By Ajao Latifat Olatoun U12MM1033

Jenifa’s diary is one of the most
talked about sitcoms lately in
the most mimicked amongst its
audience because of its comic
characteristics. The main character,
producer and content creator, Funke
Akindele known as Jenifa and Suliah
in the same sitcom is the
behind the drama.
From her resounding success in her
famous Yoruba movie Jenifa pt. 1&2
the return of Jenifa, paved way for
her global recognition and clinched
many awards including the Africa
Magic Viewer’s choice awards
amongst many others, birthed her
new sitcom –Jenifa’s diary, the
story of
Jenifa never cease to be ending and
I see a connection and continuity
between Jenifa-the movie and
Jenifa’s diary-the sitcom.
A little upgrade in themes, addition
of new cast, inclusion of
lifestyle & so on, Jenifa’s diary –
about a lady who is enthusiastic
making it big and being successful
but her lack of proper acquisition of
western education keeps coming in
the way of her success. The drama
hilarious, thanks to Jeni(v)a’s
outrageous spoken English and her
juxtaposition of the parts of speech
in a sentence. The audience is so
carried away with Jenifa’s grammar
that they even use it on friends,
children and loved ones.
Among Jenifa’s diary many themes
include western Education,
self-employment, determination, sex
after marriage, no to violenceagainst
women, setting your priorities right,
importance of social media and
Let’s look at it this way, Jenifa’s
diary is unrealistic about the
postulation of a jss3 drop out kind
of spoken English. In the sitcom
whichis a comic drama, postulates the
kind of English that is so bizarre and
cannot be spoken by a jss3 drop
out, for example; I am wenting , how
is you, I want to cooker for you, I want
you to explanation it to me and
many other outrageous complication of
sentences, it is either Suliah dropped out
of primary 5 or 6 or she played throughout her junior secondary
school and never attended class at all. A jss3 drop out may never be able to speak
very sophisticated English but they
know the basis. They know that it is
‘how are you’ and not ‘how is you’.
You can be comical without
misplacement of reality. In the same sit com, a jss3 drop out know words like
autopsy and that the opposite of tactless is tactful. One minute she is speaking
it correctly, next minute she is saying
it wrongly, is it still her being
comical or intentional. Even those in
the adult education class still speak
correct every day to day simple
English as seen in the sitcom. We
understand that she is trying to
showcase a half educated persona
but being half educated is different from being an illiterate.
It is also disheartening to know that
from season 1 to season 6 Jeni(v)a’s
English never improved at all but
she improved in dress sense,
makeover and hairdo, it is also ironical that Jenifa who can’t say how are you correctly for seasons can operate
sophisticated gadgets like Iphone
and Ipads properly and even use social media, you can say toyosi and Kiki taught he in just days or weeks right? It means for a half educated lady she must be pretty intelligent and yet ‘how is you’
never changed throughout all
seasons. The kind of people she
met and shared company with must
have selectively improved all her attitude except simple composition of
English as used by the every day to day
person. It is also heart breaking that
little children will start speaking like
aunty Jeni(v)a thinking she is
correct if Adult supervision is not
effected- social learning theory by
Albert Bandura states that learning
is heightened in children when they
are exposed to a particular media
content. I even see grownups funnily
exchanging greetings with other
friends saying ‘how is you’ while
their kids hold on to them. Children’s
brains are always alert and ready to
pick new things.
Definition of success
Success is what the media has
defined or described, A Man on suit
is successful, a man in an office
speaking Queen’s English is
successful, aman with western education and ideologies is successful- societal
constructed reality. In Jenifa’s diary
she was upholding the western
ideologies and ways, speaking
correct English is a first step to
success, acquiring western education is a
step to success, if you don’t attain
western education, you are better off
a cleaner or a house help. If you
study hard like toyosi and kiki you
will be successful.
According to Gerbner, L.Gross et al
(1976) the medium is the central
cultural aim of society as typified by
America. Television is the ‘chief
creator of synthetic cultural
patterns’. If you go to school & face
your studies, you will be successful –
false consciousness.
Hegemony is the subtle domination
of western ideologies on third world
countries socially, culturally,
economically and so on. We are still
enslaved to their ideologies, that if
it’s not western, it’s not success.
Jenifa’s diary did not show the
appreciation of our indigenous
culture and how it can transform to wealth or success, instead it ridiculed our mother’s tongue in the name of
comic, emphasizing that only
western education is the key to success
amongst its many themes of
development communication
Solution Jenifa’s diary is an indigenous
production, so it should help spread
mother culture across the globe, our culture is beautiful, our dressing, our hair styles, our ideologies and that here
in Nigeria is where the success is, if
only we make it work. Let’s inculcate
in the coming generations that
culture is heritage, don’t be
ashamed of speaking your mother
tongue. Don’t ever take the western culture over the Nigerian and African culture.
Since youths can relate with Jenifa’s diary, now is the time to pass the
message, it might take time but we will get there.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Abeyi Faith says:

    Nice article


  2. Abeyi Faith says:

    I love it… Very educative


  3. News-Pedia says:

    wow nicee really impress nice one


  4. Habib says:

    Nice article… but the solution is only centralised on culture negligence


  5. Olaoye says:

    This awakened the 405 in me. The projection of the western culture as superior to ours does not start and end in Jennifer’s diary. Apart from the cinematographic mistakes in that content, It projected the ability to read, speak and write as the key to success. Because Jennifer was not educated, she was programmed to raise and fall. Education should be projected as a means to success, not as an end. The alarming aspect is that the movie has received a much wider acceptance, it has virtually gotten to the screens of all home- the effect will indeed be enormous. Our culture industry need to be very careful regarding content production.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elizabeth Adigun says:

    Very interesting and convincing thought….

    Liked by 1 person

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