Kannywood: 2016, the media and the controversies of the Hausa film industry
When compared to Nollywood movies, Kannywood presents a much more traditional and moderate plot in its productions.
2016 was the year Kannywood went mainstream and crossed the
boundaries of Nollywood and popular culture in the news and this
was for two controversial reasons.
For those new to the term
Kannywood, this is simply the nickname given to the Hausa-language
film industry in Nigeria.
Prior to 2015, Kannywood films were not
something I paid any attention to. I would flick by Africa Magic
Hausa when channel surfing but that was it. Last year I got reeled
into it when I had to cover a ceremony that involved actors from
that sector of the Nigerian movie industry – only then did I find
out that this was a rather interesting place.
Talking about places,
apart from Tinapa Studios in Calabar, Cross Rivers state, Nigeria
is not known to own studios or a film village so imagine the
excitement in the film industry when it was announced that the
Federal government would be building 20-hectare film village, which
would be modeled like a film center in China and India.
Only problem with this is that the plan was to build it in Kano.
Yes Kano state in Northern Nigeria, a conservative state. Forget
the location, the main aim of this was to create jobs and bring
local films to high standard. But this dream was short lived –
weeks after the announcement was made by member of the House of
Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, some Islamic clerics led by
Sheik Abdallah Usman Gadan Kanya, opposed the establishment. And
just like that the plans for a film village was cancelled.
According to several reports, the project had been described by the
clerics as a plot to undermine Muslims and their religion by
creating a hub for immorality.
Now to the topic of immorality. When compared to Nollywood movies,
Kannywood presents a much more traditional/cautious/moderate plot
in its productions. On October 2016, Nigerians were left gobsmacked
when new emerged of actress Rahama Sadau being expelled from
According to a statement issued on Sunday, October 2, by the Motion
Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Sadau was expelled
for featuring in a romantic music video by Jos born singer,
While all this drama was in the news, entertaining productions were
being churned out of the Hausa film industry.
ALSO READ: Top 10 must-watch Kannywood movies of 2016
Dance, drama, music
and action – these are some of the elements of Kannywood movies
released in 2016. The year saw engaging movies like "Afra",
"Ahmad", “Basaja Gidan Yari”, "Iyalina", “ Maula” and more being