Migration and the Feminization of Power: A Reading of Mike Bamiloye’s Transnational Films

Elizabeth Olayiwola

Abstract


In Nigeria and many other African countries, husbands are regarded as breadwinners and “lords of the household”. When women get married, they are described as “going to their husband’s house,” and in cases of separation or unresolved crisis within the union, the wives are “sent out” of the household. These ways of framing gendered relationships in marriage provide the basis for popular stories in many conventional Nollywood videos. However, as Mount Zion Film Productions, an evangelical video production company based in Nigeria and led by filmmaker Mike Bamiloye, has crossed national borders, it has also reflected on the changing gender roles and identities of migrant women. In each transnational Mount Zion video, the filmmaker struggles to square cultural and biblical constructions of gender roles. In a diasporic milieu, Bamiloye’s cultural-religious imagination of womanhood is contested. Drawing on three transnational Mount Zion films (The Return, Prodigal Ones, and The Finest Wine), this article uses content analysis methods to study the selected films and to explore the conflict and dynamism generated by the emergence of newly profiled migrant women.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14426/ajgr.v26i1.59

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