Crossing the T’s – On Rahama Meeting Priyanka Chopra 

Hero worship is something almost everyone does especially in this era of social media,  where we can directly connect and interact with our idols on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. 

We all have that one person we aspire to be like or hope to meet someday. That person could be a footballer, an actor, a musician, a professional athlete or a space scientist. Naturally, we will be so much interested in their lives that we avidly follow and read every news about them because we believe they have made it in a worldview and we are enthralled by it. For instance, one could rightly say that Sadau has taken Priyanka as a huge inspiration which makes her tirelessly chase her dreams and by extension, a standout amongst  her fellow actresses.

Anyone who knows Rahama Sadau knows that she’s a diehard supporter of Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra. Anyone who ever followed her on any of her media pages knows that too and the similarities in their screen characters are unmistakable. Sadau is popularly known as as Priya among her friends and colleagues while some of her fans call her Kannywood’s Priyanka Chopra. In fact we could all recall that at a point in time, Rahama Sadau wrote ‘PC Maniac’ on her Twitter bio.

It’s no longer news that Sadau recently got a superb response from her role model after mentioning her on Twitter. The response has gotten a lot of media attention especially because it’s a common knowledge that Sadau has been a Priyanka Chopra fanatic for as long as we know her. This reminded me of something that Sadau said on the set of Mati da Lado and that’s what prompted writing this piece.

Somewhere in May 2014 on the set of Mati da Lado, we were sitting down inside Sadau’s car when a lot of her fans came and surrounded the car hoping to get a glimpse of the famous actress. The door of the car was slightly ajar because we needed some fresh air but they were blocking it. Rahama was jokingly complaining about not liking the way people are looking at her, others asking her to pose for them and all. Producer Tahir I Tahir was there so he told her that it’s all because of her fame, that someone who isn’t famous won’t get that kind of attention.

She smiled and shook her head knowing his statement can’t be truer. She replied him saying “I also have an idol whom I admire very much. Whenever I’m opportune to see her, no matter the security, I will find my way and go close to her so I can touch her.” Tahir I Tahir seemed surprised and asked her who is that her idol and she told him it’s Priyanka Chopra.

I have always known that meeting Priyanka Chopra is one of Rahama Sadau’s ultimate life goals. She has bonded with friends from different countries over the love of their favorite celebrity. I could vividly recall one that called her from Indonesia in my presence and they talked as though they’ve been friends for ages. When I saw the Chopra’s response to her, I was extremely happy for her though I can’t imagine her happiness at the moment. 

I’m sure she will be overwhelmed by different kinds of emotions from disbelief to ecstasy to obsession. Now that it has began from Twitter, who knows whether Sadau will soon be called for an auditioning this time in New Delhi.

Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. She is Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist

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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 a number of novelties. Notably, it was not hurriedly produced as were many films 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 (SFx) 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. Haruna, is a well-known English teacher in Kano.

Plot Summary
(Warning: this section contains spoilers)
The semi-horror, fantasy is an old wine in a new bottle; it repackages a usual love-triangle story. Husna (Jamila Nagudu) and Abdul (Adam A. Zango) are set to wed, while a certain kolanut and groundnut hawking lady, Huzna (Fati Washa), tries everything possible to stop that from happening as she deeply loves Abdul. She does everything, follows him everywhere but he, time after time, rebuffs her. There was a time his friend and his other friends beat her up to deter her from bothering her heartthrob.

It eventually appears that Huzna is a genie. Her schemes nearly break the duo’s relationship midway in the film. It takes Husna’s mother, and their friends’ assistance and insistence for them to patch up. Tired of the drama, one day Husna steals a deadly chemical from their school laboratory and pours it on Huzna’s face, not knowing that she is not human. However, Huzna turns up at their house the next day to avenge the attack. After several plea, Huzna ‘murders’ her rival by possessing her soul.

After several failed attempts to woo Abdul, Huzna is goaded into violent action; she kills a guy who attempts to offer her a ride, and then Abdul’s friend who beat her earlier. Now in Husna’s form, Huzna arranges with some fellow genies to bring her to the former’s house. They cooked up a story that she is not dead when they buried her. Husna’s parents grudgingly accept their ‘reincarnated’ daughter. Soon afterwards, nonetheless, her nocturnal, bizarre behaviours give her away. They eventually discover her real identity. She kills the mother for that and nearly killed the father, too, but for the appearance of a more powerful genie.

