By Ibrahim Sheme
I think when the world (or even Nigerian federal officials) talk about Nollywood, they are not thinking about the Hausa film industry, a.k.a. Kannywood. Nollywood is simply the Nigerian movie industry WITHOUT its Hausa component. Surprisingly, Nollywood includes the Igbo and Yoruba productions. The question is: why are Hausa movies not included? In my view, it has to do with the fact that federal officials working in the culture sector - Ministry of Information and its parastatals such as the National Film and Videos Censors Board and the Nigerian Film Corporation - hardly remember Kannywood when they are designing policies. Until in recent years, they scarcely included Kannywood stakeholders in their programmes.
Of course, things have been changing in recent years. Kannywood stakeholders have been making an in-road into the federal culture sector - participating in film festivals, awards and meetings. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go before we get THERE, largely due to the dominance of non-Northerners in the sector and in the mainstream mass media. If you take a look at the entertainment pages of Nigerian newspapers where news and gossip about the Nigerian movie world are told, you will hardly see anything being said about Kannywood. That is, with the exception of northern papers like Leadership, Trust, New Nigerian and Triumph.
The senseless attacks on Kannywood operators by officials of the Kano State Censorship Board in the bogus name of sanitising the industry appears to have taken Kannywood back in reckoning. That's the actual target of the censors. But theirs is a futile exercise because only a dimwit will presuppose that a censorship regime can destroy the progress of the new information technologies, of which movies are a significant part.
This is more so in a democracy, which has a preset tenure. As the Hausa say, "Zalunci ba ya karewa!"