Many people refrain from discussing their mental health these days due to the fear of being perceived as weak. Various awareness campaigns have been implemented to encourage individuals, reduce stigma, and emphasize that there is nothing to fear.
Nollywood has played a significant role in raising awareness about mental health. Here are some noteworthy Nollywood productions that specifically address mental health:
5. I’m Not Fine (2022), produced by Lota Chukwu:
“I’m Not Fine” is a mental health documentary created by Lota Chukwu, known for her role as Kiki in the Jenifa Diary series. The film delves into the mental health challenges faced by adults in Nigeria. It features six individuals who candidly share their life stories, shedding light on their struggles with mental health issues, including depression and suicide attempts.
4. Oga John (2019), directed by Tolu Ajayi and produced by Bolanle Akintomide:
“Oga John” is a thought-provoking 10-minute short film aimed at increasing awareness of mental health issues in Nigeria. The story introduces us to Alero, a young woman grappling with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). What makes this portrayal unique is that OCD is not the typical focus in films about mental health, but it is indeed a very real and impactful issue. As the film unfolds, it provides viewers with insights into the challenges of living with OCD in a bustling city like Lagos.
3. I am one (2022), produced by Samson E. Ogaga:
Inspired by a real-life kidnapping ordeal, “I am one” vividly portrays the mental and physical suffering endured by victims at the hands of kidnappers, often part of an underground syndicate. The film also sheds light on a pressing but often overlooked issue in the country – the mental well-being of both kidnap victims and their caregivers.
2. Iyawo Mi (2023), directed by Mo Abudu:
“Iyawo Mi” confronts a subject that many people tend to avoid – mental health. This Yoruba language film revolves around Kunle, a family man who returns home one night to a terrifying scene. His wife, Eniola, appears to have lost her sanity, behaving erratically, screaming at their children and neighbors, and making threats of harm. Kunle’s actions in response lead to tragic outcomes. The film features talented actors, including Adedimeji Lateef, Bolaji Ogunmola, Segun Arinze, and Jude Chukwuka.
1. Her Perfect Life (2023), directed by Mo Abudu:
“Her Perfect Life” challenges the common misconception that having everything equates to a perfect life. The story revolves around Onajite Johnson-Ibrahim, a 39-year-old career woman balancing a successful business, a husband, and two children. However, she reaches a breaking point in her battle with mental illness and contemplates ending her life. The film boasts a talented ensemble cast, including Pearl Thusi, Joseph Benjamin, Omawunmi Dada, Uzo Osimpka, Christian Paul, and Mary Lazarus.