Huzna is actually betrothed to the genie for the past 600 years; she however chooses to marry a human. He therefore takes her away. She soon returns to finish Husna’s father. An Islamic cleric exorcises the nurse she possesses to execute her mission at a hospital he’s receiving treatment. Her engaged genie reappears. He begs the cleric to stop, and that he is also a Muslim and respects the Noble Qur’an. He brings back Husna alive who was never killed in the first place and forcibly takes Huzna away.

Husna and Abdul are finally married. The newly wed couple are preparing to eat when they yet again discover Huzna’s kolanut and other assorted wares on their dining table. They are surprised and shocked to see that. The film ends with a caption thus: “the struggle begins…”

Critique
The special effect artist of the film did quite well. By and large, and in accordance with the Kannywood ‘standard’, the work deserves commendation. The transmogrification of Huzna to Husna or vice versa is so swift and superb; the acid scene, and the way Huzna stretches her hand and alters her eyeballs when attacking her prey, among other scenes, are equally well crafted. Generally, the finishing leaves little to be desired in a film industry infamous for its dearth of professionals and producing poor to average films like Kannywood.
As it is with any art work, Husna ko Huzna is not as impeccable as one might think. The biggest blooper in the film is the M.M. Haruna English Academy scene. The whole scene could, and of course should, be either completely avoided or shown differently. Now, it is unnecessarily lengthy, too detailed, and its idolization by the actors adds less than little or no substance to neither the plot development nor the centre in the real world. The thumb rule is: one must not feature in their sponsored movie, or covertly advertise their product therein.

Again, the last caption doesn’t hold up, for the struggle has begun since the very first scene of the film. The struggle rather continues. That is perhaps what the filmmakers have on mind. The reappearance of Huzna’s stuff in their peaceful, well-furnished house marks a beginning of yet another struggle, while everyone thought that it had ended with the stern warning by the cleric and her eviction from the human world by the senior, more powerful husband-to-be genie.

Verdict
On the whole, Husan ko Huzna is not a bad piece of work. For most women, I guess, the seemingly original story is en edge-of-the-seat semi-horror, for its marital tug-of-war over a charming prince motif. The actors, all of them, have done very well, with the performance of Washa lady occupying the highest position. The film crew, particularly the director, followed by the camera team, have done a praiseworthy job as well. The angles are carefully selected and taken; the light fits, and so on and so forth. I therefore rate it 3.5/5.0. It could be higher but for the insipidness of love-triangle-story in Kannywood and the overt, avoidable advertorial of the executive producer’s enterprise.

Reviewed by:
Muhsin Ibrahim
Bayero University, Kano
muhsin2008@gmail.com

From www.muhsin. in

Ali Nuhu Premieres Mansoor in Style 

​”Mun Kwashe Mun Kwashe, Mun Kwashe Mun Kwashe…” That’s what FKDians were shouting at the end of Mansoor show at the film House Cinema. They were not only shouting because the film was very good but also because the event Premiere of the film was a huge success. 

It was an extraordinary evening that everyone present will forever remember. It’s the first proper event premiere for a Kannywood movie since the inception of Kannywood Box Office. Mansoor Premiere didn’t disappoint. 

The turn out for  the event was huge. Hafizu Bello, Aminu Saira, Falalu Dorayi, Usman Mu’azu, Yakubu Muhammad, Rahma Sadau, Fati Muhammad, Shehu Kano, Ibrahim Birniwa, Nura M Inuwa….. Long story short, your favourite actor or actress was there. Kannywood was there. 

Clearly the maker of Mansoor knows about the importance of creating an event that will reach audience, garner the attention for his film. At the Premiere, besides the still photography of the people and personalities at the event, Ali Nuhu make sure that the BBC, AIT, NTA, Channels Tv and Kannywoodscene were all there at the event. 

Responding to media questions on the red carpet, Ali Nuhu said that he has better script coming up and Mansoor is just the beginning. 

