One of the unique message creative people usually attempt to pass across to their teeming audience with an art is portraying objects, events and characters in a totally different way so as to create an alternative opinion about these characters by fans and critics alike, thereby making them widely accepted.
In Nigeria where Religion, either Christian or Islam, is considered so important by its adherents and believers, creating art with ethnic and traditional themes is often regarded as being ‘fetish’ or ‘spiritistic’. The Nigerian film industry faced this in its early stages and another fledgling industry is answering that important question: How do you create wholesome ethnic stories especially for children without pissing off the preachy parents?
According to Chief Executive Officer of Comic Republic, a Lagos based Comic studio and a leading light in the Nigerian Comic industry Jide Martin, on how they as a company avoid being fetish with the usage of different comic characters who also double as religious figures.
“Because we live in a religious and highly sensitive country like Nigeria. Things that has to do with religion are held in very high esteem by two of the most dominant religions Christianity and Islam. We try to make our concept more universal. For example we take a character like Obatala and we explain in our comics that Obatala is the Yoruba name for “Light”, the concept of light itself and by doing this, we demystify our character, thus making them universal.We are following companies like Marvel and Dc where you can see Tor in Avengers, he’s not pushed so much as a Greek-myth god but as an alien who we call a god coming to fight for certain reasons and that’s what we do with our characters. We try as much as possible to make them more central than more religious. We take religious concepts and transform into universally accepted works and that way we don’t dwell too much on spiritual or religious issues”.