1.1 Background to the Study
Issues involving the influence of Zee-World Soap Opera on the cultural values of youths in Uyo metropolis and elsewhere in Nigeria have become a source of concern and daily discussions by many Nigerians owing to its influence on the lifestyle of many youths across the country. The popular and entertaining Soap Opera is a Radio/Television series typically broadcast in the afternoon or evening about the lives of melodramatic characters which are often filled with strong emotions, highly dramatic situations and suspense.
Obviously, the majority of female and some male folks are consumed with the urge of watching soap operas from foreign countries including Korea, India, Philippines, Brazil and so on. As a result of this, many Nigerian youths stay glued to their television sets for long periods of time watching the one hour long broadcasts. Youths, especially the unemployed ones and even housewives, are captivated by these broadcasts as many of them spend much of their day watching these programs and end up achieving nothing meaningful for the day. Some of the youths get so addicted to these operas such that it has become their way of life (John 2009).
Watching soap operas is really interesting and entertaining but it also has negative effects on the viewers. Besides, consuming precious time that the viewer or audience should have spent on more meaningful ventures, it is also capable of encouraging bad moral attitudes, especially among school children and teenagers.
For this reason, Dan (2013) argues that Zee-World Soap Operas have far more negative influence or consequences on children than advantages. Regrettably, some parents, either out of ignorance or moral permissiveness encourage their children to watch these programmes. The fact that these programmes are mainly for entertainment does not obliterate the fact that they portray violence and encourage moral depravity. Henry (2013) notes, that writers of Soap Operas develop fictional characters and through their stories and struggles, their audience learns about issues ranging from domestic abuse to personal bankruptcy.