Ali Nuhu adds “The essence of making these movies is to entertain people, educate them and make them aware of things that are happening in our society. I hope people will cooperate and watch the movie in the cinema. 

He also said that he decided to bring out something different in Mansoor because people say that most Kannywood stories are base on love, marriage and divorce. 

At the end people were talking about Ali Nuhu’s impressive directing of Mansoor. “We’ve had so many course about movie making in abroad. Most recently in the United States. People should be able to see what we’ve learned through our works.” He says. 

In the end, Ali Nuhu’s brand sponsors made sure that everyone who’s seated in the cinema went home with Cherio noodles and Blue Boat Champion milk. 

Ali Nuhu bust his guts in making Mansoor and after watching the movie, you can’t help but feel he deserves to celebrate the achievement he has completed in style. 

Movie Review – Mansoor 

“Something different? Not a love story” was the director’s response when he was asked what surprise would audience expect from his latest movie Mansoor. 

His statement could stand a trial because Mansoor, for the most part, is an adventure of an enthusiastic young man in search of his identity. It is an adventure that is triggered by love, fueled by uncertainties and driven by desperation. This adventure leads to another emotional story so expertly told and presented one can’t but appreciate the director’s story telling.

No movie is without flaws, or at least few areas that could use improvements. The good thing with Mansoor is that every single facet is at worst, average. There are few story arcs that are recycled and though I can’t tell whether it is from the movie or the projector, the movie struggled to fit perfectly on the screen. As a result, the subtitle was hardly visible; the colour grading could have been better, the nights and days appeared almost identical.

However, Mansoor has so many strengths to counteract those weaknesses. The excellent production value is at display throughout the movie. Every detail has been attended to. From the sets, to the costumes, to the make up, to the locations.

The director has gotten most out of the actors. The dialogue is refreshing and the delivery, perfect. The scores could have been more frequent. The songs are exciting. The dance sequences are colorful and impeccably acted.

One thing that deserves special mention is the stylish direction. The shots are neat, elegant and stylish. The attention to detail is superb. The way he puts up the story is remarkable. It is said that the act of telling a story is better than the story itself. This statement has never been truer. From the way he mixes voice-over with footage, to the way he motions the camera, to the way he changes the mood and expressions of the actors; it is truly a remarkable piece of directing. 

Spending such a huge amounts on actors that are barely known by audience is a risky business few producers could take. Such boldness could be the reason why FKD has stood the test of time. Can others follow? Only time can tell. 

Mansoor is wonderfully observed, stunningly shot and thanks to so many breakout performances, a must watch in Cinemas. 

Cast: Umar M Shareef, Maryam Yahaya, Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Ahmad, Abba El-Mustapha, Baballe Hayatu, and others. 

Screenplay: Jamil Nafseen. 

Producer: Naziru Dan Hajiya. 

Director: Ali Nuhu

Crossing the T’s: Relationships 

No matter how hard celebrities try to keep their romance low key, they would always be under public scrutiny. While we don’t have the paparazzi to follow their every move in  Kannywood and Nigeria in general, there are gossip columns that bring these stories to the media. Why celebs shy away from  questions concerning their love lives even in an interview isn’t a mystery, understandable even. But I do believe that everything comes with a price and that of being famous is sacrificing one’s own privacy.

It isn’t any different in Kannywood. Some actresses are trying to keep their relationships under the wraps, others don’t really care. 

Actress Halima Atete, once in an interview
with Kannywoodscene, revealed that she is not one of those actors that hide their relationships. She even went further and mentioned his name. It’s no news that Maryam Booth dated Adam for quite sometime a long time ago. However, few people know that Rahma Sadau had a fling with Kannywood Heartthrob, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, and another one before joining the industry with Director Kamal S Alkali, one could have said that she’s one of those that manage to mask their romance.

Nafisa’s love life has always been the one the media’s focused on. Lots of people would be surprised to learn that Fati Washa also had a fling with Adam A Zango or that Ibrahim Shehu dated Hadiza Gabon and Jamila Nagudu before Nafi Abdullahi. Apparently, the age difference doesn’t mean anything to him as each of the three of them is at least, three years his senior.

