Helen Ukpabio: Different Journalists, Different Explanations

Helen Ukpabio explains the purpose of her films to a Nigerian journalist:

Generally, my movies are educative; they also serve as warning to the entire world. Either I warn the world against God’s anger or impending dangers… One of my expository movies End of the Wicked brought in over 800 people to the church and that made me real happy. This also led to our opening of 11 new branches in Calabar, in order to accommodate these new members.

Pretty clear, then. End of the Wicked is a visual exposition of her theology – which teaches that children can become infected with “witchcraft”, and will be a source of misfortune to others unless someone such as herself steps in with some “deliverance”.

Helen Ukpabio explains the purpose of her films to an American journalist:

“Do you think Harry Potter is real?” Ms. Ukpabio asked me angrily, in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express where she was staying. “It is only because I am African,” she said, that people who understand that J. K. Rowling writes fiction would take literally Ms. Ukpabio’s filmic depictions of possessed children, gathering by moonlight to devour human flesh.

So, End of the Wicked is just entertainment, and only anti-African prejudice (read: racism) would make anyone think it is supposed to be taken seriously.

I blogged on the New York Times article about Ukpabio a couple of days ago; Nigerian sceptic Leo Igwe (who a few months ago was being sued by Ukpabio) has left his response in a comment.

The British documentary Saving Africa’s Witch-Children will be broadcast on HBO2 on Wednesday evening at 8pm.