Watch the trailer here:
I have written previously about my work with my brother, Dan McCain, on the film.
The Yar Adu’a Foundation sponsored the film, which was produced by Lagos-based Core Productions, directed, shot, and partially edited by my brother, and hosted by Ken Saro Wiwa Jr. Dan travelled all over Nigeria exploring environmental issues and asking if there were any links to climate change. The research and some of the early interviews were done by Chinelo Onwualu, I did a little more research, transcribed hours of interviews, conducted a few more, and cut together the first version of the script. Louis Rheeder finished and rewrote part of the script, sat with the editor, and turned it into a beautifully organized story, where everything flows together and makes sense. Ken Saro Wiwa Jr., who “hosts” and narrates the documentary ties everything together. Together with Dan’s spectacular cinematography (shot on Epic), it all comes together, boom!
As I have mentioned previously, as we were working on it, “we made a point of making this a ‘Nigerian’ documentary, and the interviews in the documentary are all with people based in Nigeria.” Some of the strongest voices in the film are those of well known environmentalists Ken Saro Wiwa Jr., and Nnimo Bassey, as well as those activists and environmentalists like Ekaette Ukobong, Michael Uwemedimo, Godknows Boladei Igali, Liza Gadsby and Peter Jenkins and others who work at the grassroots community level to make a difference. Nnimo Bassey has been an amazing advocate for the film, speaking at multiple screenings, including #COP21 in Paris. Ken Saro Wiwa has screened it at University of California, Berkeley, and other locations. Jacqueline Farris, Nnena Ogbonnaya-Orji, Marve Michael, and others at the Yar Adu’a Foundations have been working tirelessly to organize screenings in Nigeria and beyond.
I was in Lagos for the first screening at the Green Me Film Festival Saturday with Dan, Louis, and Sabrina Coleman of Core Productions. We’ve watched it dozens of times on large screens, but it was the first time any of us had seen it in a cinema. We were all blown away. It’s amazing in the cinema, the BOOM! of the cinematography and colour grading, the detail of the sound design. The audience was chattering at the beginning but suddenly everything went quiet. Later they began talking again, but they were exclamations and responses to the film. I’m looking forward to seeing at other film festivals. The organizers encouraged Dan to come back for the awards ceremony the next night. (Sadly, I hadn’t known about this on time and already had plans to travel for a conference that night. I keep missing things!) To everyone’s delight, the film won the Grand Jury Prize.
For more information about the film and the screening schedule, please see my post about the premiere (to which I have attached a calendar of screenings) or the Yar Adu’a Foundation Facebook page.
I hope this win and the attention the film is receiving will also draw more attention to the current crisis surrounding the Ekuri Forest. We had featured the Ekuri community forest in Cross River State in the film as one of the encouraging stories about what a community can do to take initiative for conserving their own environment. In the 1980s, they had refused offers from logging communities and decided to form the Ekuri Initiative to preserve their forest. The forest is one of the few remaining rain forests (crucial as a carbon sink) in Nigeria, or West Africa as a whole. According to The Daily Post, on 22nd January 2016, a
Public Notice of Revocation signed by the Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development and published in a local newspaper on 22nd January 2016 decree[ed], among other things, that:
“all rights of occupancy existing or deemed to exist on all that piece of land or parcel of land lying and situate along the Super Highway from Esighi, Bakassi Local Government Government Area to Bekwarra Local Government Area of Cross River State covering a distance of 260km approximately and having an offset of 200m on either side of the centre line of the road and further 10km after the span of the Super Highway, excluding Government Reserves and public institutions are hereby revoked for overriding public purpose absolutely”.
The outrageous 10 kilometres on either side of the highway, would decimate the community forest, and, as the Rainforest Rescue petition points out, in seizing this community’s ancestral lands, would render them homeless.
Although, it seems that no Environmental Impact Assessment has been done (required by law for major projects of this sort in Nigeria), in February 2016, bulldozers came to the community. While the Ekuri community protested, they have already begun to knock down trees in neighbouring communities. The Ekuri Initiative has started a website, and there is a detailed and disturbing background on the threat against the forest accompanying this Rainforest Rescue petition.
Nnimo Bassey’s Mother Earth Foundation released this press release, pointing out that,
Observers think the project may be a cover for land grabbing, illegal logging and poaching and the destruction of habitats in the forests and reserves that are protected by law and preserved by custom. They question why a project of this nature would reportedly enjoy contributions from Nigerian banks without requisite preliminary surveys, plans and approvals.
