Skip to main content

(65): Jamila, a Worth-Watching Hausa Film

Muhsin Ibrahim
@muhsin234

Director:         Ali Gumzak
Producer:       Mukhtar Young Boy
Story:              Yakubu M. Kumo
Year:               2016
Company:      Kabugawa Productions

Let me make it clear from the outset that this is not a conventional film review. I am not writing this as an academic, but as an ordinary film viewer. I just found the story of the above titled film, its directorial work and thematic preoccupation worth writing on, hence this piece. It is very difficult and rare to come across an enthralling Hausa film, especially these days, whose motifs and subject matter is that serious, bold and absorbing.

Jamila is entitled after the leading character’s name, acted by A’isha Aliyu Tsamiya. Her mother, Hadiza Muhammad works as a housemaid in a mansion. Adam A. Zango is the only scion of the affluent family. His father has since died and left a huge wealth for him; while the mother pampers him with everything a son may need or wish. He has just returned after completing his studies in the overseas. Thus, as it normally happens, Zango is a spoilt kid: a chain-smoker, a drug addict and an alcoholic.
 
A snapshot from the film
Jamila is an orphaned girl helping her mother in carrying out the house chores. She is in a requitable love with Sadiq Sani Sadiq, the house’s guard. The two are planning to get married when Zango starts admiring her while she goes around the house, and soon enough declares his love. His mother is at first against it but she later gives up and agrees, for she can do everything to please her only son. In no time, Jamila’s mother forbids her from seeing her heartthrob and compels her to accept Zango’s proposal. And so she does against her freewill. Jamila is an obedient girl any mother would love to have, while her mother is a materialistic woman any good daughter would not like to have as a mother. 

Jamila outlines condition for their marriage that he must quit smoking and alcoholism. He accepts her conditions and the marriage is without any delay solemnized. But unknown to her, he resumes his old habit. A few weeks after the marriage, Jamila goes to see a doctor to check her blood pressure. Her mother comes to the house while she has yet to return. The drunken Zango rapes the mother. She returns and finds what happened. She is distressed beyond wording. The mother regrets everything and eventually dies due to excessive bleeding and sheer frustration. Jamila and her dying mother have resolved to not disclose what happened to all for the sake of her marriage and image. She also thinks a sober Zango would regret his doings and apologize but he declines any offence and refuses to apologise. Thus she resorts to cursing him day and night, praying for his tragic downfall. He later dies in a fatal car crash. She profusely wishes he had died in a more agonizing and humiliating way.

That is the synopsis of the film, though the plot is slightly different as it is weaved with flashbacks, suspense, dramatic and involves some secondary characters such as Jamila’s auntie, her friend and people from the neighbourhoods who come for the burial of Zango but later disperse after learning of his abominable deeds before his death. His mother pleaded but nobody stays.

I am particularly interested in the story following what is happening in our societies where rapists and murderous ritualists are on the loose. That makes it topical and timely. This is the kind of contemporary issues Kannywood filmmakers should (re)focus onto and produce films on, not the clichéd narratives of A loves B while C objects, or the familiar conflict between co-wives, or films on nonsensical, often trite, transvestites/effeminates and some petty prostitutes, and the like. Films, especially those made in a culturally-bound and Islamacate society like Kano or northern Nigeria, in general, should be purposeful, topical and could, yet, maintain their artistic, intrinsic quality.

I therefore salute the crew of Jamila, particularly the director, Ali Gumzak and the screenwriter, Yakubu M. Kumo for a job well done. The actors, too, deserve commendation, especially the central characters: Aisha Tsamiya and Adam A. Zango. Their flair of acting breathes sparkle and senses in the story. The lighting and the picture quality are also some things to write home about. Keep the ball rolling, guys.

Popular posts from this blog

(76): Girl-Child as ‘Endangered’ Human in our Society

Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com
“Muhsin”, Shamsiyya (not a real name) called my attention. I answered, and listened. “Come and marry me”, She finished, retorting my allegation that she was still unmarried not because she lacks suitors, but for her being too choosy. It was later that I pondered on our lengthy conversation and realised that I was wrong. Many men are afraid of successful women like her. She is from a wealthy family, has two degrees and works with an international organisation. She also confided to me that she could not stretch the cultural perception and norms to seriously ask anyone to marry her. She would instead continue to wait for Allah’s choice. I was left in a daze.
I came back home, sat down and ruminated over our chit-chat. I then recalled Dr Muhammad Tahar Adamu aka Baba Impossible’s lecture back in our freshman year in the university. He one-day spent many minutes of his period admonishing the ladies in the class on relationship and marriage issues. He was u…

(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 some novelties. Notably, it was not hurriedly produced as were many movies 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.M. Ha…

(16): Remembering our Slaughtered Sister, A’isha

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234 (Twitter)
Many people welcome the month of April by the popular April fool prank; the month, however, from the year 2012, will be remembered as April foul by the family and friends of Talban Taura, Alhaji Muhd Lawan (Alhaji Abba) who lives in Gwale LGA, Kano. A tragedy befell the family on the 1st April in that year, when his 20-year-old daughter, A’isha, was murdered in cold blood, just a few weeks away to her wedding. Forgive a little digression: this is the first written tribute I am paying to anyone’s life. This is, nonetheless, not because nobody so significant in my life has died before; in fact, people dearest and nearest to me like my mother, an eldest brother and sister, among others have died. To say I miss them is literally an understatement. I never forget to beseech Allah, the Exalted, to have mercy on their souls.

However, the death of A’isha is instead a unique one, for the cause was so unnatural, though unavoidable, fatalistically speak…