Tuesday, October 26, 2010

60 Ways To Keep Love Of Your Wife Assured

This article is sent to me by a sister, who did this effort in making sure the love between Husband and wife prevails. In other words and as far as this research is concern, women are always there for their spouses, according to the piece, the writer clearly advice men on how to cajole and inveigle their wives on love, in order to foster and keep the marriage train moving-on. Please enjoy:
•(1) Make her feel secure; (‘Sakina’-Tranquillity) QUIT BEING AGGRESSIVE
•(2) When you get home say ‘Assalamu ‘alaikum.’ (Greetings) It kicks the Shaitaan out of your home!
•(3) The Prophet (may Allah peace and blessings be upon him and his purest progeny) described the wife as a fragile vessel and said to take care of this vessel that’s fragile. Remember that there is goodness in this vessel so treat it gently.
•(4)When you advise her, do so in privacy, in a peaceful environment. NOT IN PUBLIC as it’s a type of slandering.
•(5) Be generous to your wife- it keeps her LOVE
•(6) Move and let her have your seat. It will warm her heart.
•(7) AVOID ANGER. HOW? Keep your ‘Wudhu’ (ABLUTION) at all times. The Prophet (S.A.W) said if you are angry, sit down, if you’re sitting, then lie down. Follow the Sunnah!
•(8) Look good and smell great for your wife. It keeps the LOVE!
•(9) Don’t be rigid. It will break you. Prophet Mohammed - Sallal lahu Alaihi Wa alihi wa sallam said, “I am the best amongst you and I am the best to my wives.” Being rigid and harsh will not bring you close to Allah (SWT) and neither does it make you more of a man.
•(10) Listen to your wife--BE a GOOD LISTENER
•(11) YES to flattering NO to arguing. Arguing is like poison in a marriage. Alzawa’i said ‘When Allah (SWT) wants evil for people He will leave them to argue amongst themselves.’
•(12) Prophet (SAW) said to call your wives with the best name, any name she loves to hear. Prophet Mohammed (SAW) called Aisha, “Yaa Aish...” as an endearment.
•(13) Give her a pleasant surprise i.e. if she loves watermelon, bring her one out of the blues. It will grow the love in her heart.
•(14) Preserve your tongue! Prophet (SAW) said the tongue will throw people in the hell fire so watch what you say and how you say it!
•(15) All of us have shortcomings. Accept her shortcomings and Allah (SWT) will put Baraka (blessings) in your marriage.
•(16) Tell her you appreciate her. SHOW her you appreciate her.
•(17) Encourage her to keep good relations with her relatives, her mum and dad, etc.
•(18) Speak to her on a topic of HER interest.
•(19) In front of her relatives praise her. Confirm/ realise that she is wonderful, and that she is a good person in front of her family.
•(20) Give each other gifts. You will love each other more. Prophet (SAW) said gifts increases love.
•(21) Get rid of the routine once in a while, surprise her with something, it will get rid of the rust and polish it!
•(22) Husnul Zaan (good thinking)- We have a demand from Allah (SWT) that we have to think good of people. Think good of your spouse.
•(23) Ignore some of her mistakes- pretend you did not see/hear some of her small mistakes. It was a practice of Imam Ali bn Abi-Talib (as). It’s like putting a hole in your memory. Don’t save it in your memory!
•(24) Increase the drops of patience, especially when she is on her monthly period.
•(25) Expect and respect her jealousy. Even Nana Aisha (RA) used to get jealous.
•(26) Be humble. If your profession is good, respect that she is looking after your children, she is much more than you, she is the leader at home, her strength is your strength, and her success is your success.
•(27) Don’t put your friends above your wife.
•(28) Help your wife at home. The Prophet (SAW) used to help his wives at home and he was the best of creation. He used to sew his own clothes.
•(29) Help her respect your parents, you can’t force her to love them, but she can be helped to gradually love them.
•(30) Show your wife she is the ideal wife.
•(31) Remember your wife in your du'as (prayers). It will increase the love and protect it.
•(32) Leave the past. It brings nothing but pain and grief. It’s not your business. The past is with Allah (SWT).
•(33) Don’t try to show her that you are doing her a favour by doing something, like buying food for the house, because in reality we are the couriers of sustenance, not the providers, as Allah Ta’ala is the provider. It's also a way of being humble and thankful to Allah (SWT).
•(34) Shaitaan is your enemy, not your wife. Sometime when husband and wife are talking a fight breaks out, then shaitaan is present there as a third person so he is the real enemy. It is not enough to hate the Shaitaan, but you have to see him as an enemy as Allah Ta’ala has commanded. Shaitaan loves divorce.
He comes everyday and sits office and asks the devils what they have done, some say I have made a person steal, or I have made someone drink etc. And one devil will say I have made a man divorce his wife, and he is crowned as the one who has done the best job.
•(35) Take the food and put it in her mouth. Prophet (SAW) taught us this. It’s a blessing. The food doesn’t just go to her stomach, but straight to her heart. It increases the love and mercy between you.
•(36) Protect your wife from the evil of the Shaitaan and mankind. She is like a precious pearl that needs protecting from the envy of human devils and Shaitaan.
•(37) Show her your smile. Smile at your wife. IT’S A CHARITY.
•(38) Small problems/ challenges can become a big problem. Or if there is small thing that she doesn’t like and you keep repeating it anyway, it will create a wall between you. Don’t ignore that as it can become big.
•(39) Avoid being had hearted and moody. Allah Ta’ala said to Prophet (SAW) “If you were hard hearted they (the companions) would have left you.” It confirms that Prophet (SAW) was not harsh hearted, so GET RID OF IT.
•(40) Respect her thinking. It’s strength for you. Show her you like her thoughts and suggestions.
•(41) Help her to achieve her potential and help her to dig and find success within as her success is your success.
•(42) Respect the intimate relationship and its boundaries. Prophet (SAW) said she is like a fragile vessel and she needs to be treated tenderly. Sometimes she may not be feeling well; you must respect and appreciate that feeling.
•(43) Help her to take care of the children. Some men think it makes them appear less of a man but in fact it makes you appear a bigger man and more respected, especially in the sight of Allah (swt).
•(44) Use the gifts of the tongue and sweet talk her. Tell her she looks great, be an artist. Pick and choose gifts of the tongue.
•(45) Sit down and eat with her and share your food with her.
•(46) Let her know you are travelling. Don't tell her out of the blue as that is against Islam. Tell her the date/ time of when you are coming back also.
•(47) Don’t leave the house as soon as trouble brews.
•(48) The house has privacy and secrecy. Once you take this privacy and secrecy to your friends and family you are in danger of putting a serious hole in your marriage. This secrecy stays home. Islam is against exposing them out like a garage sale for anyone to come and pick and choose.
•(49) Encourage each other on ibadah, i.e. plan a trip for hajj or umrah together. It increases and strengthens the love when you help each other perform good deeds together i.e., do tahajjud (midnight prayers) together.
•(50) Know her rights, not only written in paper but engraved in your heart and engraved in your conscious.
•(51) Allah (SWT) said: “Live with your wives in kindness.” Treat them with kindness and goodness. It means in happy times and in sadness treat her with goodness and fairness.
•(52) The Prophet (SAW) said that at the time of intimacy. Don’t jump on your wife like an animal! Play with her and arouse her emotions before satisfying your urge.
•(53) When you have a dispute with your wife don’t tell everyone. It’s like leaving your wounds open to germs so be careful who you share your problems and disputes with.
•(54) Show your wife you really care for her health. Good health of your wife is your good health. To care for her health shows her that you love her.
•(55) Don’t think you are always right. No matter how good you are you have shortcomings. You are not perfect as the only one who was perfect in character was the Prophet (SAW) and his purest progeny -- the Ma’sum (infallibles). Get rid of this disease.
•(56) Share your problems, your happiness, and your sadness with her.
•(57) Have mercy on her weakness. Have mercy when she is weak or strong as she is the fragile vessel. The Prophet (SAW) said that your wife is a trust in your hand.
•(58) Remember that you are her strength, someone to lean on in times of hardship.
•(59) Accept her as she is. The Prophet (SAW) said that women are created from the rib which is bent. If you try to straighten her you will break her. He (SAW) said that you may dislike one habit in her but you will like another manner in her so accept her as she is.
•(60) Have good intention towards your wife all the time, Allah monitors your intention and your heart at all times. Allah (SWT) said, “Among His signs is that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.”
May Allah fill our homes and hearts with tranquillity, love and Mercy. AMEEN!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Good Side Of An Unfortunate Incident


•Says FKD Productions imitates 2 Effects Empire and Ali Nuhu, not his rival

Sani Musa Danja is a top Kannywood star who has excelled in his acting career. He was the first Glo ambassador from northern Nigeria. He also anchored the artistes’ political movement when he launched his NGO, Nigerian Artistes In Support of Democracy (NAISOD), which cuts across all entertainment players in the country. Not only that, Danja is also a pop singer and lyricist. He is also a renowned film producer. In this exclusive interview with Al-Amin Ciroma, the 2-Effects Empire boss shared his sorrows on the unfortunate accident he had last year, his alleged rivalry with Ali Nuhu and many other issues.Excepts:

Let's start with a flash-back to the accident you had last year. Can you share with us the experience?
First and foremost, I give thanks to Almighty Allah who spared my life, but it was a terrible experience. When the accident occurred, I lost consciousness and was taken to hospital by some people that came around. However, I regained consciousness later due to pains resulting from my fractured legs and arm.

