Other Cultures Lagging In Nigeria Movie Industry
7/1/2012 1:48:16 AM -
Following the recent growth in Nigeria's main movie industry,Nollywood, there is a reason to be concerned on the backward trend in Kannywood, the northern version of the former. Anthony Ada Abraham compares both situations.
Kannywood, like Nollywood, is a movie industry in Nigeria, but both arms are driven by different ideologies.
While movies made in the Kano-based Kannywood are modeled after Indian movies, Nollywood draws from a rich pool of cultural mixes comprising those of the Yoruba and Igbo, as well as other minorities, with streaks of inspiration from the western world, especially Hollywood.
Many have complained that what is presently termed 'the Igbo movie industry' is a decline, a far cry from what 'Living In Bondage', one of the first Igbo movies came to represent.
Ernest Osogue, a presenter with FRCN's Capital FM whose broad knowledge of the movie industry can not be overlooked, explained to E-Train how the movie industry in the east is fading away.
'The Igbos are the owners of Nollywood. Any movie you watch depicts the cultural heritage of the eastern part. Their costumes, make-ups and every other input will tell you that these are Igbos'.
Most of the veterans are Igbos. Consider someone like the late Sam Loco Efe (who is not an Igbo), but did all he could to promote the culture at any given opportunity, due to the standard and market but in a modern way'.
Though many have upheld that the Yoruba movies solely promotes the western part, the good thing about their packaging and plot-lines is that it has taken them beyond borders.
Yoruba movies can be seen in London, their destination point in Europe. Inculcating whites into their cast, though an indication of playing to the gallery, sometimes helps to upgrade the standard.
This generalised opinion has prompted the Yoruba actors and others from external cultures to inter-weave, making Nollywood one of the fastest growing movie industries in the world, one that rakes in billions of naira.
Kano-based Kannywood is as old as the Indian movies. Kannywood has come short as regards show-casing its top stars when it comes to forming a bond with Nollywood, its more popular counterpart believed to be the center of movie-making in Africa, and one of the world's busiest.
Taking a critical look at the industry, it must be said that very few exhibit professionalism in diversifying, expanding their horizon by interacting with people from other cultures and sometimes, bringing them to act together.
Ali Nuhu is one of Kannywood's most successful exports, both to the world and Nollywood, and thus, must be appreciated for taking his act a step further.
Though many have said that his continued alliance with Nollywood is a sign of patronage to get him more roles, away from Kannywood, it is not difficult to see that he has immensely profited from belonging on both sides of the divide.
Considering that there is hardly any Nollywood movie in which he does not feature (gangster-related, love, adventure), it could be that Hollywood or his beloved Bollywood is not too far away.
Sani Musa Danja is another actor doing his best to modernise the Hausa movies. But criticism from some forces is hindering it. There was a time he spoke about bringing the movies to other cultures as the industry called Nollywood is for all.
AL-Amin Ciroma of LEADERSHIP HAUSA is also a stake holder in the industry. He has been doing his best trying to bring these men and women to mainstream acting, not forgetting their roots little wonder LEADERSHIP has a page dedicated to Kannywood so that they could tell what they are doing and the way forward.
Aside the fact that Nigeria has three major ethnic groups, it does not limit the minorities from telling their own story.
Movies like Igodo, Things Fall Apart, The Figurine, Black Gold, Inale, Mary Slessor, Sango, and a few others have been widely acclaimed, because they tell our own stories to a great degree.
Other tribes and culture can sell their heritage by expansion...modernising it by inviting notable faces to star in their movies even though their mother tongue would be a priority. A professional actor should be able to interpret any role.
Nigerian movie lovers look forward to seeing Ali Nuhu, Sani Danja, Omotola Jalade, Genevieve Nnaji, Tonto Dike, Jibola Dabo, Saheed Balogun, Sam Dede, Mercy Johnson, Ini Edo, Hauwa Maina and others...in Benue, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano or Maiduguri, doing something about the roots of the people for posterity sake.
Nollywood is for all, not a regional thing.
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