By Ibrahim Umar Bello
Two weeks ago, Arewa Film Makers Association of Nigeria (AFMAN)announced that they’ve suspended Kannywood leading actress Nafisa Abdullahi for 2 years. The association claimed that the actress was suspended for organizing a party in Kaduna, where the participants dressed indecently, and when she was summoned by the association to answer for her actions she refused to honor the invitation.
The suspension has generated mixed responses from people both on and off the industry. Sure it does, Nafisa is arguably the best female actor in Kannywood at the moment, the thought of her missing in action for 2 years would be a great loss to the industry, that is trying so hard to be heard. At least that’s what many people think, and they’ve a valid point.
On the other hand, some people think what Nafisa did was wrong. Being a great actress doesn’t mean she can do any immoral act without punishment. I can’t blame them, there should be punishment for immorality, what’s worrying is the way AFMAN treat the whole situation.
I think Nafisa’s suspension has raised so many questions about the credibility of AFMAN due to the way they handle the situation. To be honest, not many people know about them and what they actually do. Nafisa wasn’t the only actor that organized a party before but she’s the only one punished by the association as far as I know. This beg the questions; how long have AFMAN been active and how did they let other actors get away with similar offense? Nafisa organized the party but some other actors/film makers attended the party, why aren’t they punished? Nafisa also claimed that she’s not a member of the association, and the question is who are it’s members and who aren’t arose. Also, does the association have the power to only punished it’s registered members or anyone?
Clearly, this saga isn’t the best way to make themselves known to Kannywood fans and followers.
Furthermore, the whole situation has created a kind of confusion between AFMAN and some of the Film Makers. I’ve talked with Kannywood director Mallam Aminu Saira who is among the members of trustees in the association but only read about the suspension in the News Paper like everyone else. He told me that he acknowledged the fact that Nafisa did something wrong but she deserves a fair trial. He suggested that the association should have given Nafisa a written invitation, which would serve as evidence instead of calling her on phone. And the fact that she was suspended 48 hours after the accusations also isn’t fair. My understanding is that, some other film makers have also rejected the suspension.
Like most people pointed out, one of the biggest problem facing Kannywood is lack of organization. Kannywood needs association like AFMAN that can guide the affairs of the industry and also fight for the right of the actors and film makers. AFMAN need to involved more respectable film makers within the industry in the association and in their decisions.
Hausa movie industry is under much scrutiny from the general public now. People still think they spread immorality which is not true. If AFMAN can get their priorities straight and do what is required, it can be a strong unified body with policies that should make anyone in the industry avoid the acts they have been stereotyped to be engaged in.