1-12. Published: May 11, 2022


Marriage is an essential element of the family that is necessary for societal existence. In times past, the institution of marriage was totally constituted on cultural and parental dictates without recourse to the woman‟s consent. Consequently, her identity was defined by culture, the environment she lived in, and her family. In recent times, there has been a redefinition of self-identity towards the institution called marriage. The 21st-century woman champions a re-structural phenomenon called „marriageism‟ as a means of self-identity. This paper examines the identity placed on the woman by her environment, especially in the area of marriage. This study evaluates if truly the 21st century woman is free from the clutches of cultural and societal norms and how she can navigate within the patriarchal confines of the Nigerian society. Attention is given to three Nollywood films, namely Flower Girl (2013), When Love Happens (2014) and Isoken (2017). The films are appraised to show the concept of „marriageism‟ identity as an ongoing phenomenon that still defines Nigerian woman. The study utilises the ecofeminism theory to show the relationship between the woman and her environment and how this plays out in her daily life.