KANNYWOOD OF ALL ‘WOODS’
BY: NURA ABUBAKAR
TWITTER @Noorer

It’s so understanding that when it comes to the issue of movies and celebrities in the world the first thing to clock in your mind is Hollywood followed by Bollywood and of course Nigeria’s giants Nollywood and Kannywood for Africans and some part of the world.

Hollywood covered a couple of centuries of film making likewise Indian Bollywood. But history has it that first Nollywood movie LIVING IN BONDAGE was produced in 1994, while TURMIN DANYA as a first Kannywood was produced in March 15th 1990 by Ibrahim Mandawari under the umbrella if Tumbin Giwa Drama Club. If I may ask what is the differences as well as the similarities between the first and the last two “woods”? The differences are clear, the former covered centuries in the showbiz while the later were no more in last thirty years.

Let me restrict my self to the two ‘infants’ showbiz industries i.e Nollywood and Kannywood. Today, arguably Nollywood is the third largest industry in the world behind Hollywood and Bollywood. But if you look at its history of first production Kannywood predates it. Why do you think Nollywood is the third not Kannywood? Is it because they speak English? Is it because they have more professionals than Kannywood? Is it because they are politically, economically, socially and technologically better than Kannywood?
Well, to me these are the most difficult questions with the simplest answers in the world. For the first two questions I can say media and language play a vital role in making Nollywood the third largest in the world. The reason is, both the prints and electronics medias products are primarily in English, so the Nollywood has more advantage over Kannywood here. Again English is not only the official language in Nigeria but a global language and you know what it means. Remember, less than fifty million people speak Hausa all over the world and how many millions or billions speak English, I do not know! Looking at the professionals involved in Kannywood we can’t say they don’t have because they do, but not as many as in Nollywood. Thank God now Kannywood have so many people who study filming and other technicalities in film makinga, their work has shown that though Kannywood still need capacity building.

Today, politics play a vital role in every aspect of human life and film making is not an exception here. For a Kannywood to reach some level it must be supported politically. Some years back filming had been “banned” in kano for some reasons by the previous government. Special thanks goes to the current governor of Kano State Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for the recall and his tireless support. This is exactly what Kannywood needs, political, financial and social support. Government should come fully into this industry, it is and will be beneficial for both parties.

Kannywood creates thousands of jobs to youth yearly, once government is in, it can be more than that. This is why Nollywood is ahead of Kannywood, they have investors, people invest in it, they have been backed fully by government, so many film institutes have been established over there, in fact foreign investors are all over the industry.

In conclusion, Kannywood has all the talents, they have a lot of stories that are yet to be exploit, the location and anything you can think of. All they need now is capacity building because the format of their movie making is more or less similar to that of soap operas, perhaps they should LEARN & ADOPT the actual film techniques and that can only be done when the government as well as investors come in by making things formal, create more institution and film villages for the up coming artist. This would help many to put meals on their tables therefore a means of livelihood.

THANKS FOR READING.

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9 thoughts on “KANNYWOOD OF ALL ‘WOODS’

  1. Living in Bondage was made in 1992 and not 1994 as you have it there. It was an igbo film and NOT an english one (like Kannywod). It was based on the fact that Nigerians wanted to see their everyday story told by themselves and it was again made popular cos the igbos push the film out cos they understood marketing even at that beginners level . Again don’t forget that nollywood started as an offshoot of highly sensationalised films like that of Hubert Ogunde and Eddie Ugboma and Ola Balogun of the 60s and 70s so my point is
    instead of concentrating your argument on who started earlier- Kannywood or Nollywood, I think your article should rightly be on what you talked about later- lack of Govt support (even though Nollywood doesn’t have that either).

    Lemme say the biggest problem of Kannywood is lack of organisation. They need a strong unified body that can fight for the rights of the filmmakers. If the federal govt is allocating fund (like the 3billion naira in question), a strong body would fight to make sure that some filmmakers from the north have access to that sort of money. How about going to international Film Festivals and Film gatherings where they could meet potential investors and distributors? Kannywood needs to step up its fight to be heard!

  2. Actually I can’t express my gratitude over ur coments on my post am speechless. Beside, I just observe some topographical errors wish my system failed 2 save the changes, these errors are; first paragraph line 4- Africans *and some part…, 2nd paragraph line 3- Turmin Danya as a first kannywood *movie was…, paragraph 5 line 4- and their work has shoown that… And finally the repeatation ‘the actual’ in the last paragraph. Thanks for your comment, it’s highly mortivating guys! Cheers!!!

  3. Very insightful piece.

    You are righ, Kannywood do really government backing to prosper. Unfortunately the government is reluctant to help the industry. Shekarau didn’t even try to help, so when the Hiyana saga hits, he almost crushed the industry. Kwankwaso really tried and is trying but Kannywood needs more than just the freedom to shoot everywhere…

  4. A very nice analysis, I like the way you chronologically compare the emergence of both ‘nollywood’ and ‘kannywood’ in that process you remindd me of the film ‘turmin danya’ in the early nineties I so much love that film. To be honest your mentioning of socio-political,, economic and cultural problems bedeviling as well as being a source of reviving or reshaping the industry is also very impressive. One more problem is that culturally in the north esp in places like kano jigawa katsina etc most ppl engaged in film making are regarded as bad eggs in the society, though I share this blame on both the orientation in our society and also the unwelcoming attitude displayed by some if nt most artist in the kannywood, unless if dis is addressed, educated, reasonable and talented hausawa or yan arewa like u and me will be pushed far away from contributing our quota toward the development of our beloved “Kannywood” (I will soon post a full article on the notion patially depicted in dis post). Thanks.

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