Like any other relationship, these relationships may or may not work out. Although some of them  materialize into marriages, like that of TY Shaba and Samira Ahmad (albeit not for long) among others. Others just fizzle out with time- Adams Zango and Nafi Abdullahi’s long-term relationship is a prime example.

After the break ups or the divorce, the actors as well as the actresses have to deal with bizarre questions from the public and interviewers. Being constantly asked about your relationship status can be frustrating, but it’s simply part of the package of being a celebrity. 




Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. She is Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist

Crossing the T’s: Talking Business 

​Kannywood actresses, like actresses of other ‘woods’ often step outside the screen to create and (or) manage their business empires. There are so many reasons as to why actors engage in other businesses outside the film industry. 

These reasons include the fear of being blown away within the blink of an eye in showbiz. Kannywood actresses like Fati Muhammad and Rukayya Dawayya could have been probably forgotten if the had completely relied on the film business alone. One could say, these actresses and their likes obviously inspired the younger ones to follow their routes. 

Aside from her breathtaking ability to get right into the heart of a story, Nafisa Abdullahi is also a successful entrepreneur. Founder and CEO of Watch Tower Productions; actress Nafisa is a poultry farmer as well as an interior designer. She also runs a classy boutique in Kaduna and has a passion for photography which she is also trying to develop into a big business in no time.

As an actress, model, producer and an activist, Rahma Sadau uses her fame as a platform to promote her side businesses. She runs her own production company, SadauPictures and which they are about to release their maiden movie. Besides being a producer, the actress also runs a boutique and a beauty salon. 

Hadiza Gabon and Maryam Booth, among other actresses, are also involved in side business. Booth, recently had her company; MBooth’s Parlour and collections, which deals with both import and export of all types of cosmetics and make-up artists, etc registered with the Corporate Affairs Commissions. Hadiza Gabon, an activist and a philanthropist, doesn’t have a production house yet, but she just opened her own beauty salon. 

Being involved in business no matter how small, is always a plus to women in general. Actresses in particular, could have it as an alternative source of income and a distraction as well, whenever they decide to take a break from the spotlight, take a backseat to allow upcoming talents shine or when they’re married. After all, who wants to belong to the kitchen and the other room only, in the 21st century?  And you know what? These actresses don’t even have to pay for adverts. 

Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. She is Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist
 

Maryam Yahaya: From Grass to Grace 

Maryam Yahaya

She may or may not remember the date, but the day and the name Mansoor are hard to be forgotten. Maryam Yahaya’s first major role as an actress was in the movie titled Mansoor, from an FKD production. It was on the 19th of December 2016 when an actress, Balkisu Shema, who was supposed to play the lead role didn’t show up on time for an unknown reason; therefore, the man in charge – Ali Nuhu – decided to go ahead as planned. Without wasting much time, Maryam Yahaya was auditioned and got the lead role. It wasn’t as easy as I just said it, for many things had happened before Maryam’s status completely changed from an ordinary back-up artist to a superstar.

As usual, like all other Kannywood movies’ sets, it began with an opening prayer from one of the assistant directors, Alfazazee Muhammad. Right before that, I noticed how everyone else came to the set, using different mobilities from different locations within and outside Kano. People like Alfazazee, Umar M. Sharrif, and co came from Kaduna; myself came all the way from Gombe, a night before. This showed the sagacity of commitment, at least from many of us, knowing that we had something to do. The actual shooting began with scene eight, first shot. If I would forget something that day, it won’t be from what I just mentioned.

Before the first scene, I noticed some strange moves from the producer, Naziru Dan Hajiya. He made several phone calls, all with his face in despair. Within a short-time, side talk began, then few questions about the logistics, accommodations, transportations and welfare of the casts and crew, and so on. Finally, Ali Nuhu decided to drop Balkisu Shema for no call, no show offence. He summoned all the actress and picked only two out of 15 or so; he gave them some lines to practice, timed them as well. After a short while, he called on whoever was ready among the two; they were all silent for a moment, then one of them came out looking so nervous, but braver than the other I guess. 

Maryam first from left and the other girl auditioning for the role

Ali Nuhu and Yunusa Mu’azu practiced one of the lines just to give her (Maryam) an idea of how the scene should look like. She walked down with the co-leading actor, Umar M Sharrif. It was so captivating as a mixture of improvisation and a little mimicry blended with self-esteem. That’s exactly what Nuhu was looking for. Ali Nuhu quickly said: Ke kinci kawai (you got it). I couldn’t believe it myself – it was breathtaking! 

