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

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

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

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

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

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 …

(96): Kannywood, a Film Industry in Need of Revaluation

By
Muhsin Ibrahim University of Cologne muhsin2008@gmail.com
As I wrote elsewhere, the relationship between cinema and the orthodox religious institutions is often marked by uneasiness if not outright hostility. From its very beginning, the Puritans see the raison d’être of visual art as only to entertain, which means to distract people from their duty to God and ethical undertakings. Until today, the accusation is all the more raging. How filmmakers handle the questions of morality, culture and spirituality is under censorship. Kannywood, the Kano-based, up-and-coming motion picture industry of and by the predominantly Muslim Hausa speaking people in northern Nigeria, is not an exception.
It is not news that Kannywood struggles with the culture-war message of several critics who see everything with them as corruption or dilution of the “prestigious” Hausa culture. However, with the ever-expanding rise (encroachment?) of globalisation, I think this feeling is, at best, empty and, at worst…

(95): Top 12 Kannywood Films of 2017

By Muhsin Ibrahim
muhsin2008@gmail.com
The article was written for, and published by, the BBC Hausa service. This is a link to a slightly different version, translated in Hausa, on their website: Fina-finan Kannywood 12 da suka shahara a 2017..
In spite of several, mounting challenges Kannywood film industry faces, chief of which is piracy, many films were produced in the outgoing year of 2017. These include, as one can guess, the very good, the good, the bad and the ugly. The year is not over yet, we, for that reason, expect the release of more films such as Juyin Sarauta, Sabon Dan Tijara, Dan Sarkin Agadaz, Mu Zuba Mu Gani, Dan Kuka a Birni, among others. Therefore, the following list is, by no means, exhaustive. There can be one, two or more deserving to be included in this category before the end of the year. Again, the list is not in any chronological order.
There’s a WayIt’s arguably the first Kannywood film in ‘Standard’ English. Produced by a renowned English teacher, Kabiru Jamma…