Monthly Archives: July 2009

Aminu Ala given bail on condition that he does not speak with media

Authors Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino and Ibrahim Sheme on the Finafinan_Hausa listserve both report that Aminu Ala was released yesterday, July 9, 2009, on bail, but on the condition that he does not speak with local or international media. The case was adjourned until 20 July 2009.

On his blog, Ibrahim Sheme reports on the granting of bail

But there’s a caveat. Ala was barred from granting interviews to local and international media – clearly a desperate attempt to muzzle his freedom of expression and the freedom of the press on the issue. The court ruled that his bail would be thwarted if he does so.

Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino gives a detailed summary in Hausa of the court case on July 9, which I will copy below. He reports that despite the large rainstorm of the night before and the water on the roads, the court was completely full at 10am when the case was scheduled to begin, including even “girls and married women who had heard the news of the case on the radio.” The judge did not show up, and they were told to wait or come back at 1pm. At 1:45pm, the judge finally showed up, and gave Ala bail until the court meets again on 20 July, except that (Gidan Dabino puts this in all caps) “THE COURT PROHIBITED HIM FROM TALKING WITH DOMESTIC OR FOREIGN JOURNALISTS.” He continues “We and those from outside will continue talk.” In the meantime the Kano branch of the Association of Nigerian Authors came out with a press release on 8 July 2009, which I will copy in it’s entirety after the report in Hausa by Gidan Dabino.

KOTU TA BA DA BELIN ALA
Barka da warhaka ‘yan’uwa, kamar yadda na bayar da bayanin yadda aka ce an daga zaman kotu sai 14 ga wata, baya ta haihu, domin an sami kuskure wajen rubutun da ma’aikatan kotun suka yi, amma bayan kai kawo da aka yi aka gano kuskuren ma’aikatan koton don sun rubuta kwanan watan da ba daidai ba, bayan kai kawo da ka yi an dawo da zama kotun yau kamar yadda aka ambata a baya.
Yau da misalin karfe 10 na safe jama’a sun yi dafifi sun cika kotu, cikar kwari kotun ta yi, duk da ruwan sama da ake yi, yau kotun har da matan aure da ‘yan mata da zaurawa da suka ji labari a rediyo, sun sami hallara. Amma mai shari’a bai fito ba, ya ce sai karfe 1, nan ma bai zauna ba sai 1.45 sannan ya zauna  kuma Alkalin kotun ya yarda ya bayar da belin Ala, sannan za a ci gaba da shari’a ranar 20/ga wannan wata.
Sai dai KOTUN TA HANA SHI MAGANA DA ‘YAN JARIDU NA GIDA DA WAJE.
Allah sarki! Mu da muke waje za mu yi hirar. Ai gari da mutane maye ba zai ci kansa ba!
Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino, Kano, Nigeria

You can visit my blog Taskar Gidan Dabino at http://gidandabino.blogspot.com
The ANA press release is as follows:
Press Release
At an emergency meeting held at the Bayero University Kano, today, July 8, 2009, the Association of Nigerian Authors Kano State Branch, frowns at the arrest of one of its members Alhaji Aminuddeen Ladan Abubakar (ALA) over the alleged release of a song that has not been censored by the Kano State Censorship Board.
The Association is seriously looking at the implication of the arrest which is seen as an attack on liberty and freedom of expression. The Association has observed that the authorities in Kano are hostile to art and literature. This action and other past actions of the authorities are seriously undermining the position of Kano State as the leading centre of learning, art and literature.
The Association wishes to advise the authority to be cautious on the way it handles the matters of authors and other producers of art. Art and literature are part and parcel of every
society and no society can do without it.
Yours faithfully,
Dr. Yusuf M Adamu
Branch Chairman
Alh. Balarabe Sango II
Public Relations Officer
July 8, 2009




My notes on the court case of Aminu Ala today at the Mobile court attached to the Kano State Censorship Board

Singer Aminu Ala speaking with friend, novelist Sa'adatu Baba Fagge, before his court case on 7 July 2009, Airport Magistrate Court, Kano.

