|The actor Adam A. Zango was imprisoned for producing and releasing an uncensored hip-hop video. The incident was a part of the ongoing crisis within the Kannywood film industry in northern Nigeria.
Article by: Kristina Funkeson, Freemuse
According to an article in Weekly Trust, Zango was the first actor to end up in prison for violating the new restrictions of the Kano State Censorship Board. On the 18 September 2007, Zango was in court – accused of violating two aspects of the Kano State Censorship Board’s law: producing and releasing an uncensored music video album.
According to the executive secretary of the Censorship Board, interviewed by the Weekly Trust, Zango’s crime consisted of:
The executive secretary further explained that “the type of dressing and dancing portrayed in one of the videos contravened the teachings of Islam and Hausa culture as well, adding that the dressing in the video portrayed nudity to a certain degree”, writes the Weekly Trust.
Trial and punishment
Zango was sentenced to three months of imprisonment without option or fine on the first charge, and another three months of imprisonment or a fine of 100,000 Naira (about 850 US dollars) on the second charge.
The spokesperson from the Censorship Board announced that any artist violating the law will be prosecuted. “We are determined to sanitise the industry despite the hardship we are going to face”, he told the Weekly Trust.
Leaving the region
A spokesperson of the Home-Alone Hausa Film Production company told the Daily News: “The prosecution of Adam is a clear indication that the state government is tired of Hausa film artists in the state.”
One of the restrictions that are doing most damage to the Kannywood film industry is the ban on singing and dancing. This is a part of a new approach adopted by the new management of the Kano State Censorship Board, in order to ‘sanitise’ the film industry.
The “Kannywood” industry in the north is even bigger, but less known since it’s only accessible to people speaking the Hausa language.
Kannywood started up in 1992 and is today employing over 14,000 people.
|Read more on Freemuse.org
‘Nigeria: Kano state bans all films from carrying music’
Leadership – March 2008:
‘The War Against Film-making’
Iafrica.com – 3 March 2008:
‘Kannywood hurt by sex scandal’
Daily Trust/AllAfrica.com – 3 November 2008:
‘Exodus of Artistes Hits Kannywood despite Peace Parley with KNSG’
Weekly Trust/AllAfrica.com – 1 october 2007:
‘How Adam A. Zango Ended Up in Prison’