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

Muhsin Ibrahim
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…
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(97): Dapchi Schoolgirls’ Abduction: The Big Picture

Dapchi Schoolgirls’ Abduction: The Big Picture by Muhsin Ibrahim
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

Muhsin Ibrahim University of Cologne
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
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…

(94): Maryam Sanda: Kannywood is not to Blame

By Muhsin Ibrahim University of Cologne Once again, Kannywood is being dragged into the limelight and for the same reason: moral issue. The story of the murder of husband, Bilyaminu Bello by his wife, Maryam Sanda has been trending in the news since it happened on 18th November 2017. Domestic violence, which, if not tackled, leads to mariticide, is as old as marriage itself. Therefore, using a picture of an actress, Aina’u Ade wielding a knife against an actor, Ali Nuhu from a scene of a Kannywood film to show how Maryam got influenced is, at best, wrong and, at worst, absurd. Do we care to look at what are the context and the consequence of that act in the film?
Let me digress a little. I had no intention to write this article for several reasons. However, some friends and acquaintances kept on ‘asking’ me to intervene. Let me make it clear to them that being Kannywood an area of my study does not make me their mouthpiece, nor does it make it my responsibility to defe…

(93): Kannywood: Hypocrisy, Sycophancy and Criticism

Muhsin Ibrahim
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…

(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
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…