How did it happen? What was the last thing you can recall?
On that faithful day, I set out for Kano with the intention of reaching Maradi, and then to Zinder in Niger Republic to attend a meeting. From there, I planned to come back to Katsina and spent the night at Zamfara. That was my iteneraey for that day and I timed myself properly for that.
I was driving with a friend, Yusuf Dangote, from Niger Republic, when the accident happened. It was a in the afternoon and we had fastened our belts even before setting out for the journey. We were on normal speed, when suddenly we approached a long vehicle parked carelessly on the road although with a hazard sign. I slowed down to dodge it, but from the opposite direction, another car came racing at a top speed on the one way lane. I was shocked and, before I know it, I lost control of the vehicle and that was how the accident that left me with fractured arm and leg happened.

As an actor, did you feel it was just another 'action-packed movie' or a film trick waiting for the director's accent?
(Laughter) Like I told you, I was unconscious after the accident happened around 1 pm. I woke up around 9 pm, so I was unconscious for over seven hours. Therefore, it was beyond my imagination but thank God, I came out of it at last.

How was it like, spending over five months at home?
As a Muslim, I believe one has to accept ones destiny faithfully. I know God has something for me and probably that was the main reason why the incident happened. Once you have faith, God will see you through in any eventuality that may befall you. Those were trying times, but Alhamdulillah, I was able to scale through. However, the four months I spent at home also gave me much time to be with my family. Since I got married three years ago, I don't think I have spent up to two consecutive weeks with my wife at home due to my tight schedules. I equally used the time to watch some of my movies, which gave me the insight to see and identify some of my loopholes and Grey areas in acting.
While I was recuperating, I did some tour in some African countries like Ghana, Central Africa Egypt, including some Francophone countries to pay tributes to my fans and appreciate their goodwill and prayers for my recovery. Thereafter, I produced my first movie, Sai Na Dawo, believed to be one of the most successful Hausa movies of our time. Although,haven’t fully recovered, but I taught myself how to make it work and believe me, 'Sai Na Dawo,' remains one movie that made the highest box-office success within the first weeks of exhibition.

Can you tell us the most memorable -good and bad-moments in your acting career?
It is very hard to recount, but there was a time I visited Niger Republic. On our way, we stopped for a lunch in a village just before the city. People trooped in as usual to have a glimpse of us. I was holding a bottle of water when a group of young girls numbering between 20 and 30 approached me. One of them came directly to me and said, 'Please Danja, kindly let me drink this water.' I smiled at her because of her audacity. I therefore gave her another bottled water, but she refused and demanded for the one I was drinking from. Without any hesitation, I handed over the bottle to her. Before I knew what was going on, all of them came running and struggling to take a sip from the bottle of water. It really amazed me and I was like, am I that special...? I never thought people could appreciate us like that more especially in a country, other than my own.
Recounting memorable moments, however, could be a 'visceral choice.' I mean, it's like a scene in a movie. What I mean here is that an artiste is just like an 'ace in a hole,' always trying to make himself relevant and up-to-date in making sure he satisfies both his producer and the teeming audience, but the end, people call us names. Movie business, especially in the North is still suffering series of criticisms, despite all efforts put together by the filmmakers.
However, it suffices to state that this industry has gone a long way in identifying and addressing many societal ills and menace. You can hardly watch a movie that has zero aim in creating awareness or enlightening people on a particular issue. So people should at least appreciate our effort. You can't expect everybody to be like you, we have our divergent backgrounds, but as a team, the Hausa Movie Industry is always on the fore front in producing movies that aim at restoring peace and correcting vices. In general perspective, movies ought not to have any language barrier. You can shoot a film in Swahili language and it will appeal to a Fulani man, for example. Therefore, my experience as an actor, singer and producer has been a huge help to me in terms of trends in this profession.
So when you ask me to share with you my memorable and worst moments, I think, I would rather re-frame the question to say what are our major challenges? And these are our major challenges in this profession.

Let's talk about your stardom. You and Ali Nuhu are believed to be strong pillars in the Hausa Film Industry. How is your relationship now because there are rumours that you two are no longer on good terms?
(Laughter) Yeah, certainly some rumour mongers are busy going about with insinuations like that, but I can assure you Ali Nuhu and myself are good friends and colleagues. You see, sometimes, people judge from what they see in the movies. We took rival roles in movies and an actor suppose to deliver his/her roles and get perfect characterisation. So when we give our best in the movies acting as rivals, people jump into the conclusion that Sani Danja and Ali Nuhu are enemies in reality. Secondly, our fans also contribute in fueling the arguments. And since both of us have our independent production firms; Ali is the Chief executive officer of 'FKD' productions, while I manage '2 Effects Empire'. So it is a game thing like when you have heated debate between the fans of say Manchester United and Arsenal or Real Madrid and Barcelona football club sides. In all ramifications, we are in good terms.
What could also fuel such insinuations may be how both of us go about our movie production. It was after we produced our movie, Sai Na Dawo, that FKD Productions produced Sai Wata Rana, and again, I produced a movie, Khadijatul-Iman, where I featured my daughter, and they in turn produced Carbin Kwa, which featured Ali's son, Ahmed. Our fans could wrongly deduce from all these that we are enemies or rivals, but professionally, we are competitors. There was also another competition between us on Glo ambassadorship. I was the only artiste contracted from the North before Ali joined me and later others. Again, while Ali made a name in Nollywood, I am equally making waves to the extent of receiving award in the same industry.

Is the relationship between the filmmakers and Kano State government still shaky?
From inception, they had no good intention. They staged war against us and did not mean good to us. There was a faction of the filmmakers who joined the aspirations of censors' board, but at the end of the day, they had to decline. You can imagine the recent scandal that involved the man who staged war against us. It was really indecent for such a public figure to involve himself in sex scandal with a minor. Remember, they were on the front accusing us of lewd and immoral behaviour, but you know God is wonderful. He has truly answered our prayers and yearnings. It is now left for the society to judge who is the righteous amongst the two groups. This is actually an 'egg on the face!

So far how well?

From The Colonial To Digital Era

By Al-Amin Ciroma (Published in Leadership October 9, 2010)

