Category Archives: Uncategorized

Xtend foundation fellowships for African students

[UPDATE: Just communicated with the scholarship founder, and the deadline for application is October 31, so there is still time…. APPLY!!!]

I’m sorry for the long delay in posting to this blog! I have been travelling and busy and have not had as much news to update.

Here’s something a bit late (the deadline is October 1–UPDATE–Make that October 31), but which still might be useful (there are still a few days left in September!). A friend of mine has started a small scholarship fund to help exceptional African students fund their undergraduate education in Africa. According to the Xtend foundation website, they

“granted 6 (six) scholarships […] in 2008 and hope to award an additional 25 (twenty five) scholarships to exceptional African undergraduate students during the 2009/2010 academic session.

The applicants awarded last year were all from south-western Nigerian universities; however, the goal of the founders is to help fund students throughout Africa.

Applicants must have a 3.5/5.0 GPA and come from families with an annual income less than $10,000. The application must include personal university information like a student ID number, name of department, and GPA, as well as reference information from the Head of Department and another lecturer. There is also a short 500 word essay explaining why you deserve the fellowship.

The application window is between August 1 and October 31. You can find out more information and download the application file at http://www.xtendfoundation.org/application.

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…).

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.

 

On Students, optimism, and movies they like

Last week while sitting in the high court waiting for the next hearing in the  MOPPAN lawsuit against the Kano State Censorship Board and other bodies to begin (it ended up being rescheduled for July 15), I received a phone call from a student representative saying they had been waiting for me for an hour in class. It turns out that I had apparently been assigned by the Mass Communications Department, which is hosting me while I am here in Kano doing my PhD research, to lecture the 4rth year course “Media and Gender” that I had taught last year. Everyone else in the department is so swamped with multiple teaching responsibilities that I felt it would be unfair to my colleagues refuse, especially because I already had material I had prepared for the course last year. This will be, however, the last time I am able to accept such an assignment from the university during my time in Kano because of restrictions (starting in August of this year) on work non-related to my research from the academic sponsors of my PhD research. Yet, while I was less than thrilled about teaching during a few months when I had planned to work on several articles and my dissertation research, I find it difficult to hold on to resentment when I am physically present in the classroom. It’s such a joy to be in a class full of smart, spirited, and open-minded students, who seem so genuinely excited about learning. In them I see a hope and idealism that gives me encouragment after a month in which, I admit (perhaps some of it the lingering effects of the robbery), Nigeria had me very discouraged.

 

In all of the classes I teach, I have students write out a few of their reasons for taking the course, what they hope to do with their degree (in this case Mass Communications) when they graduate, and (for fun) their favourite movies (or in literature classes that I teach, I also add novels).

 

While we were discussing stereotypes, I asked, as an example, what might be some stereotypes about Nigeria. They called out “un-patriotic” and “unromantic” in addition to the expected “corruption,” “indiscipline” etc. But in answering my question about why they had studied Mass Communication, many of the students defied these stereotypes about Nigerian cynicism and “unpatriotism” with idealistic paragraphs about how they wanted to help their country and society after they graduated. The students mentioned wanting to establish careers in print and broadcast journalism/media, public relations, marketing, advertising, NGO work in health communication and behaviour change, fashion design and academia. In addition, (I’m afraid these responses reflect the gender inequality of the class which is made up of about 2/3 men and 1/3 women—an inbalance that I believe is reflected in the university at large) some of their motivations for studying Mass Communication were as follows:

 

Male: “[I want to] promote national unity in my country, growth in terms of economy, politics and culture, to protect individual rights, human rights and freedom of speech”

 

Male: “I want to help people to know their rights through media”

 

Male: “I hope to… be able to communicate efficiently globally”

 

Male: “I hope to become a professional journalist so as to come up with positive changes in the profession”

 

Male “[I hope to] promote peace and gender issues through the mass media, and to highlight the obstacles and stereotyping issues.”
Male: “I am taking the course because I was disappointed and embarrassed on how women are treated in our societies. I hope to learn how I could be able to help in addressing such problems…. I want to help in educating and informing people and equally to engage in investigative journalism.”