The affected communities inform that “besides the fact that the proposed route was going to cause untold damage to the globally important park, it also demonstrated that the route had been selected without looking at a contour map, let alone having an engineering survey.”
Nnimo Bassey protests ““We find it unacceptable that a project of this magnitude is pursued without regard to the law and in defiance of the rights of communities.”
In the upcoming weeks/months I hope to publish some of the full interviews we had done for the documentary with members of the Ekuri Community. Consider signing the petition, or if you have influence with the government, exercise it to prevent this outrageous land grab. And if you have a chance to see Nowhere to Run, you will be able to see the beauty of this forest and the passion of the community members like Martin Egot and Chief Edwin Ogor for their land, before this threat.
I had the privilege to attend the 2016 Kannywood Awards held at the NAF International Conference Centre in Abuja Saturday, 12 March 2016, the third incarnation of the awards organized by Sarari Klassique Merchandise and Halims Entertainment Galleria. (See my post on the 2013 awards.) I was impressed by the space, which was in a well-decorated and sophisticated auditorium. The red carpet TV presence included Rayuwa TV, Noma TV, Unity Entertainment, NTA, VOA, Voice of Nigeria and others.
I dislike taking pictures in conference settings under muddy lighting, and the flash on my camera is broken. Therefore, almost all of my photos are pretty bad. I’ve seen some amazing ones on Facebook taken by photographers like Sani Maikatanga. You can see more photographs at Kannywood Scene. I’ll post a few here, mostly for people who asked for copies.
The awards were MC-ed by Waziri Zuaibu of NTA, and Aisha Mohammad of the EFCC (!). Memorable moments include a tribute to the late Aisha Dan Kano; a stylishly-dressed Nafisa Abdullahi’s touching speech thanking her mother after she won Best Actress for her role in Baiwar Allah, and Sadik Sani Sadik kissing the ground when he received his award for best actor in Bayan Duhu, a 20+ minute speech (I was recording) by the minister of Information, and a short and sweet speech by Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, Vice Chancellor of the Open University, following a really fantastic little 3-4 minute documentary on the beginnings of Kannywood.
I was impressed by the efforts to make this a unified Nigerian affair. Indeed the theme was “Patriotism through Entertainment.” In the musical soundtrack, I heard (pre-recorded) music by Ziriums, Sani Danja, and Jeremiah Gyang (a Christian Hausa singer.) There was an opening prayer by a Muslim and Christian, and, in addition to the various ministers and representatives of governors, there were representatives from Nollywood and even of an Ijaw youths association. Emeka Ike, the president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria gave out awards and spoke out saying that the stakeholders meeting recently held in Lagos (which invited no one from Kannywood) had been “hijacked” by outside interests. In one of the musical performances, Sarkin Waka sang “Mu Zauna lafiya, we are one,” and was joined on stage by many of the stars.
There were also performances by Ziriums, Abbas Sadiq, and Nura Bond.
Three special awards were given at the beginning of the ceremony: The special Kannywood Merit Award, went to His royal Highness Malam Awwal Ibrahim, the Emir of Suleja; a Posthumous Life Achievement Award went to the late Tijjani Ibraheem; and another Kannywood Special Merit Award went to Malam Sunusi Shehu Daneji, a scriptwriter and magazine publisher who coined the term “Kannywood” in 1998.
Although certain moments like the (actually quite informative) speech by the Minister of Information dragged on, the audience kept themselves amused with photo taking,selfies, and wandering around chatting.