According to previous research and findings, Nigeria's first contact with cinema was in 1903. It was at the instance of Herbert Macaulay, a foremost nationalist who invited Balboa and Company, who was then doing an exhibition tour of silent films on the West African Coast to Nigeria. The films were shown at the Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos in August, 1903.
The success of the Balboa venture paved the way for an influx of European film exhibitors to Nigeria. Shortly, the colonial government took interest and brought in a lot of films. Distribution and exhibition was restricted to Lagos where they competed with concerts and drama shows and the content of such movies was highly censored. Gradually, however, it fanned out to towns in the immediate hinterland of Lagos and beyond. As the country became more industrialised and urbanised, there was need to establish distribution/ exhibition centres in these new areas and in no time, the branches of the distribution and exhibition companies had spread all over the country.
The colonial government however, did not fully participate in the film business until the commencement of World War II, with the establishment of the Colonial Film Unit (CFU). The unit was charged with making films for the colonies and the objectives of the films were: first, to show/convince the colonies that they and the English had a common enemy in the Germans. To this end, about a quarter of all the films made by the CFU were war-related.
With the attainment of independence, according to historians, the Colonial Film Unit (CFU) became the Federal Film Unit (FFU). But the Federal Film Unit (FFU) still retained most of the functions of the Colonial Film Unit which were the production of films about the country. Also private individuals began to produce and exhibit feature films. However, the searchlight had shifted from colonialism and the need for independence to the need to restrict neo-colonialism. Black became beautiful, a thing to be explored and enjoyed and the colonialists came to be seen as rapists of the rich culture of Nigeria and indeed Africa. Novelists like Chinua Achebe emerged and used creative writing to show the colonialists as disrupters of a noble and pure indigenous culture.
The primary function of the Federal Film Unit was the production of documentaries. These documentaries were funded by the government and sometimes international organisations like UNICEF. The foreign film distributors and exhibitors succeeded in turning attention from the documentaries to themselves. Their cinema houses were filled to the brim with eager viewers and for a long time, they made a lot of profit. Meanwhile, Nigerians became involved in the production of films and in 1970, the first indigenous feature film was produced in Nigeria: Kongi’s Harvest. It was however directed by an American and it featured many foreigners as crew members. With the oil boom, more individuals became involved in the production of indigenous films, including the late Adamu Halilu, Eddie Ugbomah, Ladi Ladebo, Ola Balogun and U.S.A Galadima of blessed memory among others who had been trained during the CFU era.
Apart from the fact that the viewing public was hooked on foreign films, they had problems in the procurement of equipment, manpower, piracy and ultimately in marketing. This killed the zeal of these new-comers to filmmaking. In 1979, the Nigerian Film Corporation was established to provide structural backbone for the development of the industry in terms of manpower training, marketing assistance and infrastructure. A decree validating its existence was released by the government and a facility was allotted to it in Jos, Plateau State but it did not help the industry much. Years later, a National Film Policy was also put in place, but neither did this save the ailing industry from it problems and by the mid 1980s, it was nearly impossible for films to be made on celluloid. Film stocks were expensive to import, and celluloid was expensive to process. Rushes had to be taken abroad for development and other processing. Coupled with that was the harsh economic scenario in the country, thus many filmmakers opted for the use of video tapes as it was more economical, easily accessible and inexpensive to edit unlike the celluloid.
The video film "grew out of the benign bootlegging of music videos in a cassette culture… cannibalising the idioms of the soap opera, from 1980s to the present digital era, thereby facilitating huge development in the labour market. Movies were produced in English and other indigenous languages. The movies that constitued Nollywood include Hausa home videos from the northern part, known as Kannywood, Yoruba home theatre, and remnants from the golden era of the Nigerian cinema.
The appearance of video in Nigeria, plus its popularity, pointed to its importance as a new medium for the production, dissemination and consumption of film as a form of popular culture, with its ideology and aesthetics. The idea of video films was inspired by Yoruba Travelling Theatre and was later introduced by Babatunde Adelusi (Adamson), publisher of a now rested photo-play magazine, who said that the production of video films would not only save the cost of production but would be a good alternative to Indian and Chinese films.
The development did not go down well with the new school of video filmmakers who termed his investments as peanuts and and organised themselves into a group, Jide Kosoko, Adebayo Salami, Gbenga Adewusi and Alade Aromire led them. This regrouping resulted in the appearance of different production companies including Bayowa Films International, Aromire Films, Jide Kosoko Productions and many others. Films began to be produced in large volumes and with film marketers and distributors setting up offices and distribution outlets in Idumota, Lagos, the industry took off.
Video film in Igbo language was silent until the latter part of 1992, when Kenneth Nnebue produced the first Igbo video film in the country, Living In Bondage, which became a major hit among the Igbo audience and was also well accepted by non-Igbo speaking audience. Other Igbo video films followed, Igbo films were produced in either Igbo or English languages.
In recent times, the argument that the Nigerian video film industry, Nollywood is the second largest movie industry in the world in terms of art and business is fast gaining ground. Although, this affirmation seems very untrue and an over-estimation, it is however a statement of fact owing to the state of cinema and filmmaking in Africa currently. The combination of high costs and a western stranglehold on funding and the unavailability of the cinematographic technology in Black Africa is making many young directors in Africa rely on cheaper, often more versatile digital methods both for production (shooting) and exhibition. In the light of this reality where digital video is a fount of hope, Nollywood is indeed the third largest movie industry in the world in terms of its comparative digital edge and also when the number of flicks turned out annually from the industry is considered. A most recent survey conducted by Spectrum Television Media indicated that about four thousand home video films are released by Nigerian filmmakers, an average of ten (10) movies per day; 2,000 of which are censored.
Film is popular culture, just so, the Nigerian home video has come into prominence as a form of entertainment both in Nigeria, on the African continent and indeed the world. Film has visual bias, which gives it universal acceptance, appeal and impact. People the world over enjoy watching cinema. Just like music, TV or radio, they have naturally come to appreciate and embrace it. Today, to Nigerians and Africans both on the continent and in the diaspora, Nollywood is as important as Hollywood or Bollywood.
Nollywood is a purveyor of culture. Film helps to preserve the culture of a people, ethnicity or race from eroding away and this is a focus of implementation of the National policy on Film in Nigeria, Article 4 (3) c, which states that "Film will be produced to protect and promote Nigeria's rich cultural heritage and our national aspirations in the process of development". Nigerian video films portray the way of life of the average Nigerian in the daily struggle for survival, show our belief systems, contemporary as well as ancient culture. People, especially those abroad want to be abreast with issues and happenings in the society as well as relax while doing so. They therefore, turn to the industry. There are major Nigerian video film marketers in the United States, the United Kingdom, other parts of Europe and Asia.
Equally, the northern film circle was anchored by some pioneer filmmakers like Adamu Halilu and USA Galadima both of blessed memory. Halilu produced his first hit film, Shaihu Umar, in 1976. The movie projected some basic Hausa/Islamic aesthetics. Now, while Nigeria is celebrating her 50th anniversary, the giant movie industry, is also celebrating its landmark as being the second largest employer of labour and ambassador of Nigeria in the international arena.

Call For Legislation...

Why We Must Unite –Clarion Chukwurah

By Al-Amin Ciroma (Published in Leadership September 11, 2010)

A call for unity among Nigerian movie practitioners, started by a veteran star of the picture industry, Clarion Chukwurah, who has represented Nigeria internationally as a dramatist, has received the support of Nigerians at home and in the diaspora. The actress, who has won gold for Nigeria in South America, says that movie practitioners should unite so as to restructure the industry. She said, "I intend to bring all the representative bodies under one umbrella that will represent our industry to the world and place us in a position of strength in law as a private sector industry."
In a world press conference held recently in Lagos, the Nollywood star made it clear that this call for unity is for practitioners from Northern Nigeria, Eastern Nigeria, Western Nigeria, the Niger Delta and the Middle Belt. "The retreat, which is going to be a one-week event, will request all representative bodies of workers and owners of the industry across the nation to interact and brainstorm, so as to work out the modalities for great achievement. It will also cut across two unions: The Nigerian Movie Workers Union and the Nigerian Movie Owners Union," she said.
She added that the present home video industry, being a child of circumstance funded by non-professionals, which has propelled itself to a gigantic industry, began showcasing only Nigerian dramatic film content produced for commerce by independent Nigerian film-makers working in Nigeria.
She said that for 20 years, the industry had defied every attempt at structurisation that will properly reposition it.
The statement further expatiates that each of these unions would be empowered to seek legislation to protect its work and members by paying tax to government. A movie workers union backed by legislation will ensure that no non-union member works on any Nigerian film set, the union will ensure that only professionals work in the industry. It will also ensure that movie workers are paid nothing below the agreed fees, and provide a platform to look at. It will discuss and agree on the issues of royalties and provide a platform for workers to pay tax to the Nigerian government.
With all these in place, a movie owner will need to have the right budget to pay for the right equipment that a professional filmmaker requires to produce the right quality of content, a movie owner will need to have the right budget to pay practitioners and the Nigerian film industry will no longer be an all-comers affair where anybody can just jump into the fray and decide to produce a movie.
To produce a movie you will now need to belong to the movie owners union, or employ a producer from the workers union and produce by both the set rules of the workers union on the one side and the owners union on the other side.
Chukwurah, who has featured in no fewer than hundred Nigerian movies that won awards in international arena said the quality of content of the great summit would mirror the true quality of talents that this country has. Workers will take their time to produce the right content by virtue of the investment in each film and have the proper publicity and marketing network/budget that every film company should have to input into the distribution of each film in order to exhaustively tap profit from the sprawling market available in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.
Asked why the need for sudden union, the ever smiling screen goddess said, “‘Before Hollywood, there was Fort Lee…’ which is to say that before sophisticated structural organisation, there would always be the years of seeming ‘un-organisation’ which are those years every industry spend in cutting her teeth.
Unionisation will correct the un-organised image of the Nigerian film industry, the present impression to corporate bodies, the ordinary Nigerian, the Nigerian government and interested foreign partners.” She said the pinnacle would open the door that foreign film industries have been waiting to walk through to interact with Nigerian film workers and owners based on merit, choice, not reference. Unionisation will enable the Nigerian movie workers to request their right at any time through dialogue or necessary pressure from the Nigerian movie owners without any government interference because these are two market forces dependent on each other for production.
She also said that twice in the past, the Actors and Directors Guilds of Nigeria had called for strikes because members wanted improved working terms. The strikes failed because they are registered only as associations, and not representative of all movie actors and directors in Nigeria. The present coalition of guilds is still not representative of all movie makers in Nigeria, neither can any umbrella body represent workers and owners i.e. employees and employers without creating constant conflicts of interest.
The statement highlights that what is operational in the industry are poorly produced content, poorly paid practitioners, low budget, non-existent product publicity, limited distribution. A Ghana Union influenced market strategy to take over Nigerian Actors’ jobs in Nigeria by Ghanaian actors due to lack of a legislation backed structure that protects Nigerian actors. Equally operational, is the bane of movie owners and their hired producers being given the job of professionals in the face of the guild who are powerless to stop this trend for lack of any legislative backing.
Conclusively, Clarion Chukwurah's call for unity will go a long way in defining the original owners of the business, who are the employers, and all persons or companies who input financially into the production process that results in the end product that is the film content.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Role Model Award: The Day African Youths Stood Still For Me