 

Female: “As the saying goes the pen is mightier than the sword. So in order to effect changes in our community and the nation at large therefore there is the need for effective communication…”

 

Male: “[I want to] disseminate some issues affecting our people that are not or under reported in the broadcast and print medium. To become the voice of the voiceless.”

 

Female: “I would … like to establish my own media organization to give people a means of employment and helping people to air their views and to also create awareness among them on various issues arising”

 

Male: “After realizing the power of media, I decided to study mass communication to help the less priviliged.”

 

Male: “I hope to use [the Mass Communications Degree] to serve in developing my country, the nation and beyond by being a sincere media practitioner.”

 

Female: “I hope to educate, enlighten, and entertain people both in rural and urban areas in order to make them know what is happening around the globe”

 

And specifically from women on gender:

 

“I hope to learn my role as a female in broadcast media and the position of my opposite sex as well (male) so that I can’t be cheated.”

 

“I’m interested in knowing why people tend to differentiate male from female while we are all human and we could actually do similar things…. knowing about gender in our society will help me interact more, know my rights, etc.”

 

“I feel not a lot of women are in the media industry. I also feel as a woman I have a lot of potential to give the media industry…. I … took this course to let other people know that a woman is capable of handling the camera, capable of being a good journalist and has the concept of being innovative in advertising. This would reflect what I intend to become in future… to give the notion that a woman is as capable in the media industry as any other man.”

 

Now, certainly some of these responses might have been an attempt to present themselves to me in a positive light, but (being an irrepressible optimist who can’t stay down much longer than a month) I tend to hope that the liveliness and passion I see in these fourth year students (in their classroom discussion as well as their written career goals) are an indication of better things to come. (If only these bright young students can escape the swamp of the past and present… Is this just the idealism of all students before they get pounded down by life? Can we (to appropriate an Obama campaign cliché in a question that is as applicable to Nigeria as it is for the U.S.) take hope and turn it into substantial change? Can the media, through pointing out inequalities and injustice, actually bring about change or merely be impotent scolders with no way to act? For those who want careers in advertising and public relations, will campaigns like the “Good People, Great Nation” actually be of any use to anyone or just another slogan for people to make fun of [as a student so ably provided “Bad People, Nonsense Nation.] Have the “beautyful ones been born” yet? Will they ever be born?)

 

[…]

 

Not only do these little papers give me a better idea about the personality of the students and the composition of the class, but I always find the question of their favourite movies fascinating. My little survey is completely unscientific, but I think it provides some insight into the media that have influenced the popular imagination of this generation. I’ve divided the responses into rough categories here. I had said that they should (just for fun) write their favourite movies, and then as an example said, it can be anything: Nigerian movies in any language: Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, English, Tiv…, Hollywood, Indian films etc. As a result I got quite a few people who just gave me a category like “Hausa movies” or “Indian films.” Some of them would write things like “Nigerian movies, English and Hausa.” (I have not noted in the results each time a person noted multiple loves.)

 

These responses come from 65 students. If this is like my other class (which ended up being a total of 135), more students will trickle in as the semester goes on.

 

Nigerian films (5 people mentioned Nigerian films in general as their favourite category, with two others mentioning specifically Nigerian English films)

Specific English Nigerian films other people liked were:

First Lady

Violated

True Love

World Apart

 

Hausa movies (10 people mentioned that their favourite movies were the general categories of Hausa films).

