Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is how we do it....

So, I'm running off to Zamfara state for an Association of Nigerian Authors convention this weekend and will likely miss all the election hype on blogs and television this weekend, sniff, sniff,

but before I leave,

just wanted to say....

"Lets flip the track, bring the old school back...


(absentee vote, baby)

"all hands are in the a-a-i-r"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Little bit of everything, but mostly on Kannywood

To the tune of "Yahoooozee, Yahoooozee..... "

Have been working all bleeding day long on my funding application, which is getting steadily WORSE..., until my battery gave up the ghost and I had to come to a cafe.

Have also been eating a nonsensical assortment of items while feverishly working against my battery dying, including: Ovaltine, cake, cabin biscuits, sardines, tea, leftover yoghurt, tea, and finally (on my way to the internet cafe) a banana....

So, in a follow up on yesterday's news, I headed over to Zoo Road yesterday evening to find out what happened with the raids and found out that although Baba Karami was taken to mobile court, he had the certificate to prove his registeration with the censor's board and he was released and allowed to re-open his studio. Others were not so lucky. For more news on this see the rather elastic bordered article in Leadership, Emir Bayero Donates N2 Million to Qur'anic School. I find it rather interesting that the news about dozens of filmmakers being arrested and having their studios closed is buried at the end of an article praising the emir for donating money to a Qur'anic school. Hmmm...

Triumph as usual has a piece insisting that the government has no quarrel with the filmmakers, just wants them to "conduct themselves according to Sharia."

And finally, for something slightly more encouraging, a Punch piece that mentions a new Kannywood sattelite station on DaarSat.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Raid on Baba Karami yestereday

I just found out that there was a raid on Baba Karami's studio yesterday at around 3:30pm. Apparently the police were raiding all of the studios up and down Zoo Road. I had talked with him only a few hours before, before going to Miller Road for the court case hearing Ibro's appeal. I had been planning to go back by Zoo Road after the court case but because the court case had gotten started late and I needed to get back to the university I didn't.

According to one source I talked to, they were raiding studios that supposedly had not registered with the censorship board, but that Baba Karami HAD registered. The police locked up his shop and took him away. I will post more when I find out more about what is going on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ibro's appeal

In other news, I attended Ibro's appeal to the High Court today. In the end, the court had to reconvene because of a technicality whereby the defence signed the name of the law firm rather than the name of an individual lawyer.

I will post more on this if I can get internet tomorrow.

But can I just add the perhaps irreverent observation that of all the carryover's of colonialism, the WIG in the Nigerian justice system has got to be one of the worst aesthetically. (There are, of course, far far more serious carryovers--but visually, ughh, those wigs.... those wigs....)

Follow-up on "The Most Gorgeous Nigerian Women"--my response published in Leadership

So this past Sunday, October 19, I bought a Sunday Leadership, and was having a jolly time catching up on the news when I was given a bit of a jolt. There on page 53 was my response to "The Most Gorgeous Nigerian Women" that I posted on this blog on October 5.

Now I am pleased and flattered that my blog is being followed, and I'm happy to see my words in "print," but this is the second time in the past few months that I'm finding something I've written published elsewhere without having any idea it was reprinted. At least this time, "Talatu-Carmen" was actually given credit rather than being ripped off. Let me repeat what I have written in my blogger profile: "Please feel free to comment, but please do not use, quote, or re-post anything from these blogs without first requesting my permission."

So, don Allah, don Annabi, if there are any editors or journalists reading this who want to use something from my blog, that's fine. Just LET ME KNOW BEFORE you print it. This gives me a chance to edit it further and give you my real name, rather than my blog-name Talatu-Carmen. It also lets me keep track of my "publications," which is kind of important...

Thank you....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Prison Controller assures readers that any time Dan Ibro is certified okay, he will be taken back to prison.

The latest on Ibro from state-owned Triumph:

Phew....I feel reassured that this dangerous criminal will not be on the streets after he is released from the hospital!!!!

(and if this is not obvious to anyone who might want to use this, as another ironic piece I have seen recently, for pro-govt propaganda, the above sentence is called IRONY or more strongly SARCASM....)
Thursday, October 16Prison controller refutes Ibro's release rumour By NASIRU MUHD.CONTRARY to rumours circulating that a popular Hausa film artiste in Kano, Rabilu Musa Dan Ibro who was recently jailed has been ordered to be released by Governor Ibrahim Shekarau and the Emir of Kano, Alhaji (Dr) Ado Bayero, the state Controller of Prisons, Alhaji Lawal Abubakar has confirmed that the actor is still in prison and described the rumour as baseless.The controller who spoke with the newsmen over the issue yesterday in his office, said the rumour may have arisen because the comedian was seen in hospital and some thought he was released.According to him, the prison authorities are responsible for ensuring that any inmate is in their custody and receiving adequate care, adding that Dan Ibro has been admitted at Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital which is owned by the state government, after it was confirmed by the Chief Medical Officer of the prison that the prisoner needed medical attention.He further stated that based on information he received from his officers, the medical doctor on call at the hospital had then ordered that the actor needed urgent medial attention.``We are not medical personnel, and by the action we took of admitting him at the hospital, we were following the ethics of our profession.``That is what is applicable to every inmate, regardless of his status. We will not allow him to die while in our custody, eventhough we know everyone can die at any moment,'' he said.Alhaji Abubakar assured that any time Dan Ibro is certified okay, he will be taken back to prison.He, however, lauded Kano state government for its assistance to the prison authorities and prayed to God to continue to guide it.Efforts to confirm the story by our correspondent, from the medical doctor of the hospital, Dr. Dahiru Shehu failed because he refused to open up on the issue.It could be recalled that the artiste was recently sentenced to four months in prison, by the state mobile court on film activities, headed by Senior Magistrate Mukhtar Ahmad.The sentence was in two categories, with the first category, making him to remain behind bars for two months without an option of fine for operating a film industry without a license.On the other sentence, he was sentenced to two months or pay a fine of N20,000 and N10,000 each to the state government and the State Film Censorship Board for partaking in an indecent Hausa song called Mamar, in a CD called ``Aloko''.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Making A Scapegoat of...