The Leadership's Associate Editor, Al-Amin Ciroma, who also anchors one of the entertainment segments of the Leadership newspapers group, was last Satruday, August 28, conferred with the 'African Youth Role Model Award by the African Youth Society. In his speech, the Executive Secretary of the Society, Dr. Olusegun Adeleye states: "It is necessary to state here that the extension of this distinguish Role Model Merit Award to Malam Ciroma of Leadership Newspapers is a great achievement and unprecedented recognition in a country endowed with well over 72 million forthright youths. It is an absolute fact that at his level, and in view of his character and native intelligence, Ciroma has come to be regarded as a the pride of the African youths and our present generation."
Also honoured were former Kano State Governor and Minister of Defence, Dr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, Hon. Prince Timothy Enwubualiri Nsirim, Executive Chairman, Obio/Akpor, Local Government Area of Rivers State and Malam Adamu Abdullahi, Manager NTA Headquarters. Others were Miss Josephine Ojimadu Nwaeze, MD/CEO, News Engineering (Nigeria) Limited, Hajiya Sa'adiya Abdullahi Dikko, President, Customs Officers' Wives Association (COWA) and a Kannywood stop risen star, Samira Ahmed.
Commenting on the award, Ciroma, thanked Almighty Allah for giving adding yet anothe feather to his cap and dedicate his award to his colleagues on the entertainment beat. He also charge African youths to be law abiding and shun all vices that will tarnish the image of the great continent.

An Egg On The Face: Rabo Alleged Sex Scandal

By Al-Amin Ciroma
The alleged sex scandal of the director-general, Kano State Censorship Board (KSCB), Mallam Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem brings to mind once again the leaked explicit video of the Kannywood star, Maryam Hiyana in 2007. Hausa film practitioners suffered incarceration and a series of hurdles and impediments as a result of that scandal and since then, the relationship between the latter and the KSCB had the apples and oranges style.
However, Sunday August 22, opened yet another chapter in the history of Kannywood, an episode that marked the end of an era and the beginning of another. The Kano residents were dismayed by what they perceived as alarming news. The contention went down to affect Rabo’s amour propre, who was formerly busy recording his ‘successful strides’ in the bid to sanitise the film industry as well go about punishing those found wanting by his team. It would be recalled that sometime last year, Kano filmmakers alleged that Malam Abdulkareem went on air in one of the Kano State’s independent radio stations and accused them of muddled behaviours. He alleged that the Hausa filmmakers were wayward. Not only that, the KSCB boss extended his gunboat diplomacy to other states across the north, calling them to emulate his ‘good governance.’ In Kaduna for example, the DG in a live programme at an independent television station, accused the filmmakers of producing pornographic films.
The frenzied matter led to swords clashing between the latter and former in court. Moreover, with this allegation, a lot of unanswered questions emerged from all corners doubt the DG’s uprightness and veracity. They opined that there is no point throwing stones when one lives in a glass house. His sympathisers on the other hand view it as a set-up against the Kannywood warlord. Following this development, the Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN), the umbrella body of Hausa filmmakers, issued their stand on the matter, signed by its national president, Malam Sani Mu’azu. They called on the Kano State Governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau to be on top of the matter and act accordingly.

The MOPPAN Story...
We are aghast, as well as dismayed, by the frantic attempts of the Director-General, Kano State Censorship Board, Mallam Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem, and some collaborators in the Kano State Government and elsewhere to trivialise the serious sex scandal that broke out concerning him last week. We have no iota of doubt that these attempts are meant to discourage any further open discussion on the matter, portray it as an unimportant distraction in the issues of governance in the state, and then sweep it under the carpet.
But Rabo's self-imposed position as a vanguard of morality not only in the Hausa movie industry but also in the Kano society in general makes it imperative to launch a full inquiry into what really transpired on that night of Sunday, 22nd August, 2010. Rabo and the government he represents should not imagine that covering up this matter would be in their best interest because 1) a huge chunk of the good people of Kano State and indeed the whole North are now learning towards to believing the stories around the incident as they presently circulate, and 2) doing so would cast a big shadow of doubt over the Shekarau government's purported entrenchment of Shariah law in the state. Investigating the scandal however, would bring out the truth of what actually happened. It could clear Rabo of all charges/suspicions or expose him as a hypocrite, someone who engages in secret philandering with girls young enough to be his daughters and therefore ill-fit to hold the sensitive position of DG, KSCB.
The story going a round in the public domain, as published by the Sunday Trust of 29th August and Leadership of August 30th, 2010, is that Rabo was discovered by patrolling policemen in the Sharada quarters of Kano City, in his parked car behind a building, off the road in the dark. It was around 10 p.m. When the police approached, he switched on the ignition his car and drove off in a devil-may-care speed. The patrol car pursued him. In his blind haste, he knocked down a pedestrian seriously injuring him. The pedestrian was later discovered to be a staff member of the Kano State History and Culture Bureau. He is still on admission at the Nassarawa Hospital. Rabo was eventually apprehended by commercial motorcyclists, who had folowed in hot pursuit when he refused to stop after knocking down the pedestrian. A teenage girl, who was thoroughly frightened, was found in the car; her underwear was said to have been found in the back seat of the car.
Rabo was eventually taken by the patrolling policemen to the Sharada Divisional Police Station where he was questioned. However, he was allowed to leave with his badly damaged car and the girl that same night by the Divisional Police Officer in strange circumstances.
Both Rabo and the police authorities in Kano have confirmed this incident in their press interviews. What is being contested is what Rabo and the girl were doing at that forlorn place and in that unholy hour. The story being spread is that Rabo was having a carnal knowledge of the girl as many unscrupulous men tend to do under similar circumstances. Rabo has however, denied any wrongdoing, saying that the girl was the daughter of his late elder brother and that she had accompanied him to escort some relatives who had broken their fast at his house.
The government of His Excellency Governor Ibrahim Shekarau must investigate the incident in order to reassure the people of Kano about its sincerity on the implementation of its Shariah programme, about which there are millions of skeptics. And while doing so, Rabo should be ordered to go on suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Motion Picture Practitioners' Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN) hereby proposes that a powerful, independent Committee of Inquiry be set up by the Kano State Government to investigate the various claims in this saga. Some of the questions the Committee should investigate include, but not limited to, the following:
•Who exactly was the girl in Rabo's car on that fateful night? Was it really his niece as he claimed in his press interviews or a different person altogether? How old was she? The girl should be interviewed by the Committee;

•Did Rabo really host his relatives to a Ramadan-breaking meal (Iftar)? Who were they? They should be made to appear before the Committee;

•Why didn't Rabo go with male member(s) of his family when escorting the said in-laws instead of going with the said teenager if at all she exists and was the one that went with him?

• If indeed the girl in question is his niece, is it true that he and she were having a secret affair as is being rumoured?

•What exactly was Rabo doing with the girl at around 10p.m. in a secluded place off the main road?

•Why did Rabo drive off even though the police siren was said to have been blaring, urging him to stop? And why did he run away even after knocking down the unfortunate pedestrian?

•Who were the policemen that arrested him and took him to the police station in Hotoro?

•Exactly what did Rabo say in his first written statement to the police?

•Why did the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Hotoro, release Rabo and the girl together with the damaged car, when investigations were just commencing and Rabo's hit-and-run victim had just been taken to the hospital in a critical condition? Was that a normal police procedure?