The winners of the awards (alongside the other nominees) are as follows:
Hindu, produced by Garba Saleh – WON
Gwaska, produced by Falalu Dorayi
Baiwar Allah, produced by Naziru Dan Hajiya
Na Hauwa, produced by Kabir Ali Mpeg – WON
Hindu, produced by Garba Saleh
Malam Zalimu, produced by Abba El Mustapha
Ali Gumzak, for Baiwar Allah – WON
Adam Zango, for Gwaska
Ali Nuhu for Da’iman
Yakubu M. Kumo, for Bayan Duhu – WON
Yakubu M. Kumo, for Baiwar Allah
Shafiu Dauda Giwa, for Ban Gantaba
Nafisa Abdullahi, for Baiwar Allah -WON
Jamila Nagudu, for Na Hauwa
Rahama Sadau, for Halacci
Sadik Sani Sadik, for Bayan Duhu -WON
Adam A. Zango, for Gwaska
Ali Nuhu, for Nasibi
Fati Shu’uma, for Basma -WON
Ladidi Fagge, for Da’iman
Fati Washa, for Hindu
Lawan Ahmad, for Da’iman – WON
Sadik Ahmad, for Nasibi
Ali Nuhu, for Rumfar Shehu
Sule Yahaya Bosho, for Rumfar Shehu – WON
Sule Yahaya Bosho, for Gidan Farko
Rabilu Musa (RIP), for Dangas
Haruna Talle Mai Fata, for Farmaki -WON
Adam A. Zango, for Hindu
Tanimu Akawu, for Kasata
Maryam Baba Hasin, for Basma – WON
Ahmad Ali Nuhu, for Uba da Da
Shema’u Salisu, for Anisa
Mr. D’mej, for Hindu – WON
Mr. D’mej and Ismail M. Ismail, for Gwaska
Murtala Balala, for Baiwar Allah
Ali Artwork, for Gwaska – WON
(no name), for Mulamat
Husseini Ibrahim, for Baiwar Allah
Muhammad Ali, for Hindu – WON
Musa Zee Moses and Muhammad Ali, for Anisa
Ali Musa Dan Jallo, for Bori
Suraj A. Ibrahim and Mustapha Auwal, for Gwaska -WON
Fahad Abubakar, for Fansa
Bello Minna and Mukhtar Dauda, for Hindu
Umar M. Sharif, for Uba da Da – WON
Umar M. Sharif and Isa Gombe, for Gwaska
Nura M. Inuwa, for Hindu
Tahir I. Tahir, for Hindu – WON
Muhammad Sani G., for Bakin Mulki
Saif A. Nuhu and Ishaq Ahmad Nuhu, for Halacci
Jibrin Cha, Sunusi Shamaki, and One Eye, for Hindu -WON
Umar Big Show, et al, for Gwaska
Sunusi Shamaki, for Bakin Mulki
(guess which makeup artist won….? 😉 )
Alhaji Suji, for Hindu
Alhaji Suji, for Bakin Alkalami
Alhaji Suji, for Nasibi
Here is the screening schedule (to the best of my knowledge) for Nowhere to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental Crisis by location. Most recent date listed first with earlier screenings in descending order. Check the ‘Yar Adua Centre Facebook page for more details. Scroll down for the original post about the film and its premiere:
On 3 April 2016, Nowhere to Run won the Grand Jury Prize at the Green Me Film Festival, Lagos.
On 3 July 2016, Nowhere to Run won the award for the Best Documentary Short at The African Film Festival (TAFF), Dallas.
7 July 2016 – One Environment Conference, Thought Pyramid Art Centre, 18 Libreville Street, Wuse II, Abuja. 2:30-4:30pm. Screening and Panel Discussion.
5 July 2016 – One Environment Conference, Thought Pyramid Art Centre, 18 Libreville Street, Wuse II, Abuja. 3:30-5pm. Screening and Panel Discussion.
6 June 2016 – ‘Yar Adua Centre (in partnership with the National Gallery of the Arts) to commemorate UN World Environment Day.
22 April 2016 – Ekiti Hall, U.S. Embassy (Earth Day)
22 April 2016 – Canadian High Commission, Abuja
1 March, 2016 – Justice Development and Peace Commission, Catholic Secretariat
28 November 2015, 6pm – Institut Francaise
17 November 2015 – Green Carpet Premiere, Yar Adu’a Centre
18 April 2016 – American Corner, Bauchi
Between 21 March -15 April 2016 – Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
28 April 2016 – Conference Hall A, Gusau Institute, Kaduna
18 April 2016 – American Corner, Kano
7 March, 2016 – Bayero University, Kano
2 June 2016 – Kwara State University, Malete, Auditorium, 12 noon (before convocation play)
7 June 2016 – PEFTI Film Institute, 5/7 Joy Avenue, By UBA Bank, Off Isolo Way, Ajao Estate, Isolo, Lagos. 1pm
2-3 April 2016 – Green Me Film Festival, Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Ahmadu Bellow Way, 5pm, Saturday and Sunday. WON Grand Jury Prize.
29 March 2016 – Covenant University Chapel, Ota
15-19 November 2015 – Ake Arts and Book Festival, Arts and Culture Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta
11 July 2016 -IFRA-Nigeria Post Cop21 Conference “Ecological Crises in Nigeria.” Draper’s Hall, University of Ibadan, 12 noon.