Singer Aminu Ala speaking with friend, novelist Sa’adatu Baba Fagge, before his court case on 7 July 2009, Airport Magistrate Court, Kano. (c) CM

[Check earlier post for a short summary of what happened in Aminu Ala's court case t0day at the Airport Magistrate court, a so-called "mobile court" attached to the Kano State Censorship Board." Ala was charged with releasing his song "Hasbunallahu, (a song which prays that God should pour judgment on those who stop them from doing their profession, but names no names) without permission of the Censorship Board. Ala said the charges were false and was denied bail by Justice Mukhtar Ahmad.]

6:20pm. Still at the internet cafe I mentioned in my last post. I am trying to quickly type up my notes of the court case of Aminu Ala today in the next 44 minutes before my time (and computer) runs out.

At around 10:45am this morning I arrived at the Kano Airport Magistrate court on the back of an achaba. There was a crowd of people standing outside, waiting for the court to begin.  After Ala’s arrest Saturday he had been granted bail and was told (though not given an official court summons or told the charges for which he was arrested) to show up at the court at 10am on Monday. On Monday, he went to the court, and they told him it had been postponed until today (Tuesday) at 10am. So, today a crowd of friends, colleagues (including Fati Nijar), and journalists were gathered outside the court, including journalists from BBC, Radio Deutchweld, Freedom Radio, Radio Kano, Leadership, Trust, Fim Magazine, and others. Around 11 or 11:30am, we were told the case would start so we all filed into the court. They had to bring in several extra benches to accomodate all of the people, which was according to my estimations above 60.

Ala sat on a bench next to the wall in a crisp yellow babanriga.

His lawyer, in a suit but no wig, sat at a table at the front of the court with other court workers. Phones kept going off, although the court requires them to be turned off. I noticed that I was one of four women in the room: Fati Nijar, Rukkaya the journalist from Trust, and another woman I did not know. Two men with video cameras (I am told later they are from Hikima Media, the company owned by Ala’s sponsor) shot footage of the room.

The gavel is struck three times, we all rose with a hum.

Alkali Mukhtar Ahmad, a small rather frail-looking man, comes into the court in a grey suit and no wig. (I assume that magistrate courts/mobile courts are free of the wig and robe requirement?). He said that the prosecutor could not make it so they were pushing the case to 1:30 or 2:00pm.  About that time the judge’s phone went off (or at least a phone very close by to the judge–as he seemed to be moving to turn it off, I assume it was his).  He said something like “I can’t be prosecuter at the same time as the judge. Since they have brought the charges we will have to wait for them.”

The defense lawyer accepted the postponment but noted the breech in proper proceedure, saying “Officially a letter should have been submitted to the court if the prosecutor could not come [...]we should correct ourselves sometimes.”

Justice Mukhtar Ahmed acknowledged the correction but said “Something else may have come up and we don’t know the issue. Not like you who are on your own. You have to give them the benefit of doubt. But it is only a matter of one or two hours. It is unfortunate.”

After this exchange in English, there was a translation into Hausa.

At 12:21 I sat outside on a bench under a tree beside Aminu Ala and some of his other friends. They joked and told stories. If I were an intrepid reporter, instead of just an academic who sometimes writes for newspapers maybe I would have asked him for an exclusive interview (the other journalists had run off to internet cafes in town to write their predictions about what would happen. They ended up being right.). But I didn’t. I just listened to the people talking around me, watching planes take off at the airport.

When the journalists got back, one told me that he had gone to see the hisbah, and they had said they just sent a warning to the Association of Nigerian Authors that there had ben 11 poems released without being censored.

Another tells me “writers write about the facts. Writers are not politicians. They are not loooking for anything. And it’s not even just Kano now. They are spreading this all over the country.

About that time a medicine seller of the sort that have recently been hauled into jail by the censor’s board began trying to (with colourful language)  sell aphrodesiacs and impotency cures to the men gathered around the court.

At 2:13pm the court recommenced. The judge came back in with a suit and no wig.