Two others were more specific, with one person saying:

 “Hausa comedy (Ibro)”

and one saying “Filazal, a film produced by FKD productions”

 

Yoruba movies (also called Yoruwood by someone)

Three people mentioned Yoruba films as their favourite category

One person mentioned the Yoruba film Oleku, as a favourite

 

Igbo film (one person mentioned Igbo film as their favourite category)

 

American films (two people mentioned American films specifically as their favourite category; however, students mentioned more specific titles of “Hollywood” movies than any other category. I realize these are not all technically American films, since many of them are multi-national productions. I was not sure whether to classify Slumdog millionnaire, which was mentioned quite a few times as a “Hollywood film” or Indian film. I have decided to classify it as Indian, since that is how it is often referred to here, and since there are so many under the American/Hollywood division.

 

Hollywood films

–any detective film (American)

Who am I?” Jackie Chan (Check whether this is Hollywood or Hong Kong production)

Anaconda

The Pirates of the Caribbean

Titanic

Prison Break (two people mentioned this TV series as their favourite and I know many others in the Kannywood film industry, including myself, who are obsessed with the series)

Roots, produced by Alex Haley

James Bond (Tomorrow Never Dies)—American movie

300 Spartans

Lord of the Rings

Music (not sure if this is a Hollywood movie or not?)

Soul Food

Harry Potter

Cat & Rat

Hope Floats, ConAir, Princess Diaries

Double Platinum, ATI, Slumdog Millionaire (see this counted under Indian category), Maid of Honor, The House Bunny

Pretty Woman

X-Men

High school Musical

 

Indian films/Bollywood (Five people mentioned Bollywood as a favourite category)

Slumdog Millionaire (four people mentioned this as a favourite film

Kal ho na ho (also one of my favourites, was listed twice)

 

Finally, the Islamic epic The Message was listed by one person as their favourite film.

 

A few others listed no films at all, one saying “The national and local movies are just developing, … personally I do not have any favourite movie because they do nto represent our culture and mode of thinking and doing things, but maybe if I come across any that pass this test I would accept it.”

 

So, that is my little portrait of my student’s goals and movie favourites. Hopefully I will be able to maintain my enthusiasm through the rest of the month I am trying to cram this course into. (Send positive energetic thoughts my way… I really have to get my articles done too….)

Armed Robbers… We are all fine…

I don’t want to write very much right now. I will probably write more privately and then share what I can publically later. But, just to let those of you who follow this blog know, my family and some friends were attacked by armed robbers last night around 9pm in my parent’s house. We are all fine. They did not harm anyone physically except for my father whom they shot at from about 5 inches away (it must have been a blank or a cap gun because he was not wounded) and then kicked in the mouth. He sustained only minor bruises and scratches. The rest of us in the house, my sister and her friend, my mother, the PhD from the U.S. who is staying with them, and two little girls from across the street are all fine.

The whole ordeal only lasted about 20 minutes although it felt like much longer. Fortunately, our neighbors heard the first gunshot and the robbers shouting at us to lie down on the floor. They called the mobile police/soldiers who came a little while later. The soldiers shot at the robbers who ran away on foot.

We are all fine. We have actually been laughing ever since they left.

There is so much to laugh about. There is so much to be thankful for. 

They took a few things but left us all intact, which is the most important thing. We thank God.

We have felt very loved by our community and the steady stream of visitors, some of whom even came by last night immediately after the robbery.

I will post more as I can. Thank you for your prayers.

travelling–please bear with the hiatus in posts

I am currently travelling. There are several things I have been intending to post, but my travel/writing schedule is interrupting my blog focus. Bear with me. I’ll be back soon with lots of posts…

5th Jos Festival of Theatre 2009

(just recieved the following announcement via the Jos-ANA listserve. Wish I were in Jos…. Anyone in Kano want to take a trip?) 