21 April 2016 – American Corner, Ibadan
28 June 2016 – American Corner, Jos, 11 Murtala Mohammad Way (UniJos Consultancy Building) 10am prompt. RSVP: 0803-718-4414.
2 April 2016 – RURCON Conference Hall, Nigerian Bible Translation Trust
27 March 2016 – Miango Rest Home, Miango
28 April – Alliance Francaise, Port Harcourt, 12 noon
9-12 December 2015 – Africa Pavilian, COP21, Paris
11 February 2016 – Blum Centre for Developing Economies, University of California, Berkeley
22 February 2017 – Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA. Adams 216, 7pm
31 August 2016- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs sponsor a screening to be held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 5pm check in, 5:30 film screening, 6:30pm Conversation with Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr., Jackie Farris, and Kole Shettima, 7pm reception. To attend sign up online.
8 July 2016 – Rodo African Cuisine, Linden, New Jersey. The film will screen at Rodo African Cuisine, 1600 East Saint Georges Avenue, Linden, New Jersey, Friday, 8 July, 8-10pm. Free Entry. For more information, call 347-200-2509.
2 July 2016 – The African Film Festival (TAFF), Dallas. Nowhere to Run will screen at the Angelika Film centre, Dallas, Theatre A, on Saturday, 2 July around 8:45pm. The VOA article on TAFF featured Nowhere to Run. To buy a ticket and vote on the trailer, see this site. On 3 July, Nowhere to Run won the TAFF award for best documentary short.
7 July 2016 – Nigerian Embassy, Washington DC.Nowhere to Run will screen at the the Nigerian Embassy, 3519 International Ct. NW, Washington, DC 20008, Thursday, 5 July, 6pm. To RSVP please respond at this link.
6 July 2016 – John Hopkins University in partnership with American University, Washington DC. Nowhere to Run will screen at John Hopkins University-SAIS, 1619 Masssachusetts Avenue, NW, Rome-806, Washington, DC 20036. 5-7pm. Please RSVP to African Studies, saisafrica (at) jhu.edu or 202-663-5676
At 6pm in Abuja at the Yar’Adua Centre today, 17 November, there will be a “green carpet” premiere of the documentary film Nowhere to Run: Nigeria’s Climate and Environmental crisis. Watch the trailer here:
The film was sponsored by the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, narrated by Ken Saro Wiwa Jr., and directed (shot, partially edited, etc) by my brother Dan McCain, who is the Managing Director of the Lagos-based Core Productions. I have also worked with Dan last year and this year on the project and came up with the first part of the title “nowhere to run,” which is a sentiment we heard over and over again in the interviews of people who talked about the effects of environmental degradation on their communities. Dan and his production team travelled all over Nigeria gathering stories about the environmental devastation in Nigeria and interviews with Nigeria-based experts and professionals such as Nnimmo Bassey, Ken Wiwa, Liza Gadsby and Peter Jenkins, Muhammad Kabir Isa, Paul Adeogun, Hannah Kabir, Saleh B. Momale, Michael Egbebike, Fatima Akilu, Joseph Hurst Croft, Alagoa Morris, Inemo Samiama, Ekaette Ukobong, Michael Uwemedimo, Godknows Boladei Igali, and others. What we came to find over the process of making the documentary is that as climate change creates global changes in the environment, many of the natural defense mechanisms that could alleviate some of the harm done by the changing environment are being destroyed through human activity.
For example, flaring is a major contributor of greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming. Although flaring is illegal in Nigeria, oil companies continue to flare because the fines are lower than the cost of capping off the flares and redirecting the gas (and if the gas were captured, it could do a lot to contribute to Nigeria’s massive need for electricity). The mangroves and rain forests that absorb the greenhouse gases that cause global warming are being destroyed through oil pollution, logging and construction. These same mangroves and wetlands could also help absorb and manage the sea level rise that is occurring as polar ice caps melt, and yet they are shrinking every year. So, there is ocean encroachment along the coast, massive erosion in the southeast related to heavy rains and forest clearing, and desertification in the north. Environmental crises also contribute to conflict. For example, as Mohammad Kabir Isa of Ahmadu Bello University points out in the film and in this interview, the shrinking of Lake Chad (caused both by human interventions that remove massive amounts of water for irrigation and changing rainfall patterns that no longer fill the lake as they used to) has caused massive migration into Maiduguri in the past 20 years. Once people get to Maiduguri, there were few jobs available so the social welfare provided by Boko Haram attracted members. Desertification is also pushing people further south, and the expansion of farming into migration routes formerly used by pastoralists is behind some of the conflict we are seeing between pastoralists and farmers.