He asks Ala. “Do you speak Hausa or English.”

Ala responded, “Hausa.”

The prosecuting and defending lawyers identified themselves.

The charges were read in Hausa. Ala was accused of having released his song “Hasbunnallahu” without passing it through the Kano State Censorship Board (the name in Hausa has “film” in the title).

Ala was asked “Gaskiya ko ba gaskiya ba ne?” (True or Not True?)

Alsa sai “Ba gaskiya ba ne.” (Not true)

In the meantime, more benches kept being moved in and more and more people kept coming into the court.

The prosecutor said he would like to “apply for another date to air this matter.”

The defense said “I don’t oppose the issue of having another date, but” that they were making a petition from 340 of the criminal proceedure code from 3605 of the 1999 constitution, which was an application for admitting bail to an accused person pending his trial.  The lawyer continued that Ala had been told to show up in court yesterday and he had showed up and he also showed up today when it was postpond. “This attitude of the accused shows he will attend whenever he is told to. The accused may not tamper with the course of justice. We want you to exercise justice by letting the presumed innocent person go on bail.”

The Prosecutor responded that “the issue of bail is discretionary matter of the honourable court.” He encouraged the court to “exercise this discretion judiciously.”

The judge asked the defence if he wanted to say something. He said he did not object.

Still more people were still coming trying to find space to sit in the court.

The judge said “The appeal is adjourned to next tomorrow.” Justice Mukhtar Ahmad gets up and walks out.

As we file out of the court, two men exchanged an impassioned hand clasp saying in English “He will be free.”

I did not realize what had just happened, but was quickly informed by very glum looking friends who had come out before me and had seen Ala being taken away in the prison vehicle that had arrived at the court even before it commenced. They quickly explained that “Bail was not granted. The prison bus was called before the case was heard.”

Apparently he will be held till Thursday, after which the judge will decide whether or not to give him bail after the next hearing.

Another journalist told me, shaking his head. “There are politics under it. We are in the political era.”

(I would do more analysis, but I’m here at an internet cafe on a computer not my own, and just had a huge scare that I had lost the entire post when an internet cafe turned the generator off without checking with everyone in the cafe, but fortunately wordpress saves drafts… so stay tuned…).

Breaking News: Singer Ala denied bail

6pm, I am at an internet cafe, not on my own computer, so I will post a quick update and then keep working on the report of Ala’s court case today at the Airport Magistrate court, Kano, the so-called mobile court attached to the Kano State Censorship Board. He was charged with releasing his song “Hasbunallahu,” a song which requests Allah to punish those who keep them from practicing their profession but which mentions no names, without passing it through the Kano State Censorship Board.  He pleaded not guilty. The judge in the case is Mukhtar Ahmad, who had been found “incompetent” by the Kano State attorney general, in the earlier case with Iyan-Tama (who serve three months in prison before the state declared a mis-trial). Today, Justice Ahmad denied Ala bail and posted the next hearing this Thursday. A prison vehicle had been waiting for Ala before the court even started and whisked him off to jail by around 2:30pm this afternoon. Readers will remember that Ala has been a long time supporter of the present Kano State administration but recently fell out with the Censor’s Board after his song “Hasbunallahu” started making the rounds on bluetooth. The song was banned around two weeks ago.

You know those dangerous singers. If you let them go free two days,  no telling WHAT they might sing….

Stay posted (hopefully in th next 45 minutes) for a full report of what happened. In the meantime google yesterday’s Leadership, the article by Abdulaziz A. Abdulaziz titled “Aminu Ala Arrested, Released on Bail,” for the details of Ala’s initial arrest last Saturday.