•Why did Rabo virtually flee to Saudi Arabia, ostensibly to perform the lesser Hajj (Umrah) a day or two after almost killing a citizen and while having a sex scandal on his hands? Why didn't he wait to clear himself of all charges and ensure that the victim of his hit-and-run accident was in a better condition of health?

•Did Rabo contribute any money to the family of his hit-and-run victim for medication, which must cost a lot?

•Why did some Kano State government officials try to cover up the incident by misinforming the general public that there was no girl in Rabo's car during the incident? Obviously, they had no idea that Rabo had already confirmed that there was indeed a girl in the car. They were also said to have been urging journalists in the state and elsewhere not to break the story and or allow further discussion on it;

•Rabo had claimed that he was aware of certain meetings held for two weeks by some film industry stakeholders or PDP stalwarts with the aim of eliminating him. This serious allegation should be investigated not only by the investigative committee but also by the security agencies; Rabo must tell them where and when those meetings took place, as well as the names of those in attendance;

•Rabo had told the press that officials of the opposition PDP in Kano were responsible for his present ordeal. He must tell the Committee how this was possible and the names of those involved.
Finally, we wish to note that Rabo has since become a liability to the government of Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau. He has attracted more negative perception to the government than any goodwill. A more dynamic and people-oriented regime would have relieved him of his post; more so as he has failed woefully in discharging his responsibilities. The good people of Kano State and the nation at large and wonder just why Governor Shekarau has been keeping him in that office even though he has contributed nothing in the direction of sanitising the industry. He has only succeeded in causing more unemployment of the youths that he prevents from earning their legitimate livelihood, encouraged the production of movies that are not censored yet are in full circulation all over Kano, and helped heat up the society.
This Rabo sex scandal is a litmus test for His Excellency Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau's candidature for the presidency of Nigeria. Shekarau, who has announced his bid to run for president under his party the ANPP; he should begin to show that he would be a responsive and responsible national leader when elected by not helping some elements in his present government to cover up this scandal. Doing so would question his motivation and commitment to the enthronement of a decent society in Nigeria.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Amazing World Of Ali Nuhu

*His Acclaimed And Dazzling Role In Wetin Dey

Published (August 21, 2010) Leadership Newspapers

By Al-Amin Ciroma
This is the amazing world of Ali Nuhu,whose foray into Nollywood started from Kannywood. Whenever you ask the high sprited actor why he chose acting as career, after studying geography at the university, he would simply say: “I have always wanted to act, since I was a boy. I knew I would act someday, but how it would start was unknown to me.”
His career got started when he read an advertisement. “It was about an audition and they needed cast for a film. That was after my graduation. However, the film that shot me to limelight was a Hausa movie called Dijangala, which bagged the award for Best Hausa Film at the Zuma Film Festival in Abuja, in 2008. Though it was a re-make of the old Dijangala, it was what I needed to be hot in the Hausa film market. Since then, I have been in the Hausa genre of Nollywood before Wetin Dey?”
The TV-soap opera, Wetin Dey? also propelled the acting career of Ali, who is simply known as Sarki or Master of the Game by his colleagues. Getting the role of Ibrahim in the drama series, according to him was by a stroke of luck. “I came in late,” he revealed. Late? Didn’t he want the role from the on set? “Already, they had taken the pilot copy to London for selection but they needed to make changes. I was invited for an audition in Kano and was told that it was a BBC-sponsored stuff. There were four directors on set and, after my audition, I was chosen to play the role of Ibrahim and we were on set for a year and three months.” Ali Nuhu played the role so well you would think he suffered from the deadly virus.
Ironically, he confessed: “I didn’t know about HIV/AIDS or even the stigmatisation of victims until I got on the set. I got to meet HIV positive people and we learnt from them in interpreting our roles. The role of Ibrahim was a true life story of a man who knew he had AIDS and, to cover up, he quickly married his cousin. He was afraid of stigmatisation and discrimination. So he continued covering up his illness until he met his waterloo. I believe the society made Ibrahim who he was and not because he was callous or wicked.”
Based in Kano, Ali’s handsome face has graced many Hausa films and he is one of the most celebrated stars of the Hausa movie world, who have crossed borders. Attesting to the fact that the Kannywood is getting more vibrant daily, Nuhu says their audience is not only northern based. “From Abuja to the East and neighbouring African countries, we are watched and our stars celebrated. In a year, we produce over 200 home videos. The market is really doing well, save for the activities of pirates.”
How has the TV drama influenced his life? “We were fighting a cause, but I was told that people could mistake me for HIV positive person, but I didn’t mind, because we wanted to make viewers know that HIV/AIDS victims are people like us and should not be discriminated against. That was why I put in every skill I have, but some viewers believe I am HIV positive in real life. I am not. I know my status; after all, there is no skeleton in my cupboard. That I play a role on television does not mean that I am that person; roles in movies are meant to be translated accordingly. I am Ali now, but while on set, I could be anybody, based on the script. A true and professional actor should be able to translate the role giving to him very well.”
So, who is this galvanising actor that holds the four aces? To his numerous female fans, who think Ali Nuhu is not married, this is indeed sad news: “I am happily married and I have two kids. My wife is quite beautiful and I would do anything to please her. I even give my scripts to her and anything she would not like, I would not do on set,” he said. Is he saying he would not kiss or touch a woman on set just because his wife would not approve? “Though my wife is a Muslim, she is liberal and believes my profession is important. Often times, my roles on screen could have to do with women and she would not object to kisses or hugs. Romantic scenes are allowed but there is a limit.”
Doesn’t his religion, Islam, forbid it? “I am a professional actor and as long as what I am doing on set is not sinful, my religion would not frown on it. A lot of Nigerians mistake your roles on television or films for the real you. They have forgotten that the real you is different from the actor in you. I could dress scantily on set but would not do that in real life.”
Ask Ali Nuhu if his wife gets jealous over his female fans and he would say: “Naturally, women are jealous and could get possessive over their husbands. I feel for wives of actors when female fans flock around them for photographs, autographs or make calls even late in the night. Naturally, my wife is not a jealous person but there was a time some rumour-mongers were all over town saying I was dating a popular Hausa actress. After an event, I gave the lady a lift and my wife saw us together. She was not angry, but she cautioned me to avoid being seen with that girl, because people could mistake our intentions.”
“There are numerous female fans who would call endlessly. Some would even ask you if you were married, or still single. I would proudly say that I am happily married but there are some stubborn women who would continue beeping and making nonsense calls. When I could not control it, I got a software that helps blacklist some numbers from my hand-set. What the device does is that any number I don’t want to answer would come in as unknown and would not ring. The phone would just beep.”
You would not really blame him because if you happen to be with him a few minutes, Ali Nuhu would have answered numerous calls, say 80 and above, and would also record more than 100 calls, which his hand-set records as ‘unknown.’
An exasperated Nuhu says, “That is how the calls keep coming daily. So, imagine what I would have gone through if I didn’t get that device. Before now, I would receive so many calls that answering calls became a stress.”
What if he is termed as being proud? ”Anyone who is close to me and knows me very well would say that I am not snobbish. There are some calls which come in when I am on set or when I am busy. That I do not pick such calls does not mean that I am pompous or something. That I don’t give attention to some stubborn female fans does not mean Ali Nuhu is a proud actor.”
What about his fans on facebook, Twitter and so on? “It is really amazing, in fact it is beyond comment. I can say, I am really impressed with the way my fans make comments about me on Facebook and Twitter.
I asked him to post a photo on his wall on Facebook. Seconds later, we recorded the following messages and comments, most of them in Hausa language:
•Ghalee Lameedo Ali: Wallahi ba ka da na biyu. Kai ka danne, ka zarce su. U are d best. D best! D best!! kai musu fintinkau.
•Ibrahim Sulaiman: More xpirince on ‘Sai Wata Rana,’ the base actor in the world, Yaya Ali.
•Ibrahim Sulaiman: Help us to gate Adam A. Zango up the ladder for us pls.
•Abdullahi Musa Hadejia: Thank u 4 reviving FKD with dis great film.
•Usman Aliyu: Broda kowa ya bi. Allah Ya kara budi na alheri, amin.
•Rabiu Muazu: This is really interesting, I wish u the best.
•Babs Mohammed: dats nice mutumina
•Hussy Haske: ‘Sai Wata Rana’ rabuwa ba mutuwa ba, kwarai.
•Kabir Isyaku: I was amazed about your wonderful talent before, but i realised that peaople like U are very few in the movie industry. U are special among the specialists. Ur extraordinary talent proved U 2 be the best. Ali Zaki, keep up!!!
•Hadiza Ibrahim: Again! why 3? well, i cant afford to miss it, i luv that movie especially the song.
•Ibraheem El Escape: Sarki, I will try and get my copy with my frnd young zee.
•Auwalu Capito Hamisu: Wao, film that make fall in love more to to my girl friend.
•Yakubu Laminu: MR. ALI NUHU Akwai wata budurwata da ta nemi kaset na SAI WATA RANA 1 da na 2, ta ba ni in gani, amma abin da na gani yadda ya kasance tsakanina da ita.
•Liyatu Simon Tawasu: U are doing well Ali, but dont forget to continue promoting our culture, be at the but side, Nollywood and Hausa films;
•Habila Funtua: Ali may Allah helps u about what ever u do in ur long life.

