Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ahmad S. Nuhu da Hafsat Shehu (daga Yayee)

Ahmad S. Nuhu tare da matarsa Hafsat Shehu a fim dinsu: Yayee (2006).

Ahmad S. Nuhu with his wife Hafsat Shehuh in their film Yayee (2006).

Allah ya jikansa. Allah ya sa ya hutu. Allah ya ba ta hakuri. May he rest in peace, and may God bring her comfort.

This clip gives me chills. Wayyo Allah! Bani da kalma cikin bakina sai wakoki da na karanta.

Sonnet 73
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
---William Shakespeare

1. Hazimul lazzati mutuwa
Baktatan ta ka zo wa kowa
Ba (notice) koko sanarwa,
In ta zo maka ba musawa,
Wai ka ce ba za ka je ba.

15. Mutuwa ba ta kulawa
Saurayi ko 'ya budurwa,
Yanzu ta mai she su gawa,
Babu sauran shak'atawa,
Ba ko za ta jira biki ba.

16. Mutuwa bara ya shaho,
Ta buge yaro da tsoho,
Ta kade kuturu makaho,
Wani ma tun kan a haiho,
Zai mace ba ko da wai ba.

17. Mutuwa in har ta sauka,
A gida wani za ta d'auka,
Ba ruwanta da masu son ka,
Yanzu ka ji ana ta kuka,
Wanda bai hana dauke ran ba.

18. Yanzu aya zan karanta,
'Yan'uwa kowa ya ji ta,
Ko na bayyana ma'anarta,
Yadda kowa zai fahimta,
Ba na bar ta dunk'ule ba.

19. Aina ma kuntum ku gane,
Yudrikumul mautu ku ne,
Ai walau kuntum mutane,
Fi Burujin can gaban ne,
'Yan'uwa ban k'arasa ba

20. Ma'ana Allahu ya ce,
Koina ne kun kasance,
Za ta zo muku kar ku mance,
Mutuwa Allah sa mu dace,
Kan ta zo mana duk mu tuba.
--Sani Yusuf Ayagi from Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino's novel Kaico!

Ran muturwar ki 'yar uwa
Sai da na sami damuwa,
Kai har ma da d'imuwa,
Na zama babu natsuwa,
Saboda son ki da k'auna.

26. Ranar na gigice,
Na kid'ime na d'imauce,
Saura k'is na haukace,
Don babu damar zance,
Da ke abar begena.

27. Bak'in cikin rabo da ke,
Ya sanya har kuka nake,
Kar ku zata batu nake,
Ciwon so ya mallake,
Ilahirin k'albina.

28. Cikin fushi da d'imuwa,
Tare da gigicewa,
Ya zam ina kokawa,
Ba damar jurewa,
Yau ba abar begena

29. Wayyo hoho ni ga ni,
Kauna ta kama ni,
Ta kuma gigita ni,
Kullum ina ta tunani,
A kan d'iya mai so na.
--Ado Ahmad Gidan Dabino, from his novel Kaico!

I have rough translations of these, but they are so bad, that I think it is best to leave as is.


Teju said...

Carmen, are they singing in Hausa?

It sounds just like a Bollywood track.

Talatu-Carmen said...


Thanks for the comment! Yes, they are singing in Hausa, and the Bollywood connection is definitely there. I mentioned this briefly in the comments section of another video I posted.

In fact Ahmad Nuhu and his uncle Ali Nuhu make no bones about taking inspiration from Indian films. Somewhere I read that Ali Nuhu claims to have taught himself Hindi from watching hundreds of Indian films. But, they aren't the only ones doing it. Almost all of the Hausa films have these musical interludes (with a few miniscule exceptions--like films sponsored by the British Council Reel Dialogues project).

The "Indian-style" dancing and singing aspects of Hausa film, are one of the major differences between Hausa films and other Nollywood productions. This is also one of the main things that critics attack them on--ie. "this is not our culture." But ironically, according to the producers, films without dancing and singing will be rejected by the Kano market. The song and dance numbers are used in the (just forgot this word) "previews" used to advertise the films on other VCDs, and they are also transferred to audio-cassette and become the soundtrack to everyday life in Kano and other northern cities.