Arrest of singer Aminu Ala and the most recent scuffle of MOPPAN with the Kano State Censorship Board

In the most recent news from Kano, singer Aminu Ala was arrested Saturday. Ala has long been known as a strong supporter of the current Kano state administration, but has recently been “on the run” since his song “Hasubanallahu” was banned by a mobile court judge linked to the censorship board. When I spoke to his contacts today about the arrest, they lamented that the song, which is written in the form of a prayer that God should punish those keeping singers from doing their work, has no bad language in it and mentions no names. According to an anonymous source, he was arrested by “workers from the Kano State Censorship Board” and detained in a police station in Sabon Gari. Eventually the same day the police were told by a superior to let him go. However, while Ala is no longer in detention, the event has increased the tension between the Kano State Censor’s Board and the entertainment industry. [UPDATE 8 July 2009: Actually what happened is that he was released on Saturday but told to show up at the Mobile Court attached to the Kano State Censorship Board at  at 10am on Monday. When he did, they told him to come back at 10am Tuesday. When he and 60 other friends, supporters, and journalists showed up at 10am Tuesday, 7 July 2009, they were all told to come back at 2pm. When we came back at 2pm, he was finally read his charges--supposedly releasing his song without the approval of the censorship board. He said the charges were not true, and the prosecutor asked to reconvene on Thursday. He was denied bail until Thursday and taken to jail in a police vehicle...  On Thursday he was granted bail but on the condition that he not speak to the media. See the more recent posts for the details.]

Page one of Kano State Censorship Board Press Release 3 July 2009

Page one of Kano State Censorship Board Press Release 3 July 2009

KSCB Press Release--3 July 2009--page 2

KSCB Press Release--3 July 2009--page 2

In the past week there has been a small war of representation going on between the DG of the Kano State Censor’s Board and the Motion Picture Practitioner’s Association of Nigeria. The DG Alhaji Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem continues to claim that film practitioners were indisciplined and had decadent personal lives before he was appointed to lead the Censor’s Board. MOPPAN claims that Rabo’s statements are tantamount to slander of the industry, and threaten they will take him to the Islamic courts if he does not withdraw and apologize for the accusations.

UPDATE 5 August 2009: Rabo was arrested by police on 3 August 2009 and taken before the shari’a court yesterday on accusations of “kazafi (invented lies to assinate character).” If convicted, the punishment is 80 lashes with a whip. See post of 5 August 2009.

Note that these accusations against the film, music, and popular literature industry are regularly made by its detractors in local media on the state radio, as well as in state-run newspapers. A few months ago there was an ad from the Kano State Censor’s Board played on state-run Radio Kano that told parents not to let their children read Hausa novels because they were spoiling their education and upbringing. I have often heard writers, filmmakers and singers lament that they do not have the resources to combat what they call “government propaganda.”

I will post below the statements that were exchanged in the past.

(Please note that these translations were done quickly and are not necessarily translated word for word, although it has been checked for accuracy by a native speaker. I take responsibility for any errors in the transcription or translation of the radio piece; however, the letters and press releases have been reproduced as released.)

On 29 June, 2009, the following short piece was broadcast on the state owned radio station, Radio Kano, in the programme, “Labarai da Rahotanni” [News and Reports]

Radio Presenter:

Ustaz Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem yace sun sami yan fim din Hausa a zama karazube marasa tsafta. Su kuma suka ga lallai ne sai an shigar da tarbiyya da tsafta a cikin sana’ar domin ka da a lalata tarbiyya al’umar jihar nan …

Ustaz Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem said they had found stakeholders in the Hausa film industry to be disorderly and indecent. And they [the Censor’s Board] saw the need to bring sanity and decency to the industry that is spoiling the cultural orientation of this state.

Rabo’s voice:

Mun zo mun samu bayin Allah nan, a tsari na taci barkatai. Kowa shaida ne, al’umma shaida ne. Suna cin dunduniyar juna, suna tona asirin juna, suna fada da juna, babu shugabanci, babu [bin] na gaba, babu tsari, babu doka, babu order, kai da gindi suke zaune, zaman yan marina kowa da inda ya sa gabansa. Hassali ma waccan fitana da baiwar Allan can da aka samu kowa ya gani, su suka tonawa kansu asiri a tsakaninsu mujallun da suke yi da sunan finafinan Hausa kowa in ya karanta zai ga yadda suke bayyana maganganu tsirara. Babu kara babu kawaici duk badakallar da ke tsakanin su ta shaye shayen miyagun kwayoyi suna ta neman juna maza da maza, mata da mata, za’a dauki yarinya a yi fim da ita da iznin iyayenta ba iznin iyayenta, za’a dau matar aure a shiga da ita fim ba tare da maigidanta ya sani ba sai dai in ya ganta a hoton fim irin wannan badakalar barnar da take ciki yau da muka shigo muka ce an taka birki, an hana.