That is just a brief peak into the amazing world of the great actor, and master of the game, Ali Nuhu. It appears only one or two percent of his fans are acquainted with internet, what if 50% of them could log on to the net to comment on his wall? By then, I won’t hesitate to copy out all my archives in my blog and messages on facebook before the crash on the information super highway.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Rebirth Of New Nollywood


The heads of guilds and association of the Nigerian motion picture industry, on Thursday August 5, 2010, held a historic event of forming a redoubtable organisation that will foster and promote its mandates in order to in their bid to re-brand Nollywood. The congregation, which was tagged Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Association (CONGA), was spearheaded by the heads of all the guilds and associations.
The event kicked- off at exactly 11:57 am with a comedian Emeka Smith trilling the audience with rib cracking jokes. Nollywood actors, Keppy Bassey-Ekpeyong and Stella Damasus were the hosts of the event. Before the event started, a minute silence was observed for a number of Nollywood actors and actresses that have passed away in recent times.
The MoU signing ceremony and the event Chairman, Mr. Bond Emeruwa, said, it is time to begin to protect the Nigerian film industry with a view to enable it grow bigger and better as well as increase its capacity to assist other emerging film industries all over the world. Having given a voice to the black race and empowering the struggling film makers of Africa how to express themselves using the tube.
Also speaking, Paul Obazele, the Association of Movie Producers' president, said the coalition is working in conjunction with the Interpol and security agencies in the country to ensure that the new guidelines are enforced without hindrance. It will be recalled that the history of filmmaking in Nigeria goes back to 1958 with the production of 'Freedom' by PA John Ifoghale Amata, followed by 'Shaihu Umar' by late Adamu Halilu. But it did not achieve recognition until 1992, this, the coalition committee argued that the time has come for the need to come under one umbrella to promote their common and collective interestr and represent in all matters on their collective behalf thereafter.
Guilds that took part in the MOU signing ceremony include: the Directors' Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), the Actors' Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Nigerian Society of Cinematographers (NSC), Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria (SWGN), Creative Designers' Guild of Nigeria (CDGN), and the Nigeria Society of Editors (NSE). Others are the Film & Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN), the Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN), and the Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP).
Adding colour to the event, a fifteen minute special introductory documentary about Nollywood was shown to the guests. The documentary was in appreciation of Nigeria's movie producers, director's actors and actresses who go through hell in making movies despite the obvious difficulties that the industry is faced with.
In a speech delivered at the event by Bond Emeruwa, the president of Directors Guild of Nigeria [DGN], the movie producer said that they are working towards developing and enhancing Nollywood. "Today marks the beginning of the journey into re-branding the industry. We must all pull our resources together to take our movie industry to the promise land." He said.
Also on the agenda was the issue of piracy and an elixir was proffered. Ambassador Olusegun Olusola who was also present at the event said that the movie industry started years ago with government initiating ideas for the development of the industry. He further urged everyone in the industry including the government and private organisations to support the thriving industry.
On distribution, according to the coalition chairman, Emeruwa, “the coalition wants the National Film and Video Censors Board(NFVCB) to ensure that any foreign film seeking to be distributed in the country is censored in addition to having such film registered with the film and video producers as well as the marketing association of Nigeria with the following; A none refundable fee of $10,000, A censorship certificate from the country of origin, A copyright certificate from the country of origin and from the Nigerian Copyright Commission.
However, noting that the new guidelines were put in place as a further effort to protect and inculcate laudable ethics in the nation's film industry, the coalition remarked that any local film producer who parade one or more foreign artistes in his or her film will be treated as a foreign film at the point of distribution except, a situation where a proof of having satisfied the conditions as stipulated above is demonstrated.
Meanwhile, reacting to this development, Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, when contacted distanced his establishment from the new policy, saying “they are on their own.”
However, while the new guidelines are a welcome development to the industry, observers have expressed reservation over a possible clash of interest coupled with disagreement with the regulatory bodies.

ZAFA 2010 Set To Rebrand Africa Through Entertainment

The United Kingdom will again this year host the giant African Films Festival and Academy Awards (ZAFAA) 2010 at its third edition of the awards. The event, which has been slated to take place from 20th to 22nd October, 2010 at the prestigious Troxy Hall, East London, would demonstrate and showcase to African entertainers in Diaspora and the entire world, various great works of art, movies staged by Nigerian great performers in the entertainment industry alongside other African works through cinema exposition.
According to a statement issued by the media director, ZAFAA 2010, Mr. Tony Ogunlana, said, ZAFAA is organised in honour of African Film makers and artistes who have contributed to the development and progress of the African Film Industry in diverse ways.
He said, this years’ event, which was themed ‘Re-branding Africa Through Entertainment’, will host crop of icons in the entertainment industry across the continent. According to him, the three event will mainly focus on the ways of developing movie and tourism industry. “This year’s event will host a special investment forum and cultural festival so as to develop our artiste and expose them to international stage and above all the forum will discuss and open-up movie market for investors.” said Ogunlana.
The event, Leadership gathered will screen a selection of old & new African fiction and documentary features, films and short films from around the continent, as well as classic and less well-known films restored by international archives alongside a public screening programme.
In another development, observers are of the opinion that the African Film Festival is currently the highly regarded and anticipated film event within the African Communities in the UK’s cultural calendar. The festival, according to their analysis, attracts leading international filmmakers, industry professionals and the media together with large public audiences to London for a four day showcase of the best cinema from Africa. Asked on their target audience, the media director said, “We intend to reach the target through a well thought of audience development campaign, which includes the use of questionnaires, speeches at local gatherings, community gatherings like churches, religious venues, peer camps, via huge publicity for the programme on TV, Radio, via the use of flyers and slate advert at stations. Also, we intend to make part of the event free and the other part as low priced and easily accessible for all to encourage as many people to participate.”
The statement further announced that the Nigerian Television Authority, Pak & Partners and Cross Rivers Broadcasting Corporation are the main partners of ZAFAA 2010. Highlighting that the cultural festival will be an avenue where states like Lagos, Cross Rivers, Benue and so on will market their December events in order to woo tourists and investors.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Filmmaking Can Thwart Inter-tribal, Religious Crises –Zainab


An Abuja-based Zainab Ahmad is an indigene of Zamfara State. She attended Bayero University, Kano and is a single parent. An upcoming producer in Kannywood, she entered the industry with zeal to set a pace for new ideas and platforms. In this chat with INSIDE KANNYWOOD, the elegant and charming owner of Ziattar Multimedia, discusses her interest in filmmaking and her new movies, among other issues. Excerpts:

What inspired you to venture into the entertainment industry?

Being an Arien, I am naturally an artistic person. You see, Aries is the most confident of all the zodiac signs Why do ariens have these qualities? First, they are fiery people who are natural leaders. The majority of world leaders have strong fire elements in their charts; although, fire symbolises people who can also be very arrogant and self-centered. An arien is the boss who takes your ideas and motivates and leads all the employees to better sales and marketing, while taking all the credit. Therefore, I got the zeal to doing things, naturally
It may also interest you to know that I’ve loved movies since my childhood days. I loved watching Indian films and nurtured the ambition of becoming a producer/actress. With this determination, I went into production. I started with the thought of producing something different from the Soyayya (love) stories our Hausa filmmakers. I produced a movie that is unique and focuses on something that has been happening in the society, even though, no one thought it is affecting the lives of young girls, in search of greener postures, who ended up destroying themselves for lack of guidance and poverty. The film is titled, Takun Mata, meaning ‘Women premise.’ My second inspiration is setting up a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that would affect our peoples’ lives in a positive way. My dream is seeing both Kannywood and Nollywood come together as one, and see it grow. That would offer a lot of opportunities and employment for the youths in Nigeria.

You are an upcoming producer, tell us how you started career.
I've been in Kannywood for a long time and had nurtured the idea of acting, but my family refused, so I had to hide behind a lot of actors, actresses, and directors to contribute in the little way that i could.

What do we expect from Ziattar in the near future?
A lot.

How would you rate the Nigeria motion picture industry, most especially the Hausa genre?
I believe we are catching up and in no time we will get there.

