Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hausa video Jamila and "amputation"

This morning, our phone line went down (perhaps because of the hellishly cold weather?), and our internet has been spasmodically been in and out. I borrowed a neighbor's cell phone to call the phone company, and I got a completely automated message. Apparently a repair person will come sometime before Tuesday. This is a little alarming--and since I was borrowing someone's phone, I couldn't just keep calling back till I got an operator. I'm not sure why our internet is still working since it is DSL that comes through the phone line, but I'm grateful. It has been a bit spotty, and this afternoon when the internet was down too, I kept feeling as if I were missing a part of myself, as if an essential part of myself had been amputated. This is how I feel my first week or so when I go back to Nigeria and have to go to an internet cafe to get internet. Eventually, the obsessive compulsive need to be on the internet subsides and you can be a normal human being, going three weeks at a time without checking email. I wonder... are we making ourselves into cyborgs--giving ourselves a sixth sense, instant access to knowledge, this boundaryless communication?

At any rate, here is the song that has been going through my head for a while--a particularly excellent Hausa song and dance number. Sani Danja and Mansura Isa with _Jamila_.


Fred said...

I really enjoyed that one! Brought a smile to my face by the end. Reminds me of early (80s) Bollywood movie dance numbers.

I wonder why the guy insisted on wearing "western" dress only?

Talatu-Carmen said...

Fred, Glad you enjoyed it.

And, yes, the Bollywood comparison is the first thing people tend to make when they watch Hausa films (one of which this clip is taken from). Hausa films are stylistically quite different from other Nollywood films, because of the inclusion of the obviously Bollywood influenced song and dance numbers. From what I heard from the filmmakers, the song and dance numbers are a "must" for the Kano market--people won't buy them without them. Also they use the songs as their adverts for the films--and sell the soundtracks seperately on cassette tape. And when they are well done, as this one is, they do just that--leave you with a big goofy grin. The songs and dances are part of why I love Hausa film so much.

Actually, if you watched closely, Sani Danja is in Fulani garb the couple of times that he is shot alongside the girls when they have on their Fulani outfits, but there aren't a lot of shots of him in it. As for the rest of the time, yeah, in the Hausa films, the actors tend to wear western dress a little more than the actresses do--perhaps reflecting the way contemporary urban youth actually do dress? not sure.

Nilla said...

Really loved the video.

And I agree it did sound like an indian song.

Naija Vixen said...

luvvn the video...echoing nilla on it soundn lyk an indian song but i thoroughly enjoyed it!guud work!

Anonymous said...

i do agree, the song is great....but why do hausa dancers dance like they are puppets in a puppet show? i think the industry would benefit from better choreography. also, they need to get experienced wardrobe people-some of their costumes are hideous! no color coordination whatsoever.

Talatu-Carmen said...


thanks for your comment! These are certainly issues to think about--and they are issues often brought up in Fim Magazine, and other forums for Hausa film discussion. But ultimately, doesn't it come down to aesthetic taste? Do they really dance like puppets in a puppet show, or is it that their dancing isn't to your taste? Are the costumes hideous (and, yes, i think some of them are too...) or is it that you think they look hideous because they are not something you would wear? Are there universals for "colour coordination"?

Anyway, the comments are always helpful, and I'm pretty sure that the Hausa filmmakers pay close attention to their audience feedback. It's a constantly growing, changing industry, and that's what's so exciting about it.