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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Thierry Henry as 'Igwe': soccer fandom, christening and cultural passage in Nollywood
Authors:Olaoluwa, SenayonISNI
Adejayan, AdewoleISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Cinemas (ISSN 1754-923X)
Geographic term:Nigeria
culture contact
Abstract:This article explores within the Nigerian context the performance of fandom and the christening of Thierry Henry of Arsenal FC as Igwe, particularly in the South West of Nigeria, a predominantly Yoruba-speaking region. It is based on a series of interviews conducted in two South West Nigerian states, Osun and Oyo, on the 'coronation' of Henry as Igwe, a monarchical title among the Igbo of the South East. Findings show that: (1) the new medium of satellite technology has increased soccer patronage/viewership in Nigeria; (2) the medium has also accelerated the mobilization of fandom; (3) the 'coronation' of Thierry Henry as Igwe among Nigerian fans across cultural boundaries, is on account of the comparison of his superior performance with that of the Igwe as projected in the videos; (4) although the sobriquet originated from the South East among the Igbo, its wide reception in the South West is for the most part a logical consequence of the popularity of the Nollywood home videos in the South West Region; (5) soccer fandom has a greater number of men than women in Nigeria. The article concludes that the christening of Thierry Henry as Igwe is due to the capacity of Nollywood to engender cultural passage/diffusion across geographical spaces. The article further suggests the need to engender soccer fandom among women in Nigeria. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]