Do you think Kannywood is catching-up with trends in the motion picture world?

Yes, the northern film industry is progressing. One can tell that something fruitful is in the making. Kannywood is dynamic, films are produced in notable indigenous languages, Hausa, Fulfulde, Nupe, etc. So, this can give you clear proof that the industry has come to stay. A lot of foreign bodies are now coming in for possible collaborations in film business with our practitioners and stakeholders, I therefore believe by the grace of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, Kannywood will consume filming affairs in Nigeria.

How do you joggle your job as a film maker and your home front?
Alhamdulillah, I am blessed with a wonderful mother, sisters and brothers that are always there for me and ready to assist me whenever I need assistance.

Would you say there is any difference between filmmaking at present and what it was before?
Definitely yes. The environment is now enabling, we are beginning to see the light of the day. I foresee real success in this business. I pray for God’s guidance and protection.

What would you say makes you unique amongst your peers in Kannywood?
You know people differ in many aspects. In my capacity as a small-time producer, I would want people to know that my stories are unique, and inimitable, in the sense that they touch issues related to human interest that appeal to all ages. I don’t limit my scope on normal, ‘flat’ stories.
Our people need to be well informed, the society is full of numerous vices, strange things happen in our daily lives, so why can’t we find a way of addressing them? If you agree with me, filmmaking is one of the ways of disseminating information to people, in order to educate, enlighten and entertain them. We can use a medium like this to thwart all inter-tribal differences and foster religious tolerance to our communities, so as to allow peace reign.

What do you think helped your career blossom as much as it did? Do you think you have a rival?

A rival? Not at all. Rather, I have people that over the years have become more like family to me in the industry. I don't know what I would have done without their support and guidance.
Talking about my success, I think it is not yet uhuru, but you know, my mother and sisters are the secret behind my success.

Any regrets?

My only regret is that my father is not alive today to share this moment with me.

When you are not on set, what is your day like?
I have a couple of other activities. I am a very busy person, I have a project now on ground, which requires my attention. I am setting up an NGO.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done as a filmmaker?
Believing I could mix work and pleasure.

Without doubt, the industry has been lucrative, having strive so long and made your mark over the years, how wealthy would you say you are?
Alhamdulillah, I thank the Almighty God, I love what I am doing and I’m contented with what comes out of it.

It is generally believed that film makers or movie producers are flirts especially with actresses, do you do that too?

No, why? I don’t believe you. It is just a mere tittle-tattle, I don’t think my colleagues do that as well.

Is it true really that some producers/directors sexually harass actresses?
I have never encountered such behaviour. You should know that in any society, there are some few bad-aces who aim at tarnishing other people’s images. So even there are cases like this, I assure you they are just minorities.

Although, in the North, the industry is bound by some Shari'ah laws, have you had an experience where an actor tried you to seduce you to get roles?
(Laughter) Not even in my dreams...

It is very important because readers would want to know how you wriggled out of such situations.
That is if something like that ever happened. I ’ve never had that experience in all the years I’ve been in the Industry.

You mean if a handsome man, gives you the 'green light', you won't respond?

Here you are again! What do you want from me? (Laughter again) I have said it earlier, business is always business, ok! Personally, I am hooked up with someone, we adore each other and we try to avoid hurting one another.

Actors are usually associated with a lot of scandals, as a movie producer, have you been involved in any?
Twice, but that was a long time. Believe me, it is one of the things I bury deep inside me and hate to revisit.

How did you manage and overcome them the scandals?
Is not easy, but knowing deep inside me that I never and would never do what my enemies fabricated made me feel better deep inside me. Believe me, it is one of the things that made me strong mentally, emotionally and psychologically. That is what makes me ignore what people said, and it helped me move on in life and made me follow my heart’s desire, and I can now say, Zainab is truly a happy person.

You are now a single mother. Can we say you are searching for another suitor?

As a Muslim, I believe its just a matter of time. Ive been in a serious relationship since after the crash of my marriage, its only Allah that knows why we are not married up to now. But God knows best and we leave everything to Him.

Don’t you get pressured about your single status, despite your success?
Of course there are pressures, but as I said earlier, I have someone I love and believe he loves me too, and I can’t compare him with anyone.

Tell us about him.
Sorry I don’t discuss my love life in public (laughter).

Can you marry an actor?
If it is the wish of Allah Ta’ala.

What has filmmaking done for you?

I have been a happy person because I love what I am doing, I meet people. One of my most memorable moments was at the just concluded Terracota Awards 2010 in Lagos. I was given honour of presenting about seven distinguished awards. I feel highly honoured.

How do you see Kannywood now?
Kannywood is a child of necessity; with all the hardships, it is yet blossoming.

What are your dreams and aspirations?

My dream is to see Kannywood grow as strong as Hollywood.

What is your worst fear?
My worst fear is loosing my mother.

Who is your role model in the industry?
Late director, Tijjani Ibraheem.

What was your worst moment and your most memorable day since you ventured into the industry.
My worst moment is waking up to see someone from nowhere trying to destroy this giant industry, without the thought that it is the career of some people and their source of livelihood, due to their distorted understanding of the religion. One of my happiest moments the day my people decided to call a spade a spade, by standing to fight the wickedness and injustice mated out on us for years. That made me so happy. We must say no,and also fight for our rights.

How do you unwind?

I love to relax by reading and watching movies, and hanging out with friends.

What do you have to tell your fans across the globe?
I want to thank them for their support, and want to wish them Allah's Blessings and guidance.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some Faces of Glamour @ TERRACOTTA, 2010, Lagos - NIGERIA

Richard Mofe & Co.

BEST ACTRESS-Terracotta 2010, Joke Silva (third left) making a comment after recieving her award, presented by Nuhu Tahir and Zainab Ahmad Attar

From Left: BINTA Yahaya, NUHU Tahir (Cool Coffee), AL-AMIN Ciroma and ZAINAB Ahmad Attar, representatives of KANNYWOOD at the event

Nollywood's award winning director, Lancelort Imasuen at Grey Carpet of the event

Glitz & Glamour At The TERRACOTTA Awards 2010

Published July 24, 2010 (LEADERSHIP NEWSPAPERS)

By Al-Amin Ciroma
10 Degrees, Ikeja Lagos, on the 17th of July, 2010, hosted crop of Nigerian artistes, creme dela creme of the Nigerian movie industry and dignitaries to the TERRACOTTA AWARDS 2010, whose objective was to celebrate excellence with regard to talent and creativity in the Nigerian film and television industry.
This year’s event, which was set to promote and emphasize the historical, intellectual,cultural and tourism context and content of the Film and Television industry, was themed ‘Imagine Life Without Television.’
The event, Inside Kannywood gathered was created to promote and sustain a healthy competition, with a view to continuosly raise the anteby progressively increasing industry standards in quality, depth, excellence and creativity. It was also window for promoting socio-cultural excellence, empower youths and women, and celebrate the can-do spirit of the Nigerian, through the Terracotta Ambassadors platform, in this generation.
A statement from the organisers also revealed that the event, which came at a time when there are plethora of awards all over the country, Terracotta Awards in this milieu, seeks to stand out from the crowd through the depth and quality of event outputs, coupled with processes which among others will have deep cultural, intellectual and tourism content. Being the first Nigerian film and televison awards is the bold activation of a dynamic process which primarily aims at fulfilling its stated objective, the statement added.
A lot of Nigerian film and TV stars received awards. The renown Nollywood director, Lancelort Imasuen, received a lot of awards for his movie, Home in Exile. He emerged as the Best director, 2010. Others include Joke Silva, who emerged as the Best Actress for role in Champion of our time, while Desmond Elliot emered as Best Actor for his role in  Home in Exile, among others.
Also honoured with special recognition of life time where the veteran Kasimu Yero, a.k.a ‘Uncle Gaga’ in Cockrow At Dawn and Chief Ambassador Segun Olusola, mni, OFR, founder, African Refugee Foundation.

Tax Incentives Creates More Vibrant Industry –Adesanya

Published July 17, 2010 (Leadership Newspapers)

By Al-Amin Ciroma

The Nigerian motion picture industry is set to benefit from tax incentives that will promote film production in Nigeria and boost the fortunes of film makers.
This was the thrust of the Public/Stakeholders Forum which got underway in Lagos last week Thursday. Attended by a cross section of motion picture practitioners, independent television producers, heads and leaders of motion picture associations and guilds, representative of the National Film & Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and a cross section of the media. The Forum was intended to present the proposal on Tax Incentives/Reliefs being sought to be recommended to government for implementation.
The exercise organised by the joint committee of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and the FIRS marked the first leg of the public presentation of the proposed Tax Incentives to stakeholders for their input.
Speaking at the forum, Afolabi Adesanya, Managing Director/Chief Executive of NFC, said that the proposed Tax Incentives being sought will create a “More vibrant film industry, generate more employment, raise the level of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the sector, and generate more revenue and income.”
Boosting the pool of funds available for the development of the film industry, outside government treasury, and the promotion of socio-cultural development, Adesanya said, also accounts for the proposal, stressing that there is the urgent need to integrate film into the economic development of the country.
The next leg of the Forum/Stakeholders Forum is scheduled to take place in Enugu and Kano States respectively.