Maryam’s status changed right there; she’s came in as a back-up artist and walked-out with a mixed feeling of a dream-like on one side, and a star-like on the other. Not too long after the first scene, the set continued with subsequent scenes though not in an orderly fashion. After several scenes, Shema decided to show-up. Was she late? Was she right on time? Or was she just cost herself a huge chance, maybe an only chance to feature in FKD’s film? These might be the questions pondering in her chest right from the time she stepped into Yan Dutse, a private school opposite Kano Capital School.

Maryam practicing her lines after she was chosen as the lead actress

The long story short, Shema faced Ali Nuhu, and apologized for the inconveniences she might have caused. Nobody, of course, was happy with what she did. But who cares? ‘Maryam is delivering the exact service needed, I’m satisfied.’ That’s how I interpreted Ali Nuhu’s mind at that very moment. In another interpretation, ‘I am the boss here, I don’t give a damn.’ But Ali Nuhu was soft on Shema. He said it’s okay; I am not holding you for what just happened and our relationship remains the same. However, we have already gone far enough to the point of no return (not exactly his words). 

It wasn’t an easy feeling for Shema, considering the fact that many actors were longing so hard to feature in an FKD movie. Here was someone given the chance, but blew it away just like that. Believe it or not, Shema had no reasonable excuse to be late, for her accommodation, transportation and meals were all settled prior to the beginning of her contract. I would have interviewed Shema, but for a moment I hesitated, given her unwelcoming face at the time of the shock. So, instead, I went for Maryam.

Maryam and Umar M Shariff

Maryam Yahaya was born in Goron Dutse, Kano. She did her Primary school in Yelwa, and moved to Bokabo Barracks where she obtained a High School Certificate. Her ambition for acting started right from childhood. As a child, Maryam was inspired and fascinated by most of the Kannywood movies she watched. Like many other Muslim girls from northern Nigeria, her parents are very strict and conformist when it comes to moral upbringings, but she was able to convince them to let her try a career in acting. Unlike many other Kannywood’s actresses, Maryam made her way into the industry independently. Her first film was Gidan Abinci, followed by Barauniya, and Tabo. She only played minor roles in all the three movies mentioned. Her role in Mansoor was a game changer. Maryam is a young teenage actress. She is just nineteen-year-old, but she looks younger than her age.

On the set

Perhaps it would have been a different story maybe if Shema had shown – up on time. Had it been that the other girl was auditioned before Maryam, I would be writing a different piece. All the two actresses (Shema & the other girl) are way taller and older than Maryam. Compared to Maryam, Shema & the other girl are brighter in complexion, which would have been a perfect match for Umar M. Sharrif, himself been fair in complexion. However, one thing that sets Maryam apart from the other actresses is perhaps her sang-froid.

 She so much composed herself and danced to the new tunes. The more she faced the camera, the better she became. She pulled herself all together and juiced out the new character in her throughout the set of Mansoor. Maryam became so acquainted with the people and the atmosphere. She was in the beginning too nervous probably because of the people around. She couldn’t resist or keep a straight look at the caliber of people like Ali Nuhu or Bashir Nayaya without bending down her head. Also, it was hard for her to get away with the usual unannounced solidarity visits of famous Kannywood names like Kamal Alkali, Nazifi Asnanic, Nuhu Abdullahi, Usman Mu’azu and many more.

Following the set of Mansoor, Maryam has been hired to feature in a number of upcoming blockbuster movies. She climbed a new ladder of life, shuttling from one city to another, shooting more films in a bigger role than just back-up actress. She’s all over social media posting pictures or short clips of herself while on set. Sometimes connecting with her fans on a live video chat while lying down in a doubled bed or a sofa from an interior space of her room in a three-star hotel.

By: Nura Abubakar 

Twitter: @Noorer 

Crossing the T’s: Rahama Sadau Is Back 

My Crossing the T’s pieces on the activities of female Kannywood actors are slated to be a weekly/monthly series, but with the revelation of Rahma Sadau’s unofficial return to acting in the industry, this column has to find out the circumstances of her return. 

