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Nigerian superstar Jim Iyke on witchcraft in local flicks

Jim Iyke is one of Nollywood's highest-paid actors. He also holds a black belt in karate. / Photos / SANDILE NDLOVU
Jim Iyke is one of Nollywood's highest-paid actors. He also holds a black belt in karate. / Photos / SANDILE NDLOVU

 Actor Jim Iyke has described the Nigerian film industry’s focus on witchcraft as its way of telling stories that are based on the “good vs evil” theme.

During an interview with TshisaLIVE the Nigerian superstar said he believed that filmmakers included witchcraft scenes because it came from a place of reality for them.

“We can’t create a surreal reality‚ we have to create a reality that is relatable. The reality is that certain parts of our culture and again people that were creating movies at that point in time‚ were grassroots people. People that were embedded in witchcraft and religion‚ and all kinds of ills of the cultures. But the singular message was that good always triumphs over evil‚ that was the chief reason of making those movies.”

Jim explained that it was because “black magic” is a part of their reality they couldn’t ignore it if they were to tell authentic stories. He added that telling real stories distinguished African countries from the rest of the world.

The actor‚ who has been living in the States for the last four years‚ said just like SA and every society in the world of filmmakers‚ Nigeria also often received backlash from people who “disagree” with the storylines of their films.

“It is prevalent in every society in the world. People will never always agree with the contents or concepts of the film. However sometimes that is the point. As a storyteller‚ ours is to spark conversations and raise debates‚ in fact the more people react to the story‚ particularly with critics or hate the better. Because it means you are touching a nerve‚ you are doing something right.”

The Nigerian star said he’s proud of the courage African storytellers‚ such as the makers of The Wound (Inxeba)‚ have shown in telling stories that spark dialogues about “unpopular” topics from across the continent.

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