Posts

(103): Kannywood and the Question of Reflecting the Society in Film

Image
Muhsin Ibrahim @Muhsin234
I posted a slightly different version of this article in two separate Facebook status updates lately. 
I critique and criticise Kannywood. I, however, incidentally promote them that way. Many people, especially those who knew me years ago, find it hard to believe that I ‘defend’ immorality that is the synonym for Hausa film and its makers in the ordinary discussion circle. I laugh at this ‘reasoning’ and move on. No doubt the filmmakers are in the wrong in many ways. But they are not what most of us think. Moreover, we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater, as they say.
I understand the burden on Kannywood as an entertainment industry in an Islamicate society. However, their filmmakers should wake up to the reality that film cannot always be didactic and moralistic. While I don’t subscribe to the school of using art for art’s sake, film, as a reminder, is intrinsically an art, a source of amusement. A filmmaker can, though, gloss it with any message he…

(102): Kannywood Movie Review: RISALA

Image
Director:          Abubakar S. Shehu Producer:        Auwalu Sani Story:               Yakubu M. Kumo Language:       Hausa Year:                2018 Company:       3SP International Limited Cast:                Sadiq S. Sadiq, Al-Amin Buhari, Abubakar S. Shehu, Hafsat Idris, etc.
Once again, a major Kannywood production attempts to avoid the clichés of forced marriage, a love triangle, intrusive music and dance routine, etc. in its storytelling. It, equally, tries to go back to the root to, of course, glorify the “good old days”. Above all, it proselytises Islam. Would the critics and the nativists alike ask for more?
Titled Risala, an Arabic word meaning “message”, the Abubakar S. Shehu’s film is completely set in the past when there was nothing we today look and call “modern”. No electricity, no handset, no car and so on. At the risk of jumping the gun, the movie is a remarkable work in a year full of punctuations in the struggling film industry.
(Warning: this section contains spoilers) It…

(101): Kannywood, Struggle and Resuscitation of Cinema in Kano

Image
Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin200@gmail.com
Kannywood film industry faces an existential threat from many fronts. A leading Hausa film scholar, Prof. Abdullah Uba Adamu declared last year that “by 2016, the Hausa film industry had literally crashed” and, therefore, major actors in the production, marketing and distributing its films had pulled out and ventured into other more propitious businesses. His declaration was true. We are already in the middle of the year 2018. As an independent, casual promoter and reviewer of their films, however, I have yet to watch any serious movie worth reviewing. Most of the few, released films so far are poor in many respects, while the good ones are still held for fear of the market. I don’t blame them for this.
Love or hate them, the resilience of Kannywood filmmakers is what makes them survive this far, though, as mentioned above, many have already capitulated and closed shop. The reasons for this turn of the event are somewhat apparent. They include the scour…

(100): Northern Nigerian Muslims and their Addiction to Doctrinal Controversies

Image
Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com
The North is stasis largely because of our doing. We are too disorganised, unorganised, divided, and disenchanted with one another. Almost everything is either sectionalised (remember the Northeast Development Commission saga?) or interpreted based on one's sectarian or political affiliation. Year in, year out, we debate on Maulud. In recent months, we argued over Sheikh Usman Bn Fodio, the dresses of Malam Kabiru Gombe and Bala Lau in Europe, the place of Stephen Hawking in the hereafter, and today on the-yet-to-be-interred, late Sheikh Isyaka Rabiu. How sad and unfortunate!
Known to many, migration of discussion fora from physical to virtual space began in the mid to the end of the penultimatedecade - 1995 to 1999. Hausa people of Nigeria are some of the first to utilise the new platform in Africa with the creation of Kano Online, Dantata Online, Gamji, etc. websites. The South followed up a little later, I think, with sites like Naija Pals, Nige…

(99): Ali Nuhu and Adam Zango’s Unending Dispute and its Implications on Kannywood

Image
By Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com University of Cologne
The Hausa version of this article, with a slight difference, was published on the BBC Hausa website.
According to numerous accounts and lived experiences, rivalry is natural among both humans and animals. It is barely, if at all, avoidable especially between contemporaries. It becomes more probable when one of the lots becomes way more successful than the rest. Mr A may begin to envy Mr B and question why he is luckier or more much-admired than I. In response, Mr B may start feeling pompous, declaring to all that he is ahead of Mr A. Therefore his accolades and achievement are due to his hard work and talent. Again, the people around the two are sometimes yet another cause of the enmity. For one reason or another, they do all it takes to plant a seed of dissonance as they profit by getting favour from either person. There are more causes for strife, but I guess these are very typical.
In Kannywood, the relationship between the ace…

(98): Drama and Theories Trend as Dapchi Schoolgirls Regained Freedom

Image
By
Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com
The abducted Dapchi schoolgirls were released and brought back to the beleaguered village of Yobe state, Nigeria in the early hours of Wednesday, 21st March 2018. As reports indicate, the Nigeria Army paused operation in and around the village to allow a peaceful passage for Boko Haram fighters in charge of returning the girls. They came, preached for about 20 minutes to the would-be freed girls, embarked their trucks and left. The village soon erupted in celebration with women ululating, men smiling, girls dancing, youth shouting and so on. It’s Eid. In the midst of all this, however, an unsettling picture and later a video clip emerged wherein some townspeople hailed the militants as they departed.
It is not all hanky-dowry after all. Five of the girls died. They gave up the ghost, according to one of the freed girls, as a result of a stampede when they were whisked away by their abductors in overcrowded trucks. The girl further narrated how, whil…

(97): Dapchi Schoolgirls’ Abduction: The Big Picture

Image
Dapchi Schoolgirls’ Abduction: The Big Picture by Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com
As it is with anything and everything in Nigeria, the Dapchi schoolgirls’ abduction has been politicised. Only a few people now care to, honestly, empathise and sympathise with the victims’ family. The governments of Yobe, the state where the school is, and of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the security operatives care more to give alternative narratives surrounding the case and deflect blame than pragmatic efforts to rescue the poor, innocent girls. The girls’ whereabouts and fate are yet unknown and unpredictable.
The previous government of Goodluck Jonathan denied the abduction of Chibok girls in 2014 the same way the current one firstly reacted to the Dapchi's. One wonders how possible this is. This is a manifestation that Nigeria’s problem goes beyond leadership. I no longer quickly accuse our leaders of our plights than I do ourselves. It’s first and foremost the system which is colossally …