JOS REPERTORY THEATRE

                                             presents

                       5TH JOS FESTIVAL OF THEATRE 2009

10 DAYS OF EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES TO WATCH LIVE ON STAGE

ATHOL FUGARDS WOZA ALBERT directed by Tunde Awosanmi, 20 / 21st March,

BOSE AYENI-TSEVENDE’S MORNING YET AGAIN, a musical based on the book U ARE A
POET, written and choreographed by Bose Ayeni-Tsevende, 22nd March

SPENCER OKOROAFOR’S VISA TO NOWHERE directed by Eucharia Egah, 23rd March

PHILLIP BEGHO’S SMALLIE directed by Wapi Barau, 24th March

JEAN PAUL SARTRE’S NO
EXIT directed by Patrick-Jude Oteh and supported by the
French Cultural Centre, Abuja , 25th March

ADINOYI OJO ONUKABA’S A RESTING PLACE directed by Emmanuel Degri, 26th / 27th
March

WOLE SOYINKA’S THE TRIALS OF BROTHER JERO, directed by Austin Efe Okonkwo,
28th / 29th March

……………..all plays are suitable for all ages………………….

ALL PLAYS END AT 7..15 P.M.

DATES: FRIDAY 20TH – SUNDAY 29TH MARCH, 2009

VENUE: ALLIANCE FRANCAISE, OPPOSITE STANDARD BUILDING , JOS

TIME: 5.00 P.M. DAILY

GATE: N500, STUDENTS   N 200.

PLEASE CALL 0803 700 0496, 0805 953 5215, 0803 701 8172 further enquiries

Or e.mail: josreperthea@yahoo.com for tickets.

TICKETS WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE AT THE GATE!

Jos Festival of Theatre is made possible by the FORD FOUNDATION and the French
Cultural
Centre, Abuja

PLEASE BRING A FRIEND TO THE THEATRE

Temporarily removing interviews with Kano Censor’s Board DG Alhaji Rabo and MOPPAN VP Dr. Sarari

I am temporarily removing portions of the interview with the Kano State Censor’s Board Director General Alhaji Abubakar Rabo Abdulkarim and the Vice President of MOPPAN Ahmad Sarari, because I’m writing an article for a publication that will not pay me if the quotes are published elsewhere. Check back next week. I will restore  parts of the interview I haven’t quoted in the publication, and will provide a link to the article.

I would also take down the interview with Sani Mu’azu, but (alas) NigerianFilms.com reprinted it without my permission, so it is out of my control….

(UPDATE 14 March 2009: The entire transcript of the interview  with the director general of the censorship board is back up. A very edited version of the interview can be found at Next. The entire transcript of the interview with Dr. Sarari, VP of MOPPAN, is also back up.

Director of Photography Workshop Begins at the Alliance Francaise, Kano, Ali Jita marries, and news about clash of ‘yan acaba with governor’s entourage

Abbas Sadiq and Sanin Maikatanga at bikin Ali Jita da Nafisa Laila

Hausa director and actor Abbas Sadiq and editor of Fim Magazine Sani Maikatanga examine a poster of the bride and groom at the wedding party of Ali Jita and Nafisa Laila (c) CM

Today I attended the opening ceremony of the MOPPAN Director of Photography 5-day workshop that is being held at the Alliance Francaise in conjunction with the French embassy. I came in late because I didn’t know where the Alliance Francaise was and “na yawo gari” on the back of an acaba. I walked in (having to walk in front of the high table in front of everyone… ai) for the end of a speech by the Director General of the Kano State Censorship Board, Abubakar Rabo Abdulkarim, followed by a speech by VP of MOPPAN, Dr. Ahmad Sarari, in which he requested the permission of the Censorship Board for the workshop participants to shoot in Kano for the duration of the workshop. The DG agreed. Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, a professor of education and a cultural anthropologist in the Department of Mass Communication, also gave a speech.  After all the speech making, refreshments were served, most of the academics and journalists left, and the directors of photography got down to the business of workshopping.

In other news, Hausa musician Ali Jita and his bride Nafisa Laila were married this weekend and hosted a party, a dinner, and an “Indian night,” attended by a gaggle of Kannywood stars and Hausa musicians.

And on the youth/politics front, here is an article on the front page of today’s Leadership by my friend Abdulaziz A. Abdulaziz that is worth a read:

20 Injured as Youth Clash with Shekarau’s Entourage