We came and found that the industry was indisciplined. The evidence is everywhere. They were backbiting each other, exposing each other’s secrets, fighting with each other, no leadership, no progress, no system, no law, no order. They were self-absorbed, everyone doing what was right in their own eyes. They were exposing each other’s secrets between themselves in the Hausa film magazines. Anyone can read and see how they were directly speaking about it. No respect, no manners, taking dangerous drugs, having sex with each other, men with men, women with women. They would use a girl in a film with or without her parent’s permission, they would take a married woman and make a film with her without her husband knowing unless he saw her in the film. All of this type of spoiled and disorderly behaviour, we have arrived and we say it is prohibited, it is ended.

Radio Presenter:

Babban daraktan hukumar tace finafinan ya ce wannan ce ta sa wasu tsiraru daga cikin masu amfani da wannan mummunar hanya su nemi kudi, suke yin fada da hukumar.

The Director General of the Censor’s board said that it is because of the Borad’s actions that the minority in the industry, whose goal is only to make money, is fighting with the board.

Rabo’s voice:

Wanda yake fakewa da wannan tsari na ci barkatai yake cutar ‘ya’yan mutane ko yake samun alfanu, yau an zo an taka mar birki, me taka birkinnan ka ce Zai gan shi da haske, ka ce zai rungume shi a matsayin abokin cigaba? Ai bata taso ba.

For those who are hiding behind this indisciplined industry and are spoiling children or are profiting from it, the day has come when [these abuses] have been brought to an end. And you expect that person who has been frustrated to embrace the one who has frustrated him? Ai, that doesn’t even arise.

Radio Presenter:

Ustaz Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem yace babu gudu babu ja da baya, hukumar za ta ci gaba da hukunta duk wani mai kunnen kashi ciki har da masu tallar magunguna mai dauke da hotunan yadda ake aikata alfasha a bainar jama’a.

Dayyabu Umar me mai rano ke dauke da Rahotan.

Ustaz Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem says no running away, no going back, the board will continue to punish everyone who is at fault, even to those who sell medicine with pictures that will bring depravity to the community.

Dayyabu Umar brought this report.

The subsequent letter and press release from the Motion Pictures Practitioner’s Association of Nigeria [given to me in soft copy on 3 July 2009 by a member of MOPPAN. Note that I have inserted my own translation into the body of the press release, which was issued in Hausa. The letter was issued in English]:

June 30th 2009

The Director General,

Kano State Censorship Board,

Kano.

DEREGATORY RADIO STATEMENT BY DIRECTOR GENERAL, KANO STATE CENSORSHIP BOARD.

Following your radio programme titled “Labarai da Rahotanni” On the 29th day of June 2009 at Radio Kano where you defame the characters of our industry operators labelling us as lesbians and homosexuals: “Suna zama mara tsafta suna neman juna maza da maza, mata da mata.” ;a statement that no responsible government officer will dare make. We wish to draw your attention that making such derogatory and degrading remarks will not only damage the image of the film industry and its members but will also tarnish the good image of the people of Kano State at large.

2. It is against this that we demand you to withdraw your statement and apologize to the industry and its members within 48 hours otherwise we take legal action against you in accordance with the shari’a.

Mal. Sani Mu’azu

National President

cc: The Commissioner of Police,

Kano Police Command,

Bompai Kano

The Director

SSS

Kano

The Attorney General,

Commissioner of Justice,

Ministry of Justice,

Kano.

The Director

State Security Service

Kano

The Chairman,

Sharia Commission,

Kano.