This is not a simple story, but instead one of multiple diverse complications both on a global and local level that are contributing to much of the environmental and political crises in Nigeria today. We made a point of making this a “Nigerian” documentary, and the interviews in the documentary are all with people based in Nigeria.
There are some things being done to reduce dependence on oil and to better use the land, such as wind energy project in Katsina and cook stoves and ovens that reduce dependence on firewood. But much more needs to be done.
You need a ticket to get into the premiere, but you can get them for free at this link. Unfortunately, because of a family emergency, I am unable to be there, but I hope it goes well and does some work to raise awareness among those who have the power to make the kinds of infrastructural changes in Nigeria that are needed to reduce the pressure on Nigeria’s environment. Another reason to go is to see my brother’s gorgeous cinematography, which captures the environmental devastation in Nigeria as well as the great beauty that still remains. If you miss the premiere, the Yar’Adua Centre is planning to sponsor a series of screenings around the country, and I will try to post updates here.
Some Core Productions images taken during the shooting for the documentary:
At the African Studies Association conference in Indianapolis last November (2014), Nollywood scholar Connor Ryan asked me if I’d like to collaborate with him on an interview with filmmaker Kenneth Gyang, one of the founders of Cinema Kpatakpata. Kenneth’s film Confusion Na Wa won the awards for Best film and Best Nigerian film at the 9th Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2013. (It was nominated for four)
At the time we interviewed him (directly before the screening), I had not yet seen Confusion Na Wa! and I really wish I had, as I would have had even more questions. It is a brilliant film that, within a fractured tragi-comic plot, captures well the kinds of daily life and conversations Nigerians have. I need to see it one more time before I write a review.
In the meantime, if you are in Nigeria, Confusion Na Wa is currently back in cinemas via Filmhouse Cinemas, which has locations in Kano, Lagos, Ibadan Calabar, Port Harcourt, and Asaba. If you are in Kano, it is playing now at 10:10am Friday through Thursday. Go see it. If you are in the U.S., Kenneth Gyang has been on a tour, and I believe Confusion Na Wa will be screening at the University of Georgia on February 28, this Saturday, although I wasn’t able to find it on the UGA calender.
I didn’t project my questions very well in the video interview (only Kenneth was mic-ed), so some of my contributions got cut in the editing, but I loved Connor’s questions (he wrote one of the first and probably one of the best reviews of the film when it first came out in 2013) and Kenneth’s answers. Here is a link to some of Kenneth’s transcribed answers, and below is the video of the interview. Enjoy.
This morning, I yielded to the temptation to go onto Facebook before starting my work. I found waiting for me a private message from a friend telling me that Rabilu Musa aka ‘Dan Ibro, the most famous comedian and perhaps the most famous actor in the Hausa film industry, had just passed away.(BBC, Premium Times, RFI). He was only in his forties. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un.
It is a gutting loss to the industry and to millions of people all over northern Nigeria, who laughed at Ibro’s antics even as the bombs were exploding around them.
I’ve been gone from this blog since June, since even before then, really, as I tried to reduce distractions to a bare minimum while I pushed out the PhD. I kept up with the column at Weekly Trust until August. A week before my revisions were due, I desperately asked my editor for a month break, which he graciously granted me. I finished the PhD and then just kind of collapsed. I had been taking two days and an all nighter every week trying to write my weekly column. I had written throughout the last four years of my PhD programme, even through the defense. But with the kidnap of the Chibok girls and ever more atrocities coming out of the northeast, sometimes venturing further West, I felt like I couldn’t write about anything else. How can you write about novels and movies and walks in pretty American parks when ethnic cleansing is going on—when perhaps some of your readers have been killed in the violence? My one-month break turned into many months. I got busy applying for academic jobs and going to conferences and travelling back and forth to Nigeria. I pushed away thoughts of the column. I couldn’t handle the thought of having one more deadline every week or of having to write anything else while people were being murdered and bombs were going off.
Then ‘Dan Ibro died.