There are a few producers and directors (and critics) who are trying to get rid of songs and dances--saying that if the story is good enough, people won't care about the musical numbers. It will be interesting to see what happens. I kind of hope that Hausa film does not evolve away from them. I really like them.

Teju said...

Thanks for that comprehensive response. Easy to tell you're an enthusiast (if your posting the video didn't already give the game away).

I know very little about Northern Nigerian filmmaking, and in fact I only knew about the Bollywood influence by reputation. I had heard a lecture. What wasn't clear, until now, was how closely both the dancing and the musical modes mimic, or pay homage to, what is happening in India.

It's quite lovely, actually, better in some ways than the relentless aggression of Yoruba and Ibo movies. How would you characterize the main difference between Hausa movies and the Southern ones, other than the musical aspects you've already mentioned?

Talatu-Carmen said...

Hi Teju,

Yes, I am an enthusiast. {-; I really do love Hausa films. I've given a couple of guest lectures in undergraduate classes on this, and I usually play a couple of clips from Bollywood films and a couple of clips from the Hausa films and ask the students to compare and contrast. It's a fun exercise.

As for the other differences between Southern Nollywood films and Hausa films, I am going to have to be humble and say I haven't actually seen enough of the Southern films to make any broad generalizations. I have a whole pile of Nollywood films waiting to be watched, but I so rarely find the time. But here are a few tries. 1) The dress codes and codes of behaviour in Hausa films are governed, for the most part, by the Kano State Censorship board. Therefore, while you might get some hot and heavy kissing in a Nollywood film, Hausa films have to be a bit more subtle. I thought the use of the exploding light added during the editing process from Ahmad to Hafsat's mouth in this clip was fascinating. I have not seen this before, but it seems to be a sneaky way of getting around the "no touching rule." Similarly, while women in Nollywood films often dress in shorter, sexier, more Western styles, actresses in Hausa films have to maintain more conservative dress. Officially, they are also supposed to have their heads covered, but I haven't seen that enforced in some of these new films. Supposedly if they can explain away the headtie within the bounds of the story, they can get rid of it.

2) I have not seen any of the Southern films made in Yoruba or Igbo, but I would say that between the films in Hausa I've seen and the Nigerian films in English that I've seen, the acting in Hausa is more "natural"--that is they don't seem to call as much attention to the fact that they are "acting." This is, of course, wide open for debate. (The Nollywood films I've seen are usually much more natural than tv soap operas like "Super Story.") Some Igbo friends told me that films in Igbo were more "natural" than those in English too.

3) The Southern films tend to be more "Christian," while the Northern films are more "Muslim." This is probably obvious just from the location, and I'm probably making a vast generalization that isn't necesarily always the case. But the deep structures of the cultures with which the young actors and directors are engaging are different. (Obviously)

4) The supernatural/ritual element seems to be stronger in Southern films. That said, in the Hausa films, there are also a lot of people going to bokas and having spells cast on other people, etc.--sometimes people will be turned into animals... so maybe that's not a valid contrast

5) Hausa films often seem driven by a romance plot that is often encapsulated in the song and dance numbers ... but there are wide variations on this, and they are not all as stereotypically "romantic" as is sometimes maintained by critics.

6) Nollywood films sometimes seem a little bit more technically sophisticated (as far as editing, production, etc.) than Hausa films, but the Hausa film techniques are getting more and more sophisticated every day--and I haven't seen enough Nollywood films to really know this.

And with that, I have exhausted the observations that I can really defend with examples. Hopefully, I will find the time to watch more Nollywood films soon. I wish I had a good Nigerian friend here and a good long break so that we could sit around watch films.... Maybe in a few months.... if I'm here over the summer, I can have a little "Nollywood film festival" for my dept. Right now I'm doing a "Hausa film festival" that about three people show up to every week. But at least it gives me the time to watch