The Director General

Societal Re-orientation

Kano State

The Commander General

Hisbah Board

Kano.

The Secretary

Kano Emirate Council

Kano

The Chairman

Council of Ulama

Kano

Above for your information and further necessary intervention, please.

Mal. Sani Mu’azu

National President

Press Release [from MOPPAN]

Kungiyar masu shirya finafinai ta kasa na kara bayyana damuwarta bisa kalmomin

batanci da Darakta Janar na hukumar tace finafinai da dab’i na jhar kano ke yiwa ‘ya’yanta.

[MY TRANSLATION OF PRESS RELEASE IN HAUSA]

The Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN) would like to express its dismay at the slanderous accusations against her members made by the Director General of the Kano State Censor’s Board.

Wannan ya biyo bayan hirar da aka yi da Darakta Janar a wata kafar yada labarai mallakar gwamnatin jiha a ranar litinin 29-Yuni-2009, inda ya shaidawa duniya cewa yana da tabbas bisa dabi’ar fasikanci da wai wasu masu sana’ar shirya finafinai ke aikatawa wanda ya hada da zinace-zinace da madigo da luwadi a tsakaninsu.

This follows after the interview conducted with the Director General by one of the media houses of the state government on Monday, 29 June 2009, in which he claimed to the world that stakeholders in the filmmaking profession have involved themselves into immorality such as lesbianism and homosexuality.

Sakamakon haka kungiyar na kira ga Babban Daraktan da ya janye wannan kalami na sa kana ya nemi afuwar wannan masana’anta nan da awanni 48. Rashin yin haka zai sa wannan kungiya ta kai kara gaban kotun shari’ar musulumci

Kungiyar na kuma kira gare shi da ya dubi darajar sunnan Annabi ya daina shigar da maganar Hiyana cikin maganganunsa kasancewarta yanzu matar aure ce. Wanda hakan ka iya cutar da mijinta na auren sunna.

As a result of this, the Association calls on the Director General to rescind and apologize, in the next 48 hours, for his slander against this profession. If he does not do this, this association will be forced to take him before the shari’a court. The association also calls on him to value the teachings of the Prophet and resist from involving discussions of Hiyana in his speeches since she is now a married woman. Talking thus may harm her husband and the reputation of their marriage.

Har ila yau muna kara kira ga hukumomin shari’a da hisbah na jihar kano da su jawo hankalin babban daraktan da ya kiyaye harshensa yayin da yake magana kamar yadda shari’ar musulunci ta yi umarni.

Finally, we call on the shari’a implementation agencies in Kano state to hold the Director General accountable for making sure his language is in keeping with the guidelines as established by shari’a.

Sani Mu’azu

President

(End letter and press release)

In response to the letter and press release issued by MOPPAN, the Director General of the Kano State Censorship Board issued the following response on 3 July 2009. [I re-typed the press release issued by the Kano State Censorship Board, leaving in any spelling/grammatical errors made in the original. To view the original, see the posted photographs of the press release. NOTE, THE PHOTOS APPEAR NEAR THE TOP OF THE POST--I WAS HAVING TROUBLE GETTING WORDPRESS TO PLACE THEM WHERE I WANTED THEM IN THE TEXT--CM]

PRESS RELEASE-DELIVERED BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL KANO STATE CENSORSHIP BOARD MAL. ABUBAKAR RABO ABDULKAREEM ON 03/07/2009 AT HIS OFFICE

Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen of the press

‘EMPTY THREAT’ IS HEREBY EMTED

In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful, may Allah’s mercies and blessing be upon the exalted prophet of Islam, prophet Muhammad peace be upon him his household and his companion till the dooms day.

Background: early this week in my interview with the Kano state Radio, series of issues were addressed particularly the achievements of this administration in the sanitization and standardisation of the Hausa home video practices of which some known and repeatedly historic problems of the industry were revisited for comparison but unfortunately some few questionable elements of the film makers un-equivocally and negatively lauded a particular matter just to open a new chapter for disharmony with mischieves in order to bring back the forgone battle of words between the state with its citizenry in one side and the film practioners on the other.