And I realized he made people laugh in the midst of all of these horrors (In October there was even a Ibro Likitan Ebola poster floating around on Twitter), and that perhaps it is this laughter, these stories, these songs, these dreams of ordinary people in ordinary and extraordinary times, that are what help us
survive. We shouldn’t allow Boko Haram or any other threat to take laughter and story and song away from us. During the Jos crisis of 2008, dozens of people sought refuge in our house. One night, I brought out my vcd of Ibro Dan Siyasa [Ibro Politician], and everyone, all crammed into our parlour, sat there laughing. Christians in Jos laughing at the Muslim Ibro’s comedy, in the midst of a religious/ethnic/political crisis. I thought, then, that there is a bridge here, this Kannywood, this comedy, there’s something here that goes beyond the bitter statements I’d heard from Christian refugees throughout the crisis. The same people who had cursed “the Hausa” and cursed “the Muslims” were laughing at ‘Dan Ibro. His comedy was bigger than fear and hatred and politics.
So here are my own memories of Ibro.
Like any fan, I have watched dozens of his films—playing in the background on Africa Magic Hausa as I would write in my room or in the little kiosk where I bought yoghurt and bread when I lived in Kano. I’d watch short comedy sketches excerpted from his longer films that musicians and filmmakers would show me on their phones in studios. Sometimes I’d peek over the shoulders of strangers in taxis giggling at an Ibro sketch on their phone.
When a director and producer I did not know approached me on Zoo Road with the idea for Ibro Ya Auri Baturiya, I laughed and agreed without too much further thought. I liked the idea. I said I would do it, if I could get an interview with Ibro. The producer agreed.
Ibro Ya Auri Baturiya was made in early 2009, in the midst of the Kano State Censorship crisis. Because of the crisis, we had to leave Kano to shoot the film. We met up with Rabilu Musa on the outskirts of Kano, and I rode in the back seat of his car as he drove towards Jigawa State. He was dressed in a normal white kaftan, and without the bright signature costume, the tall red cap or the comedian’s grin, he looked like an ordinary person—not one of Nigeria’s biggest stars. He was very quiet and did not say much as we drove. Even with all of my exposure to Kannywood, I remain bashful in the presence of fame. I hoped for an interview but didn’t quite know how to ask him. We stopped once on the side of the road, perhaps to buy snacks, and people passed without recognizing him until some of the children did a double take and then started chanting “Ibro, Ibro.”
We arrived at a village a little bit outside of Dutse in Jigawa, and we ate lunch before starting to shoot. I was still too shy to talk to him, as you can see from the below photo of me grinning like an idiot while Ibro eats in the background. But the director fulfilled his part of the bargain, and we had a brief 6-7 minute interview. I tried to ask him about his ordeal the year before, at the hands of the Kano State Censorship Board. He didn’t want to talk about it. I got what I could. (I’ve transcribed the Hausa, though I haven’t yet translated it, and will post it later on this blog).
Then it was time to act. I was led to a small, borrowed room in someone’s compound and told to change into my “Western dress”. About a minute later, before I had a chance to smooth down my hair still flattened from my headtie, I was rushed out to do the first scene where I drag (my own) suitcase into the village with Ibro, asking him why we aren’t going to Abuja as he promised me. There was no script. At least none that I was given. The director gave us a minute of instruction (I was to speak in English at first and later in broken Hausa), and we were off. Ibro is a brilliant comedian and knew exactly what to do. I just tried to keep up.
That day, Ibro had somewhere else to be. I completed my scenes with him, a few more were cut, perhaps, and he rushed off to his next film. We continued with Baba Ari, ‘Dan Auta, and the others at a more leisurely pace.
After production, I was embarrassed. I felt I had acted terribly. I felt like if produced differently it could have, perhaps, been funnier. I never mentioned the film on this blog and rarely elsewhere, because I didn’t want people to see me in it.
But on the streets, people would call out “matan Ibro,” “matan Ibro.” People would jokingly ask me how my husband Ibro was. And so it was that “matan Ibro” became part of my public persona, even though I was still too shy to talk to him.
Eventually, I was able to overcome my embarrassment enough to watch parts 1 through 3 of the Ibro Ya Auri Baturiya and to look at it with enough distance to include an analysis of it in my PhD dissertation. I realized that it didn’t matter how I acted. It wasn’t about me. The baturiya was just a symbol to be played with and mocked—some of the funniest scenes were discussions of the baturiya, where I did not appear but which were made possible by my token appearance elsewhere: the baturiyar kwantainer, Ibro could not pass off to his friend once I became a nuisance because he claimed he had gotten me from a container, which could have come from Togo or Benin, rather than America; the baturiya whom Ibro really “made suffer” as people on the street would laugh to me.