Last year, the Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, MOPPAN, expelled actress Rahma Sadau from appearing in a Kannywood film ever, after featuring in a romantic music video with singer ClassiQ, which the association termed “indecent”. The expulsion had garnered criticisms both from within and outside the industry-especially on social media, as many people believed the punishment was too harsh on the actress. 
However, Kannywoodscene confirmed the actress’ unofficial return on stage yesterday. 

If we could recall, MOPPAN had promised to let Rahma finish ongoing projects when they expelled her indefinitely. After contacting our sources, we understand that the producers, who were in the middle of work with the actress before the expulsion have submitted list of their projects to the association. After receiving no response from MOPPAN, these producers ‘decided’ on their own, to bring her back. 

Similarly, Sadau was casted in a Television series which MOPPAN tried to stop too but the producer ignored them saying his project is going to be aired on TV, unlike other Kannywood films. So, we learned that the association, under pressure from the producers and powerful external forces representing the actress, is said to be in a dilemma lately on how to denounce the actress’ expulsion. 

As we await MOPPAN’s official report on this now, her fans would be excited to hear that the star actress is set to announce the next film she is going to produce. Welcome back the Sizzling Siren. 

Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist

Crossing the T’s: Hadiza Gabon and Being Humane 

Crossing the T’s is a weekly/monthly column by the impressive Hafsah Lalo on the activities of Kannywood female actors (individual or general)  the media may or may not have been reporting. Enjoy. 




For decades, celebrities all over the world have been known for using their star powers, fame and wealth in creating awareness, advocating and (or) doing great humanitarian works. 
There has always been debates as to what their motivation really is; whether it is really for humanity or for publicity. Whatever it is, the fact that they have indeed done well for humanity can’t be ignored. Kannywood actresses in particular, are not left behind. Here, is an insight of what one of them has been doing for humanity. 

Heartbreakingly lovely, Hadiza Gabon is not only a great looker, but has also touched the lives of many with her charitable causes. Founder of HAG Foundation,  Gabon visited Gofidna and Birnin Yaro Primary schools in Abuja and Kano State, where she gave out books and other learning materials to the pupils. 

A member of Sure Start Women Empowerment Initiative, she participated in a workshop on Women’s Menstrual Hygiene and there, she donated sanitary pads to young girls. 

The actress took her humanitarian work to a special school in Tudun Dan Maliki, Kano state as well as the IDPs’ camp and had left lasting marks in the hearts of many internally displaced persons. However, all these her philanthropies didn’t go unrecognized. Apart from being hailed by her thousands of fans for her contribution to humanity, Kano State Secondary Schools Management Board has given her a certificate of Appreciation while Billy Charity Care gave her an award of excellence. 

A Kannywood artist extraordinaire, we’ve all seen Gabon shines in movies with her superb performances; from Babbar Yarinya to Basaja to Indon Kauye. She didn’t only win the MTN Kannywood Awards but also won the best supporting actress in African films Awards in London.  And of course,  I am not the only one that saw her pictures taking acting classes in Los Angeles.

Hafsah Lalo is a writer hailed from Jos, Plateau State. Currently a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi. You can follow her on twitter: @Grtsunnist
 

 

Kannywood Movie Review: There’s a Way


God bless the dichotomy between the rich and the poor, or as the socialists call it: the gap between the lower, the bourgeoisies and the upper classes. If it did not exist, the arts would, perhaps, have to invent one for stories to have conflict, upon which many films, novels, dramas, etc rely to intrigue us. This has been the trend since the Victorian Age, or before, with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist down to Femi Osofisan’s Marxist-influenced plays, and so on and so forth. Class consciousness is sadly here to stay with us.

Hausa film industry is equally not short of films based on this global theme. There’s a Way is just another addition to that archive, though in a new style: its language is no longer the ‘local’ Hausa one but the global English. This is one of the reasons why I had to preview the film prior to its release.

