(118): Kannywood Movie Review: Uwar Bari

Director: Hafizu Bello Producer: Hamisu Lamido Iyantama Story:Hamisu Lamido Iyantama Language:Hausa Year: 2018 Company: Iyan-Tama Multimedia Limited Cast:Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Hamisu Lamido Iyantama, Wasila Ibrahim, Sadiya Lawan, Halima Atete, others.
An old saw has it that old is gold. I said the same when writing about Iyantama Multimedia before for it’s one of the few among the oldest, reputable film production companies that are still functioning in Kano. Thus, thousands of Kannywood’s au courant audiences will expect nothing less than a high-quality product from them. But the industry struggles to stay afloat, thanks to numerous socio-cultural and economic challenges. Consequently, it’s getting harder and riskier to produce high-budgeted films. A prominent executive producer once told us, at an event, that she was bankrupt following an expensive production. She didn’t only fail to profit from the film but also struggle to recoup the money she invested in making it. It is amidst all these un…

(117): Robert Mugabe: A Brief Obituary

The death of Robert Mugabe marks the end of an era in the history of Africa. He’s, perhaps, the last of his kind on this wealthy but poorly governed continent. Most of his contemporaries were long gone and, some, even forgotten. However, Mugabe will be remembered forever. His name and that of his country, Zimbabwe, are somewhat synonymous.  I am convinced that the deceased meant well for his country and Africa at large. Doubtless, he overstayed his welcome and, of course, he was brutal in his handling of opposition and the white farmers. All could be forgiven, though. Many African leaders of his generation were no less harsh and autocratic. His, nonetheless, stood out because he doggedly fought the West and their imperialistic ideologies and policies. He also lasted in power way longer than the lots.
Mugabe, Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Nelson Mandela (South Africa), among other post-independence African leaders stood against the colonial brut…

(116): Kannywood Movie Review: Hauwa Kulu

Production Company: Maishadda Global Resources Nig. Ltd Producer: Abubakar Bashir Maishadda Director: Ali Nuhu Release: 2019 Cast: Ali Nuhu, Abba El-Mustapha, Baballe Hayatu, Hassana Muhammad, Hadiza Gabon, Hajara Usman, etc.

The eponymous movie Hauwa Kulu is a masterpiece, one of the best films to come out of the Hausa film industry, aka Kannywood. It is a tragic, melodramatic social drama that addresses the issue of rape, which is a boiling issue in our society today. It is also a film that has attracted critical attention, especially from ‘feminists’, NGOs, other critics for its dramatic exposéof the complex politics involved in rape cases and its possible impact on the Nigerian cinema.

The extraordinary plot, which is the driving force of this movie, narrates the story of a beautiful village girl, Hauwa Kulu (Hassana Muhammad), whose blind father (Abba El-Mustapha) wanted her to be well educated.He later decided to marry her off to avoid the plan of the lecherous Village Head, Maigari (…

(115): Kannywood Movie Review: Namijin Kishi

Production: Kumo Productions. Producer: Yakubu M. Kumo Director: Ali Gumzak Release Year: 2019 Cast: Sadiƙ Sani Sadiƙ, Hafsat Idrees, Ali Nuhu, Shehu Hassan Kano, Alhassan Ƙwalle and others.
As several northern Nigerian societies cry of pressing marital problems, an Ali Gumzak-directed film, Namijin Kishi arrives with an exaggerated elucidation of such a marriage. It exposes one of the countless causes of marital disputes. Gumzak's signature is all over it: direct and straight to the point rendition, keeping watchers focused and on the same page. Quite usual of this director, the film’s plot was uninterrupted by the often mundane Indian filmic romance, singing and dancing routine found in many Kannywood movies. Additionally, the background soundtrack accentuates the viscosity of the movie scenes.

Individually, the character-performance in Namijin Kishi is excellent, more especially by the leading actor, Sadiƙ Sani Sadiƙ, who effortlessly delivered his assignment in a proper dumb-playin…

(114): Kannywood Movie Review: HAFEEZ

Production:    Maishadda Investment Ltd. Producer:       Abubakar Bashir Maishadda Director:         Ali Nuhu Year:2019 Cast:         Umar M. Shareef, Hassana Muhammad, Maryam Yahaya, Ali Nuhu, Yakubu Muhammad, Jamila Nagudu and others.
Like most, nay all, films titled after a central character, HAFEEZ revolves around the life of a spoilt adult (acted by Umar M. Shareef). Also, the film has the mark of its “Wizkid” director, Ali Nuhu, all over, for it is apparently modelled after a boy-meets-girl, rich-boy vs poor-girl Bollywood paradigms. Moreover, it bears many more Indian filmic signatures such as five or six spectacular song and dance routines, among others. Perhaps the recent warning by the MOPPAN President, Kabiru Maikaba, on banning romance film in Kannywood came out after this production – though I doubt if any such sanction is possible.

Since his return from study overseas, Hafeez, the only son to a wealthy family, snubs many beautiful, posh girls who dream of tying the knot with h…

(113): Kwana Casa’in: A Short Review

Kwana Casa’in: A Short Review
If posh locations, number of cast and crew members, sophisticated camera, etc. are enough indicators for the budget size of a production, then Kwana Casa’in [90 Days], produced by Arewa 24 channel,is doubtlessly an expensive soap opera. Directed by Salisu T. Balarabe, the drama is arguably the best of its kind in the Hausa language. Being funded by foreign, non-profit, non-political bodies, including the MacArthur Foundation, Kwana Casa’in stands out as a socio-political critique of our people and governments. It unmistakably aims to provoke reflection and introspection and to spark conversation and action within and outside the corridors of power. Is it able to achieve that?
Set in a fictional town called Alfawa, the drama begins at the peak of governorship electioneering. The current governor, Bawa Maikada (acted by Sani Mu’azu), is highly corrupt and desperate to win re-election in spite of doing very little for the people. The health sector, which is ex…

(112): Kannywood Movie Review: TANGARAN

Director:         Ali Gumzak Producer:       Sani Mai Iyali Story:             Ibrahim Birniwa Year:               2018 Company:      Famli Investment Ltd. Cast:               Maryam Gidado, Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Nuhu Abdullahi, Lawan Ahmad, Isah Feruzkhan, others.
A couple of days ago, a UN report showed that men outnumber women in Nigeria. Several people, especially on social media, disputed the data, saying that women are way more than men. True or not, Ali Gumzak-directed film, Tangaran seems to have slightly corroborated the claim as three guys jostle to tie the knot with a beautiful damsel while she chases two others. Although not a focus of this review, this portrayal is arguably not the norm in today’s northern Nigeria. Thus, it’s equally not the usual case in many Kannywood films.

Humaira alias Hanny or Honey (acted by Maryam Gidado) is a greedy lady who dreams of marrying a man who possesses certain, unique “qualities”, as she repeatedly mentions. These include beauty, smartn…