Ibro Ya Auri Baturiya was where I most connected with Rabilu Musa, but he had many more brilliant films. They weren’t usually polished, but they were usually hilarious and filled with sometimes biting political humour. The character of Ibro took on a life of his own. His voice often imitated by singers, including Sadi Sidi Sharifai, so that the character Ibro became disembodied from the actor himself. I mention him over 40 different times in my PhD thesis, and do an extended analysis of his film Kotun Ibro, a sly dig at the mobile court which persecuted so many filmmakers during the censorship crisis.
Dan Ibro was an institution. He has become an era.
He will not act in any new films, but he will stay with us in a thousand different comedies. I heard his voice singing on the radio today, as a broadcaster mourned him. He brawls and weeps and shouts and complains and dances on a million different screens. We will keep laughing, even when, perhaps, we should be crying.
Allah ya jikansa, Allah ya sa shi huta. Yaba mu hakurin wannan babban rashi.
As I wrote this today, I saw the news of another bomb in Kano at the Kwari cloth market. Allah ya kiyaye mu. What a horrible day Kano has had.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming to contemplate how many people from the Hausa film industry have died in the past few years. Here are my tributes to a few of them.
Actress Hauwa Ali Dodo (Biba Problem), who died 1 January 2009,
Director Zilkiflu Muhammed (Zik), who died 18 February 2010,
Actress Safiya Ahmed, who died on 26 February 2010,
Actress Amina Garba, who died on 21 November 2010,
Comedian and director Lawal Kaura, who died on 13 December 2011,
Actress Maryam Umar Aliyu, who died on 12 April 2011,
Director Muhammadu Balarabe Sango, who died on 1 December 2012
INVITATION – KANNYWOOD AWARD 2013KANNYWOOD AWARD 2013 is the first edition for “Arewa” music and movie industry (Kannywood) and is the largest gathering of Kannywood artistes, Technical crew, relevant individuals and groups. This is a must attend event for anyone with responsibility in the entertainment industry. Attending this event is an excellent opportunity to promote Face of Kannywood.The “Paradigm Uplift and Unity” refers to a movement which seeks not only to implement and achieve this Kannywood Award show, but to advance Arewa cultural heritage by introducing innovative methodology, new thinking and changing the perception of existing outlook of Kannywood image.The event will feature gathering of Kannywood artistes, technical crew, who is who, yellow carpet, banquet, stage show and jamboree of special guests.The event is scheduled take place on 23rd NOV. 2013 […]In view of this and regarding your passion and contribution to the growth of the industry, we write to invite you to grace with your presence the occasion as Special Guest .The event is supported by MTN Nigeria.Thank you very for your usual understanding and cooperation .Kind regardsHamisu Lamido IyantamaChairman Organizing/Security Committee.
The Nominations, which I got from the organizers of the awards, are as follows. [UPDATE: I have filled in the winners with help from Kannywood Scene: Kannywood Scene also lists a few awards that were not on the original list: Zahraddeen Sani won the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Fulani; Sani Danja recieved an Icon of Entertainment Award; Falalu Dorayi won the Golden Jury Award; and Alhaji Sani Zamfara and Rabi’u Haruna Al-Rahuz won an award for Best Marketers. Unfortunately, the Kannywood Scene list left off a few of the awards that were on the original nomination list. I have also heard from other sources that (my former student!) Nomiis Gee won the award for Best Hausa Hiphop Rapper, Sadiq Salihu Abubakar won Kannywood’s Best R&B Artiste, Jos-based director and producer Sani Mu’azu won a lifetime achievement award, alongside Ibrahim Mandawari, Audu Kano Karkuzu, Samanja, and Hamisu Lamido Iyantama. Thanks to Masaud KanoRiders for a lot of this information.
