Sunday, August 19, 2007

The latest Kannywood scandal

I have refrained from writing about this incident until now because I figured Kannywood was getting enough bad press right now, without me adding to it. But since Hausa video film and gender is my area of research, here is a brief synopsis of the situation.

A popular Kannywood actress Maryam Hiyana (screen name taken, as seems to be the custom, from a popular film she acted in... Hiyana) has recently been implicated in a sex video made on a mobile phone camera by her boyfriend, a Lagos-based Hausa businessman. The video, created sometime last year, lasts about eight minutes and apparently shows the two of them having sex. The video was somehow leaked about a week ago and has "gone viral" via email and cell phone. Since then, the actress and her fiance have gone into hiding and could face stoning under sharia law. Seventeen other very popular actors from the Hausa film industry have also been banned from making films. According to This Day, they "were not connected to the phone clip, but were involved in immoral acts like homosexuality, fornification and drunkeness, contrary to Islamic law. Islamic clerics in the state has already urged their supporters to shun the film industry." According to the Tribune, there has been a call to close production of Hausa films for the rest of the year in order to "sanitize" the industry.

This follows on the heels of a related scandal in which four actresses from the Kano film industry were accused of being involved in a polygamous lesbian wedding. The women involved denied the allegations, claiming that the celebration was a fundraiser (which sounds much more credible to me than a polygamous lesbian wedding in Kano....). A minor actress was also found guilty of murdering her politician boyfriend a few years ago.

My own take on this is that, of course, there is some "misbehaviour" going on, but that unfortunately individual scandals are taken by the public to represent the whole industry and to confirm pre-existing stereotypes that associate the film industry with the world of karuwanci (prostitution) and iskanci (immorality, drinking, etc.--unIslamic behaviour). This makes it almost impossible for a woman to become an actress and still be considered "respectable." She could be a saint in real life and still be labled as a karuwa because of her involvement with the film industry.

Kaico! C'est dommage. It's a shame, and it has been the one thing that has been making me sad this week (in a week when I am otherwise very happy).

I thought of posting a video clip with the said actress but have decided against it.

For more information Ibrahim Sheme has posted the details, in English and Hausa, on his blog Bahaushe Mai Ban Haushi! Here are other articles at Nigeria Exchange, This Day, Leadership, the Tribune [and another article from the Tribune], Reuters, and Gateway Pundit. Also see http://www.hausamovies.com/.

14 comments:

catwalq said...

1. I want to see the video because they better be swinging from a chadelier or something so I can see what the fuss is all about.

2. I am so disgusted. Somebody has sex with someone she intends to marry, an entire group brainwashed people start threatening fire and brimstone. Why cant they channel those efforts against their rulers who have stolen all their money and plunged them into poverty and second class citizenship?
Nonsense, this is not the Islam I know. This is fanaticism and utter b%$lls%$t!!!!

Talatu-Carmen said...

Catwalq,

although i find the whole incident (in which Maryam Hayana goes into hiding and 17 actors are kicked out of the industry) upsetting, i don't condone the making of sex videos, although in this case it sounds like the actress may not have necessarily known that it was being filmed.

I would be wary of stereotyping about "an entire group of brainwashed people." It is not hypocritical for Muslims to be offended by a Hausa film star who claims to be Muslim engaging in extra-marital sex and being filmed in the act. To be Muslim and to act in such a way is wrong.

At the same time, my own reaction to the event is that one should "take the log out of one's own eye before taking the splinter out of another's"; "let he who is without sin throw the first stone." Shi kenan.

(As per sharia law, dare I say (--not being Muslim and knowing very few of the details of the case or of sharia--), there would probably be a lot of loopholes in this case that would be taken into consideration in court?)

Zahratique said...

This is so sad. I heard da story soetime last week and i didnt even know how to react.

Catwalq, dont make comments like that when you dont know what Islam is about or even what life is in the northern part of Nigeria.

Morals there are much different than other parts of the country. Something you might consider acceptable may be a bit too much in a place where public display of affection is frowned upon. Also, what has this got to do with rulers and second class citizenship? Remember the viewers are the ones offended by her this. Why? because there are children who look up to these people and certainly Muslim parents wouldn't want their kids taking after acts like these that are clearly against the eachings of their religion.

It's sad that Maryam Hiyana got involved in something like this. I actually like her films. I hope everything will get solved amiably.

P.S. Most of my favorite actresses have been banned...*cry*

rahmane said...

This is kind of the tragedy of Kano: a bustling commercial city with a deep conservative ethos. Commerce and business create a culture that breeds all types of freedoms, including somehow freaky ones; but then Kano doesn't want to lose the Arewa soul and its age-old good name. The dilemma is how to get everything along. Carmen, thanks for all of those details and pictures. I really want to write a decent and intelligent article on this dilemma of Kano, and need as much materials as I can. You probably know that the Zoo Road culture is huge outside of Northern Nigeria, in other Hausa speaking places like Niger. So the issue has regional importance in West Africa. Merci!

rahmane said...