As I said in the preview, numerous Hausa films are flagrantly, poorly subtitled in wrong English. The subtitles oftentimes serve a contrary purpose: those with little or no grasp of Hausa language end up puzzled. The shoddy subtitles also expose the educational level of the people in the industry, and by and large, their region. Worse still, the actors, in other times, use ‘Eng-ausa’, a hotchpotch English-Hausa code-switching and mixing. But all that will soon be a history with the emergence of the second (Wasila [English version] is actually the first ever, but that was done more than a decade ago) Kannywood film in ‘Standard’ English language.

(Warning: this section contains spoilers)
There’s a Way does not only present the lower and upper classes struggle; the predatory nature of some university dons is equally bared. As a token, the women issue is not left untouched, thus it is used to set the story afloat. The film opens from a court scene where a woman, abused by her husband, is questioned by the judge. The husband allegedly forces her to abort pregnancies six times. Isham (Nuhu Abdullahi), as a secondary student, witnesses the hearing and becomes interested to study Law in order to assist the poor such as the wife who is evidently harmed. His dream is not meant to be realized easily.

After failing his exams at least twice, Isham, a curious boy from a poor family does not have money to register at a “miracle centre”, where candidates register for exams and “nobody ever fails”. He someday accompanies his friend to the centre and mistakenly bumps into Fadila (Hajara Jalingo), whose father gives her a hundred thousand naira (N100, 000) to register at the centre. The ‘accident’ is love at first sight. Days, perhaps months, pass, and then destiny brings them together as students of the same university. While her father every so often warns her against mingling with anyone from poor family, Isham and his two siblings are orphans raised by their sick mother.

As expected, Fadila’s father, Alhaji Mahdi (Sani Mu’azu) someday finds out that she has invited Isham to the house, though with the consent of her mother. He blasts them and chases Isham out. He asks his old friend, Dr. Bello (Umar Malumfashi), a lecturer at Isham’s university, to find ways to punish him. Coincidently, Dr. Bello is already at loggerhead with Isham over a protest the latter organizes against the sale of handout. Unknown to Alhaji, however, is that his friend has once tried to sleep with his daughter. Finally, Isham is framed and subsequently expelled. He is soon consoled and offered a sponsorship by Fadila to study in any southern Nigerian university he can get admitted into.

Alhaji Mahdi tries to marry Fadila off to her cousin whom he fosters at his house and sends abroad for studies. She rebuffs. Isham returns and his relationship with Fadila is soon rejuvenated. The lady Dr. Bello used in framing Isham asks him for her payment. He refuses and thus she threatens to expose him. And, in the final scene, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) arrests Alhaji Mahdi for an undisclosed crime.

But for a few slips, I would rate the film 4 out of 5. It goes with something a little bit below that score. The blunders responsible for this discredit include the use of pretentious lines in some scenes like where Fadila and Isham first meet. Although it is meant to express love, the language is too flowery and such is barely used for verbal communication. Go and watch even the BBC productions, and you will never come across something similar. This beside, the film breaks a new ground as the first (or second, if you like) Kannywood film completely rendered in English. The grammar is virtually faultless save only in some instances in the subtitle.

All the casts try their best possible in internalizing their lines. It is only the character of El-Mustapha who speaks quite unnaturally. Moreover, the same voice of supposedly the executive producer of the film is used at least three times, by different characters. The dubbing could have been better and more lip-synched had the casts tried even if their English is not polished as such.

And lastly, although Light and Darkness, another film to be released by the same company, is said to be the sequel to There’s a Way, the resolution of the story is at best hanging and at worst outrageous. Having just a sleepless night over a threat, which could be empty, by the lady Dr. Bello hires to frame his victims is so much insufficient as a punishment to him. The same goes to Alhaji Mahdi; his arrest by the EFCC says so little after all his humiliation and sheer disgust of the poor.

The film is about the endurance of the human spirit, true love and the exposition of some social vices in our societies and schools. No doubt, it was technically carefully shot; the cinematography is almost spotless. The lighting appropriately fits the ambiance. The casts, as mentioned earlier, perform very well, especially Isham and the debutant, Fadila, among others. This credit must be shared among all the crew with the director, Falalu Dorayi and the executive producer, Kabiru Jammaje taking plump shares.

Written by:
Muhsin Ibrahim,
Bayero University, Kano
Email: muhsin2008@gmail.com
Twitter: @muhsin234