1. BEST ACTOR LEAD
Karen Bana Adamu A. Zango
‘Yan Uwan Juna Sadik Sani Sadik
Daga Allah ne Sani Musa Danja
Matan Gidan Ali Nuhu [Winner]
2. BEST ACTRESS
Ahlal Kitab Nafisa Abdullahi [Winner]
Jarumin Maza Fati Ladan
Sultan Maryam Gidado
Matan Gida Halima Atete
Kicimilli Ado Isa
Suwaga Aminu Shariff
Aliya Rabi’u Ibrahim Daushe [WINNER]
Oga Abuja Rabilu Musa
4. BEST SOUND
Aliya Munnir Zango, Ibrahim Sodangi
Jarumin Maza Kabiru A Zango
Yankin Imani Rabi’u Manra
Ta’addanci Ibrahim Sodangi
Yankin Imani Auwalu DG/Ibrahim IBB
Wani Gari Aminu One Eye [WINNER]
Fulani Sadiqu Artist
Jarumin Maza Abdul’aziz Dan Small
6. BEST PICTURE
Hubbi Ali Nuhu
Wani Gari Yassin Auwal [WINNER]
Jarumin Maza Kamal S. Alkali
Ta’addanci Sadik N. Mafia
Ta’addanci Danlami Ali/ Isma’il M Isma’il
Karen Bana Auwalu Ali Jos/ Isma’il M Isma’il
Kece Buri na Dan Juma Dunje
Izinah Sadik N. Mafia
8. BEST ACTOR VILLAIN ROLE
Dan Marayan Zaki Sadiq Ahmad
Jarumin Maza Tanimu Akawu [WINNER]
Sultan Maryam Gidado
Uwar Miji Hajara Usman
Wata Hudu Shu’aibu Lawal Kumurci
‘Yan Uwan Juna Sadiq Sani Sadiq
Karen Bana Sanusi Dan Yaro
Ta’addanci Saddam A Koli/Adam A Zango [WINNER]
‘Yan Uwan Juna Suleiman Abubakar/ Nura Abubakar/ Ubaidu Yusif
Ahlal Kitab Suleiman Abubakar/ Kabiru Ali
Wata Hudu Aminu Saira [WINNER]
‘Yan uwan Juna Mansoor Sadiq/ Ali Nuhu
Karen Bana Falalu A Dorayi
Ta’adanci Sadiq M Mafia
Karen Bana Nazir Adam Salihi
‘Yan uwan Juna Auwalu Y Abdullahi/Mujaheed M Gombe/ Badaru Bala
Jarumin Maza Kamal S Alkali
Daga Allah ne Yakubu M. Kumo [WINNER]
Ahlal Kitab Tahir I Tahir
Dan Marayan Zaki Faruk Sayyadi Garba [WINNER]
Wani Gari Habibu Haruna
Yankin Imani Bala Usher
13. SOUND TRACK
Wani Gari Nazir M Ahmed [WINNER]
Suwaga Abdulbasi Abdulmumin
Karen Bana Ibrahim Sodangi
Namiji Duniya Auwal Flash
14. SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Ahlal Kitab Nafisa Abdullahi
Lamiraj Rahama Hassan
Suwaga Ladidi Abdullahi (Tubless)
Kicimilli Ladi Muhammed (Mutu Ka Raba) [Winner]
(Update 24 November 2013. On the list of nominations the organizers of the award provided me before the event, there was no “Best Supporting Actor category,” but that must have been an oversite. According to Kannywood Scene, Zahraddeen Sani won the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in Fulani.)
15. NEW COMING ACTRESS
Matan Gida Aisha Aliyu (Tsamiya) [WINNER]
Sultan Maryam Gidado
Hubbi Fadila Muhammed
Basaja Shamsiyya Isah
Matan Gida Fati Washa
16. VISUAL EFFECT
Daga Allah ne Aminu Musa Dan Jalo [WINNER]
17. BEST KID ACTOR
Sultan Sayyada M Adam [WINNER]
Akan Ido na Ahmad Ali Nuhu
18. BEST ORIGINAL STORY
Uwar Miji Zainab Inusa Odariko
Daga Allah ne Iliyasu Abdulmumini Tantiri [WINNER]
Wani Gari Yassen Auwal
Basaja Adam A Zango
Gidan Dadi Duniya Hamza Talle Maifata
Salma Ramadan Both
Gidan Dadi Duniya Adamu Ishere [WINNER]
1. Basaja Adam A. Zango [WINNER]
2. Data Hudu Rabi’u Baffa
3. Jarumin Maza Rabi’u Dalle
4. Izinah Sadi Sidi
1. Wani Gari Naziru Ahmad
2. Daga Allah ne Sadi Sidi Sharifai [WINNER]
3. Hubbi Nura M. Inuwa
4. Wata Hudu Nazifi Asnanic
BEST BACKGROUND SINGER MALE
1. Gani Gaka Yakubu Muhammad [WINNER]
2. Wata Hudu Nazifi Asnanic
3. Daga Allah ne Sadi Sidi
4. Basaja Hussaini A. Hussaini
1. Basaja Jamila Kofar Waika
2. Wata Hudu Zuwaira Isma’il [WINNER]
3. ‘Yan uwan Juna Maryam Muhammad
4. Gani Gaka Jamila A. Sadin
WANI GARI [WINNER]