This is kind of the tragedy of Kano: a bustling commercial city with a deep conservative ethos. Commerce and business create a culture that breeds all types of freedoms, including somehow freaky ones; but then Kano doesn't want to lose the Arewa soul and its age-old good name. The dilemma is how to get everything along. Carmen, thanks for all of those details and pictures. I really want to write a decent and intelligent article on this dilemma of Kano, and need as much materials as I can. You probably know that the Zoo Road culture is huge outside of Northern Nigeria, in other Hausa speaking places like Niger. So the issue has regional importance in West Africa. Merci!

rahmane said...

Hope you received my comments. I never moderated comments on my blogspot blogs and don't know how this works.

Anonymous said...

Read about Kano at altnigeria.com

Zahratique said...

Just to add some more, I dont think he was her fiance cos this dude was married. And now, his wife has left him thanks to this vid.

Talatu-Carmen said...

@zahratique, hmmm.... that would explain the remarks of the fiance in the Leadership article.... So, perhaps there was a boyfriend and a fiance? Would you mind posting the links to the latest articles? Thanks...

@ rahmane, thanks. yes, I think your analysis is right. Let me know if you end up writing the article. I'd like to read it.

Anonymous said...

Catwalq. This chap is not her intended husband to be. He is just a play boy and bedded almost 60% of the hausa actresses. The only actress that he tried and lost was Hauwa Katanga but most of the pretty girls in the industry fell under him. He had a bet with his friends that he cant bed this girl becos she looks so innocent, so he filmed her to prove that he has performed the deed.

Talatu-Carmen said...

Anon,
I think we've established that this wasn't her fiance. But 60% of the actresses in the industry? It's easy enough to be a rumour-monger anonymously. But if you are going to make claims like that, be a man, identify yourself and back them up with some evidence. Do you know the fellow? Did you hear him claim this on BBC or in some other arena? Are you a personal friend of the 60% actresses who supposedly succumbed to his seductions and did they confide in you? What's the deal with Hauwa Katanga? I have no doubt the fellow would make such a claim--the sort of man who would video himself in the act for bragging rights is the same sort that would claim to have bedded 60% of the industry. But is there any evidence other than rumour and speculation to back up such a claim? Or are you, perhaps, the 'dan iska himself, anonymously using the notoriety to make yourself into a Don Juan extrordinarie?...

Anonymous said...

Mine is dis so who so ever dat must ave blackmail her wit dat video of a thng, wat ave u gain so far? Becos d worst dat can happen 2 her is 4 dat devil 2 take her lf. Maryam dnt mine all dose talkng rubbsh cos if it were 2 reveal dat of ere sistas, I thk we wil found out each of dem comited 10 or 20 abortions.so wat do we do abt dem? Is it becos ere own sin is nt out? We'll rememba, GOD WIL JUGHE US ALL

Anonymous said...

First of all, i like Hausa movies and i am from western Nigeria. Though i dont understand Hausa but i wish to know one day and this is not working anyway. First of all, it is extremely stupid for whoever and i mean the leaders to prohibit this people from doing what they want because have they met themselves? i dont mean to be rude and i am sure that no one has the right to judge other people's action except the God. And i mean can we actually have leaders that will bring glory to the country? When would the leaders/people stop mocking their right, their existence. No offence but this girl Maryam have been watched by so many people, and she might inspired some, make people life's better and think better of themselves but when she is in trouble, who fight for her, who tried to make her laugh, and give her a second chance? Dont people think, i mean when we offend the Divine, he gave us chance to repent, what are we then if we disregard people, Islam is suppose to be of peace but the way people act, it is so not peaceful. This is suppose to be a lesson not a torture for anyone and not for the girl.And also, this happen and no one is trying to solve it but adding more fuss, i mean let be reasonable. It is bad enough that we are been called a failed state because of the stupid leaders, let the rest of us not be a failure. Let be peaceful, let there be hope and love among one another.

Anonymous said...

First of all, i like Hausa movies and i am from western Nigeria. Though i dont understand Hausa but i wish to know one day and this is not working anyway. First of all, it is extremely stupid for whoever and i mean the leaders to prohibit this people from doing what they want because have they met themselves? i dont mean to be rude and i am sure that no one has the right to judge other people's action except the God. And i mean can we actually have leaders that will bring glory to the country? When would the leaders/people stop mocking their right, their existence. No offence but this girl Maryam have been watched by so many people, and she might inspired some, make people life's better and think better of themselves but when she is in trouble, who fight for her, who tried to make her laugh, and give her a second chance? Dont people think, i mean when we offend the Divine, he gave us chance to repent, what are we then if we disregard people, Islam is suppose to be of peace but the way people act, it is so not peaceful. This is suppose to be a lesson not a torture for anyone and not for the girl.And also, this happen and no one is trying to solve it but adding more fuss, i mean let be reasonable. It is bad enough that we are been called a failed state because of the stupid leaders, let the rest of us not be a failure. Let be peaceful, let there be hope and love among one another.