This address is a by product of the pressing need of the media to balance their stories and the board to have a fair right to reply on the ‘empty threat’ of those practitioners who’s future is endangered or eroded due to our sustainable sanitization exercises. These miscreants are enemies to the present peaceful atmosphere and the cotemporary achievements of the Board because they are the beneficiaries of the old age. The age of un coordinated and un-professionalized Kannywood industry.

Hitherto, this nasty development will not in any way deter the Board on its commitment to safeguard the Kano State ideals in addition to societal values because our statutory legal undertakings are not only the promulgation of state legislation but also constitutional above all holy and sacred.

Specifically, Dear press and I want remind you about an interview granted by a re-known actress and aired in the Ray Power Radio station, Kano on 18th May, 2007, where such social ills bedevilling Kannywood where addressed by the actress i.e. Farida Jalal. The interview has now become a reference not only to me only but also to the general public (find attach 15 mins oral interview of the said actress).

Moreso, additional doziers at our disposal will not in any way help the film stakeholders when released to public especially in this period where some further negative developments are continuously unveiling and circulating.

Notwithstanding continuation of the referred interview where actresses and actors revelled atrocities of their colleagues as relate to the film business. There are equally more stronger evidences, like Gwanja-Danja panel report, assorted copies of film magazines particularly those published in vernacular among others.

Furthermore, let me use this opportunities to re-iterate one of the fundamentals of this administration which is the rule of law where equality before law is necessary. Therefore, the Board is happy that constituted measures like threat to sue organisation or person(s) is welcome by our style of leadership. Even though the Board will not hesitate to table publically at the right time and at the right place all at its possession out of social responsibilities and trust but with no meaning to join issues or make filmmakers vulnerable. Let me at this juncture warn that: “Kada Dan Akuya yaje Barbara ya dawo da ciki”. [MY TRANSLATION—CM: A male goat should not go to a female goat and return pregnant…]

In conclusion, the Board is appealing to the general public to please keep watch of their wards as relates to film industry and the rest of the popular cultural creative industries and make very good sense of judgement not only in the area of film categorisation and timing but in its entirety.

Finally, the Board is using this medium to invite you members of the media to attend the opening ceremony of a six days training-workshop on Monday 6th July, 2009 by 10:00 am at APCON lecture theatre along Kano Eastern by pass.

SIGN: MANAGEMENT

The great Nigerian Hip-Hop debates

Banky W (From www.jamati.com/online/music/page/5/)

Publicity photo of Banky W (Coursy of http://www.jamati.com/online/music/page/5/)

In recent blog browsing, I came across a critique and response on Nigerian hiphop that illustrates the kind of cultural dialogue I am fascinated by: an article by Reuban Abati, which seemed half satirical/half serious, seeming to blast young Nigerian musicians for not being more “respectful” of the Nation, as well as a lack of artistry, and a response by the musician Banky W, who says:

Our country has not yet given us steady electricity, adequate education, safety from armed robbers or standard healthcare, yet artistes have risen like the Roses that grow from Concrete… and these very artistes love and represent their country proudly on a global stage. This music industry has given hope, jobs and income to countless youth of today. We are Rappers, Singers, Producers, Sound Engineers, Managers, Promoters, Marketing Consultants, Record Label Owners and we will not apologize for making the best of our circumstances; and all this in spite of the fact that we have Marketers that exploit but refuse to pay for our Musical pieces, Royalties and Publishing income that hitherto has been non-existent, a Government that is just now very slowly starting to enforce anti-piracy laws, and Event Organizers that would rather pay 50 Cent One Million US Dollars than give D’banj or P-Square 5 Million Naira.

To read the entire articles, see “A Nation’s Identity Crisis” by Reuban Abati, originally published in the Guardian, June 21, 2009. (If having trouble accessing this link, it can also be found duplicated on Jeremy Weate’s Naijablog.) To see Banky W’s response  “My Response to the Recent Guardian Newspaper Article by Reuban Abati, see his blog.