(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…

(111): Kannywood and its Unending Scandals (I)

Muhsin Ibrahim
My book, Kannywood: Unveiling the Overlooked Hausa Film Industry, released early this week, was purposely titled so. For some socio-cultural and religious related reasons, many people that would ideally care about the embattled film industry snub it. Thus, Kannywood survives mainly in obscurity. Conversely, the recent scandals involving the famous actress, Hadiza Gabon and her colleague, Amina Amal over lesbianism allegation proved me slightly wrong. Moreover, as this rages on, the age-old feud between the ace actors, Ali Nuhu and Adam Zango was taken to the next level. The former sued the latter for defamation and assassination of character. These topics dominate the northern Nigerian cyberspace all the more.

Is Kannywood really “overlooked”? It’s indisputably true that the film industry and its members are ignored but, I believe, whenever they do ‘good’ or shun controversies and scandals. Once their scandals surface, everyone’s attention turns toward…

(110): INTERVIEW: Kannywood: Revamped industry will provide millions of jobs

Following the publication of my book, Kannywood: Unveiling the Overlooked Hausa Film Industry, a reporter with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Anita Eboigbe interviewed me. Excerpt of the interview was then carried out by several news outlets in Nigeria. Here is the full version:
1. Do you think the relegation of Kannywood has anything to do with the social, political and tribal sentiments in Nigeria? And why? 
I think the sentiments you mentioned play a role, but they are not to blame squarely. First, there is a widespread belief that Hausa people are less educated compared to other (southern) ethnic groups in Nigeria. Therefore, many people think, wrongly though, that nothing good – such as their films - may come out from them. The fact that Kannywood’s movies are 95 or more per cent in Hausa makes this belief all the more plausible. I have read and heard several people, especially on social media and conferences, arguing that the Hausa folks cannot make films in English, hence thei…

(109): Kannywood Movie Review: Wata Malama

Director:      Falalu A. Dorayi Producer:     Tijjani Asase Language:    Hausa Year:            2019 Company:    Dorayi Film & Distributions Nig. Ltd. Cast:            Halima Atete,Adam A. Zango, Umar Malumfashi, Hadiza Muhammad, etc.
The widely advertised film, Wata Malama is finally out, more than a couple of years since the release of its trailer. It was earlier rumoured that the film was banned by the Kano State Censorship Board allegedly due to its explicit content. However, the film director, Falalu A. Dorayi debunked it and told me that it was only undergoing careful postproduction work. Although he didn’t say further, I think it’s for the same reason: the content. All that is over now.
The film opens with tensed sequences of a hot-tempered police officer (Tijjani Asase) whose wife, a nurse, abandons their baby and goes to work for the night shift. She asks his ailing niece to tell him to prepare food for the baby in the morning. As he and the baby sit down for breakfast the follo…

(108): Kannywood Movie Review: LAILA ADAM

Production:    Famli Investment LTD. Producer:       Sani Mai Iyali Director:         Ali Gumzak Year:               2018 Length:           120 minutes (roughly) Cast:               Aisha Tsamiya, Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Sani Sadiq and others.
Although Ali Gumzak-directed Laila Adam’s release year reads 2018, it is released in early this month (January 2019). From some indications, one may argue that the new year looks auspicious for Kannywood. As per my assessment, there were fewer good films last year. Therefore, I had to struggle to find movies worthy enough for the BBC Hausa’s top 10. Admittedly, some that I included on the coveted list should not be there, but I couldn’t help it.
Played by the talented Aisha Aliyu Tsamiya, the eponymous Laila Adamis happily married to Aliyu (coincidentally acted by Ali Nuhu) and blessed with a curious daughter. Their married life is hunky-dory as she means the world to her loving, caring husband and he repeatedly proves that. The peace is, however, soon interru…