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(93): Kannywood: Hypocrisy, Sycophancy and Criticism

Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com
Almost every positive adjective one can think of has, today, been used to refer to Nollywood especially in places outside Nigeria. For those who perhaps don’t know, the film industry is the second biggest after Bollywood in the world; it is, arguably, however, the second largest employer after Agriculture in Nigeria; and is now regarded by many observers as not only a Nigerian film industry but a pan-African cultural phenomenon. Beside all these glories associated with Nollywood, the Northern part of Nigeria has its distinct and distinctive film industry, which is even historically older. Kannywood, as it’s tagged, nevertheless, still struggles for recognition and acceptance within and outside the country. This is, however, due to a number of reasons.
The biggest of them all is what I bluntly call “hypocrisy”. Although not the main focus of this piece, this refers to the way and manner many people in the North disown the films and their makers in the n…
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(92): Kannywood Movie Review: Rariya

Production:    Sadau Pictures Producer:       Rahama Sadau Director:         Yaseen Auwal Year:              2017 Cast:               Ali Nuhu, Rahama Sadau, Hafsat Idris, Fati Washa, Zainab Booth, Rabi’u Rikadaw, Sadiq Sani Sadiq and others
Introduction
The mobile phone has, since its introduction and ensuing popularity, been playing double-edged functions in many cases and instances. The ‘conservative’ Hausa community of northern Nigeria is one of such a case. For years, some people, parents, in particular, have refused to let their female children use it, while some husbands have equally denied their wives any access to any Internet-enabled cell phone. It is, however, ironical as most if not all of those ‘deniers’ use the smartphones, yet they frown at, or forbid others from, using it. Their reason is simple: to curb some of the vices committed, often, by the assistance of the phone. To others, it is to prevent their loved ones from taking the course they are on; or over-protection, igno…

(91): Girl-Child, Poverty and Our Society this Century

Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com

The word “culture” defies any simple definition, though attempts to do that have been made and continue to be. As a response to a post I made on Facebook the other day, a friend commented that “Hausa culture has nearly eroded to extinction”, for, according to him, when one asks many young Hausa (men and women) about their culture, they will tell you, “Islam is my culture”. 
Weak, if not erroneous, as I believe this view is, it makes me happy for several reasons. Culture, religion and, to an extent, language are carriers of a lot of value. The most valuable of them all is, to me, religion. Therefore, I would prefer a Hausa girl or boy to identify herself/himself first with Islam than with the culture for the culture is not as perfect as the religion is.
However, neither the culture nor the religion means anything significant to countless Muslim girls and boys in this 21st century. This is one of the reasons why I find his argument very flawed. There has …

(90): On the Kannywood/Nollywood Dichotomy and Related Issues

I attended a conference themed “The Other’s Other: Performance and Representation in Language” organized by, and held at, the University of Cologne, Germany, between 25-26 Sept. 2017. I presented a talk on the subaltern themes and motifs in the Nigerian film industries [emphasis added]. It is a common knowledge, I guess, to all that “Othering” does not only exist in the film, it thrives. Thus, my paper argues on how the regional filmmakers in Nigeria have, consciously or not, been widening the existing binary and rivalry between the country’s diverse ethnic and religious groups. At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, the paper generated a lot of discussions and debates. This article is sort of a précis of the talk and the debates.
The focus of the deliberations, particularly in the post-conference side talk, was surprisingly changed from “Othering” to the existence and peculiarities of Kannywood film industry besides the “Global Nollywood”, to use Krings and Okome (2013) term. Th…

(89): Why I Don’t ‘Celebrate’ Birthday

Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234
A few years back, I barely noticed the passing of my birthdays. A few years later, during my postsecondary school days, I began to get a lone reminder of the days: SMS from my bank. That is no longer the case. The day comes with a lot of buzz and fuss. A plethora of “Happy Birthday” messages trickle into my phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc inboxes and timelines. Some close friends call; others walk into my office to express their wishes and prayers. What a change! I am heartily grateful, ladies and gentlemen. But that was not my (our?) culture. It gradually becomes so due to the “sameness” effect of globalization, which conjoins cultures. Today, people go to the extent of writing “Happy birthday to myself” on the social media!
Celebrating birthday that way is rather a new culture, at least so I believe. It is a novel culture we are willingly adopting today; it was not imposed on us by anyone, lest you think that. Therefore, I don’t outright look do…

(88): Kannywood Movie Review: Husna ko Huzna

Director:         Falalu A. Dorayi Producer:       Tahir I. Tahir Story:              M.M. Haruna Language:      Hausa Year:               2017 Company:      M.M. Haruna Film Production, Kano
Introduction The film, Husna ko Huzna, comes with quite a number of novelties. Notably, it was not hurriedly produced as were many films in Kannywood film industry. I can remember being told of its pre-production and production phases almost a year ago. The post production, too, took unconventional period before it’s finished. This is replete in the handling of the special effects (VFX) used in the film. The advertorial is yet another well-planned thing, for every now and then, listeners of different radio stations in Kano, and probably beyond, were informed about the film. The voiceover adds a freebie to the prospective viewers that the film was carefully subtitled in Standard English, unlike other films. Many viewers would not expect anything short of this as the executive producer cum screenwriter, M…

(87): Mumbai to Lagos; A Tale of Two Cities

Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234
Starting with an apology to the 19th-century great novelist, Charles Dickens, as the title of this piece was inspired by the title of his 1859’s historical novel; the contexts of the two texts cannot, however, be related. The article chronicles my short stays at Mumbai, India, and Lagos in Nigeria, while making a kind of comparison between the two, and then with my birthplace, Kano. This was motivated by the striking parallels I have discovered between the two cities. For instance, both are the commercial capitals of their country; both neighboured seas; both are like convergent points of different ethnic groups; both headquartered one of the world’s leading film industries; both are lands of opportunities; both are populated by the posh and the poor people; etc. This is a continuation of my Facebook status update while still in Lagos a couple of days ago.
In reaction to the said status update, some people said that I have not seen anything yet in Lagos. I thin…