For Kannywood, it’s long road to Eldorado

For Kannywood, it’s long road to Eldorado

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Most of the rules that guide conduct in Kannywood (the Hausa movie industry) are derived from the society it caters to. There is so much attachment to cultural and religious dictates, much so that things allowed freely in other places are forbidden in that region of the country. And they cannot challenge the authority other than to abide.
Recently, the Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria banned Sadau Rahama from practicing in Kannywood over some perceived infractions.
After watching the video that caused the trouble many times, a musical video by ClassiQ, I wondered what she did wrong.
I might not be seeing from the same perspective since I am not from the north and I am not used to their ways of life. But in spite of the rules that govern an association or a people, we must understand that the world is evolving every day and so rules are meant to be modified.
Kannywood must realise that, by banning Sadau, they have lost one of their most priced assets. And without knowing it, they may be, through the ban, helping the career of the 23-year-old actress indirectly. Before the ban, she was only a heavyweight champion in Kannywood but not in Nollywood, which is the biggest film industry in Nigeria.
But since the news of her ban broke, her profile has risen. In the past few weeks, she has made front pages of major newspapers more times than all her years in acting. Her followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have skyrocketed all because people felt she the act was a ‘witch hunt’.
Yes, she might not have the courage to say it publicly, but the ban obviously looks like a breakthrough the young pretty lady had been waiting for. Deep inside her, I do not think she is crying over the ban.
News reached us some days ago that she had been invited by international superstar, Akon, and US-based Nigerian film-maker, Jeta Amata, to visit the set of their new film in Hollywood – Los Angeles. The news was broken by Akon via his Twitter handle when he tweeted, “Looking forward to seeing you in Los Angeles. Let’s empower our women and motivate them to grow. Fanning them is cooler than banning them.”
The excited Sadau also confirmed accepting the invitation in a series of tweets, saying, “Wow, I’m so humbled. Los Angeles calling… so excited about @jeta_amata and @akon invitation to visit the set of their new film in Hollywood!! #Rahamasadau so excited.”
Last week, she forayed into Nollywood by starring in a 13-week drama series, titled, ‘Sons of the Caliphate.’today too, she will join the likes of Richard Mofe-Damijo, Francis Duru, Toyin Ahimakhu and Joke Silva in Abuja for a stage play, ‘The Flight.’
I am so sorry Ali Nuhu; your dream may never come to life. The dream of the top Kannywood actor is for Kannywood to be viewed like Hollywood. While answering a question on Kannywood reaching the height of Hollywood, he said, “Certainly it will but after a long time. Because when Hollywood took off, there were no trained professionals but gradually they opened schools of media and filmmaking, which helped the industry. I am sure such will happen to Kannywood with time.”
Perhaps, Nuhu forgot that the environment that Hollywood thrives in is different from theirs. And setting up a media and filmmaking school is not the problem here because it will not change the beliefs of a people. If anything has to be changed, it must be a deliberate attempt by those people.
Even Bollywood that share similarities with Kannywood, I believe, have succumbed to global trend. Their films are now different from what I used to watch while growing up. While they still maintain their values, they have added more beauty, romance and dynamism to their productions.
With due respect, it will take a major shift for Kannywood to start dreaming of competing with Nollywood, not to say Hollywood. Apart from the language barrier, there are some laid down rules that undermine its growth. Why would you ban a lady for jumping on the back of a singer in a musical video? All what she did in that video are not even close to what we see in Nollywood or Hollywood, yet you want to be taken seriously like them.

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