By Muhammadu Sabiu
Barely thirty hours after The Daily Reality online newspaper published an article on the need to include Kannywood filmmakers in the Netflix Naija written by one of its editors, Muhsin Ibrahim, the streaming service has finally considered the adjuration made in the said article.
Muhsin Ibrahim, a PhD student at the University of Cologne, Germany and a teacher at the same institution, wrote an article titled “Dear Netflix Naija, there are films and filmmakers in northern Nigeria.” It was a reminder to the streaming service that Nigeria is of different cultures and religions. Therefore, according to him, it should not be treated in such a way that only films from a section of the country would be included in the streaming giant.
“Nigeria’s diversity cuts across many things, chiefly cultures, ethnicities, religions and regions. […] Due to these complexities, the country is a house to two significant film industries—Kannywood and Nollywood—with many smaller ones operating under these brands,” Ibrahim wrote.
Making his plea on behalf of the Kannywood filmmakers, the PhD candidate added, “I am not an agent of division, not at all. I am, instead, an advocate of fairness and inclusion of all, regardless of their culture, ethnicity, region, religion, among other diversities. Therefore, northern Nigerian filmmakers and their films should equally be aboard the ship Netflix captains in Nigeria.”
What were Kannywood filmmakers’ reactions?
A few hours after this newspaper published the article, Falalu A. Dorayi, a famous Kannywood member, took the entire article’s screenshots to his Instagram account, with the caption“A very good write up! Thank you very much for speaking on our behalf. @muhsin2008 Ibrahim”. The screenshots generated about 2.3k likes and over a hundred comments.
Also, Ali Nuhu, another prominent member of the Kannywood film industry, posted screenshots of the whole article with the same caption, under which several other members of the industry commented, including this:
@rahamasadau: “Hmmm, I wish I can [sic] add to this article…🤔👀”.
Acceptance of the Adjuration by Netflix Naija
Confirming the acceptance of the adjuration made in the article, Mr Ibrahim wrote on Facebook, “Sequel to the publication of my article on The Daily Reality last Saturday, Netflix Naija contacted a Kannywood director whose work they ignored for nearly a year. Thus, we shall soon watch a Kannywood production on Netflix. Nothing is more delightful to a budding writer.
“My informant, a Kannywood heavyweight, expressed his happiness, adding that “see the impact of writing”! He doesn’t know that I am probably happier. The Daily Reality is here to make a difference.
“May Allah help us, bring back peace to our region and country at large, amin.”
Kannywood, a predominantly Hausa-Muslim, Kano-based film industry, produces movies mainly in the Hausa language. The cinema has been facing tough challenges that revolve around its members’ handling of religion, culture and the likes.