Mind-Boggling: Rabo Vs Filmmakers-The Hunter Hunted

Published on 10th July, 2010 (Leadership Newspapers)

By Al-Amin Ciroma

My heart bleeds each time I browse through the internet, or pages of national dailies, which often report the unending feud between the director-general, Kano State Censorship Board (KSCB), Mallam Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem, and Hausa filmmakers; a show which is opt to portray the steep side of the ace in the hole.
However, even when one tries to 'put his heart in the right place,' the result is always frustrating, come to think of it, every parent is expected to see to the proper upbringing of his child, I wonder if at all, both parties have in the past imbibed a sense of sine qua non in order to achieve a particular thing in common, but never the twain shall meet.
The fracas between the two parties reignites immediately, after the leak of a nude video clip of one of the actresses in the Hausa film industry. Inside Kannywood gathered that long before the KSCB's boss assumed office as its alpha and omega, the relationship between movie makers and Rabo (then the Hisba commander), was not a smooth one. The feud, according to commentators, rekindled when the latter mounted the helm of affairs of the Kano State Censors Board. In his campaign to sanitise the industry, the Abubakar Rabo-led board, aimed at infusing wisdom in the Hausa film industry, with a view to brazen out all social disorders in order to encourage producers to produce high quality movies, which depict the true Hausa cultural heritage and with an Islamic flavour, lost out as the stated objectives of the board seemed to take a different angle far from achieving its true mission.
Apart from the indiscriminate and unsystematic incarceration of movie makers, nothing else seemed to be the board's major priority. A lot of producers, marketers and actors were detained, while practitioners, who commented on the saga were of the opinion that the record of random incarceration of practitioners of nascent industry were full of question marks. It also portrayed the Governor Shekarau system of 'rewarding for excellence.' A filmmaker, who spoke in anonymity, recalled that Shekarau's 2007 campaign organisers took advantage of Hausa movie stars in propelling his way into second term in office. "We were fully committed in the 'Allah Maimaita,' (prayers for second term) campaign of Governor Shekarau, with full support for his mandates, but immediately he assumed office for the second term, we became his prey. The unfortunate Hiyana incident is a sad one, and we all condemned her act, but when Rabo was appointed as chief censor, giving him mandate and power (at his discretion) to counter ill vices and regenerate the industry, we all accepted him with one heart, but gradually, he began to use his power to suppress us." He said. Adding that it will be difficult for one to account for the KSCB's success in regenerating the industry. The prominent movie icon, further highlighted possibilities in rejuvenating a certain corrupt society, he said, "What they fail to understand is that no matter what, you cannot change a society or community without giving room for comprise and understanding. But the way things are happening in Kano State clearly portrays their intention on waging a war against us. "Can anyone tell me a single thing that the KSCB has achieved over the years?"
The most debatable arrest from the series of incarcerations by the board was that of Hamisu Lamido Iyantama, a renowned producer, for allegedly releasing his movie, Tsintsiya in Kano State. The board claimed that Iyantama is operating a non registered company, Iyantama Multimedia, which the producer and chairman of the company claimed as false. Iyantama argued that his company has been dully registered with the corporate affairs commission for over 15 years.
What baffled me is that after successfully conquering filmmakers from their home state, being forced to abscond and migrate to neighbouring states , the Rabo-led 'army' still extended its tentacles to Kaduna, in a bid to subversively call on the general public to move against the filmmakers. That again, provoked movie makers, most especially, Kaduna-based filmmakers, who enjoy a cordial relationship with its state government, and the people of the state. In a live television interview, Mallam Abubakar Rabo alleged that pornographic movies were being produced in Hausa. This engineered the Kaduna filmmakers' caucus to file suit against Mallam Abubakar Rabo, calling for justice. The case turned into a drama of sorts when the accused never for once honoured the court's summon. When a bench warrant was issued against Mallam Rabo, he secured a court injunction against his arrest. Not only that, the KSCB boss also lodged fresh charges against Kaduna movie makers in Kano saying, they threatened him with periled text messages. He called on the Kano State police command to act accordingly.
An editor of a Hausa entertainment magazine, Fim, Aliyu Abdullahi Gora II, fell victim as one of the accused persons in the ploy by Mallam Rabo. On the evening of Wednesday, June 30, the editor, Gora was in his office, when he received strange visitors from the police command, who arrested him, locked him up, and took him to Kano the next day for prosecution. They immediately took him to court but unfortunately, the judge was not in court, so Gora ended up being remanded in prison.
At last Monday's hearing of the case, Magistrate Halima Nasiru, of the Chief Magistrate Court 25, presided over the case. Upon listening to charges brought against the journalist, and the ensuing bail application, granted him bail on the condition of a surety on level 17, and resident in Kano, or businessman with an established registered company.
Earlier, the court listened to the police prosecutor, Saleh Umar, who presented the accused as a suspect for criminal intimidation charges, which he said, contravened section 341 of the Criminal Procedure Court (CPC). Adding that if found guilty of the offence, the accused will be sent to seven years imprisonment based on the provisions of relevant sections of the law.
Counsel to the accused, Barrister Tajudeen O. Funsho, prayed the court to admit the accused on bail, arguing that since the charges are not conclusive on the alleged offence, the accused journalist can be granted bail.
However, the prosecutor countered the position of the lawyer and prayed the court to remand the suspect in prison while the case was ongoing, saying that allowing the suspect to walk free may tamper with the judicial process.
Barrister Funsho, on his part, said since the suspect was never found wanting in any similar situation in the past, there was no reason that he should not be granted bail. After listening to both parties, Magistrate Nasiru granted the accused bail and adjourned the case to July 27.
Magistrate Nasiru Lere of Magistrate Court, Ibrahim Taiwo road, Kaduna, adjurned the case between Mallam Rabo and Kaduna filmmakers to July 13 for proceedings. Earlier on, counsel to the complainant, Barrister Sadau Garba, on June 28, argued that the accused, Mallam Rabo, who secured an injunction against the bench-warrant is not above the law. Adding that his clients, the complainants are law abiding citizens of Nigeria, and hence, the frequent court sessions. He called on the court to continue the proceeding.
On the exparte application, Barrister Sadau argued that the Kaduna magistrate court is not under Kano State and as such, the order is void. Saying that since his clients are not party to the injuction order by the accused, there was no reason for the complainant not to proceed with the case. "I humbly apply that the matter be transfered to the State Security Service (SSS) for further interrogation, since the complainants are here to seek justice and the accused person, failed to honour court summons." The presiding judge Magistrate Lere, having heard both sides adjourned the case to July 13 for further proceedings.
The time has now come for the master to be on the stump. Certainly, the hunter has now become the hunted.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Defamation: Rabo’s Defence Counsel Withdrew From Case

The trial between the Kaduna State Filmmakers and Director-General, Kano State Censorship Board (KSCB), Malam Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem has taken a new dimension. Prior to yesterday’s sitting at Court One, Magistrate Court, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna, a Kano State High Court presided over by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Shehu Atiku has issued an order barring police from arresting or detaining the KSCB boss.
The case, which is presided over by Chief Magistrate Nasiru Idris Lere, has yesterday end with a dramatic session as the counsel of the accuse, Barrister Gideon Didam, honourable withdrew with his team of lawyers from the case on grounds of protecting their professional integrity. “We are completely ignorant of the court order restricting the arrest of our client. We are in this vain, going to allow the judicial court to take its position, may be that is why the accused is absent today.” Said the defence counsel.
Similarly, the counsel to the complainants, Barrister Sadau Garba, represented by Barrister Mohammad Sunusi, argued that the said order from the Kano high court seems not authentic as the document was a photocopy instead of original. Sighting technical inferiorities, Barrister Sunusi disputed the order under section 158/D&E of CPC. He urged the court to continue the proceeding.
The Chief Magistrate, in his ruling said the court will ignore the matter to avoid judicial rascality. Adding that the registrar of the court will forward the said order to the Kaduna State Anthony general for verification and further directives. Meanwhile, June 28, 2010 was fixed for further hearing on the case.