An excerpt from an editorial which talks about the arrest of 'dan Ibro in today's Leadership:

Making A Scapegoat Of...

Sa’idu Mohammed Sanusi

One doubts whether political abracadabra, bureaucratic gibberish, blabber of amateurish politicians, political mercenaries and hirelings could exonerate apparently brazen partisan actions from their basic nature, mere political brigandage or grandstanding. One also wonders why most politicians spotting whichever toga increasingly and desperately attempt to cloak/ conceal unjustified political decisions, actions/inactions through indiscretion. Is it a virtue glorifying or celebrating cowardice? One should not be under illusion that dominant public disposition in Nigeria and its constituent parts, Kano State inclusive, are political. Is it not foolhardy to attempt drawing a demarcation line between politics and recent official actions of the state government?
Of recent, several political events have happened in Kano state, most of which bordered on presumed unpopularity of the state government's decisions that culminated in reported pelting of governor Shekarau in the Emir's palace on the last day of the just-concluded Ramadan fast Tafsir. The unfortunate event elicited comments from government and the opposition, and engendered placement of concentric security measures around the personality of the governor to enhance his personal security and that of his household. This is, indeed, commendable for security of life and property is so sacred in a civilized society. This is more pertinent considering that life of the state chief executive is involved. Nonetheless, security should be pursued without putting lives and properties of the ordinary citizens in jeopardy. The security arrangement is legally instructive, morally imperative and politically pre-emptive.
Moreover, the state government and its agents should not be seen to, in the process, engage in trampling on fundamental freedom and liberty of ordinary citizens, even of those considered as underdogs. There is no democracy without guaranteeing basic human liberty. This is a fundamental preachment of liberal democracy that Nigeria purports to operate. Could democracy be sustained when citizens' freedom is grossly endangered under whatever pretext? Hardly!
The popular Hausa Film comedian, Rabilu Musa Danlasan, alias Dan Ibro and co-artist Lawan Kunawa were, reportedly arrested by the Kano State Censorship Board, allegedly on a trumped up charge of contravening aspects of Censorship laws operating in the state. They were expeditiously arraigned and convicted by the Censorship Mobile Court presided over by the Senior Magistrate, Mukhtari Ahmed. It was not the arrest and arraignment of the victims that mattered but the circumstance and the speed with which the case was heard and disposed of. Even the penalty meted out to the offenders calls to question the process. Another question is why were the two artists the main target? Were they the only indecent dancers in the film?
The actual offense of the accused had to do with a role he allegedly played in comedy films entitled Ibro Aloko and Ibro Kauranmata which the Censorship Board took exception to. According to the report Dan Ibro and Lawan Kunawa were said to have indecently danced in the film, contrary to the provisions of Kano state Censorship Law. In addition the films were allegedly released without proper screening and authorization by the Censorship Board, another offense. The presiding Magistrate Judge found the accused guilty as charged and sentenced them to two months imprisonment without option of fine. The producer of the film was equally found guilty of the same offense and fined N40, 000, which he instantly paid. When Dan Ibro was asked for his comment after conviction, he was reported to have alleged he was only a target of political persecution, which could be an apt assessment of the situation.
Concerned Kano-based Hausa filmmakers have indicated interest in appealing the judgment and pursuing it to logical conclusion. Generally, observers feel that Ibro and Kunawa's arrest, arraignment, trial, conviction and imprisonment were politically motivated and maliciously pursued. This seems to be the broad-based belief of Kano citizens, especially those sympathetic to the victims. According to some respondents interviewed by this writer, Ibro Aloko was released about two years ago, and Ibro Kauranmata was released before the advent of Censorship law in the state. Legal luminaries were called upon to explain whether a law could have retrospective effect. Some wondered why the Censorship Board suddenly developed interest in the film, Ibro Aloko after some negative political happenings in the state. The political insinuations sound plausible if only to explain reason for the technicality and lacuna in the arrest and subsequent trial of the accused. Unconfirmed reports also have it that it was in the said film that Dan Ibro and his group sang "Mamar" Song, the song alleged to have been sung by hooligans that pelted Shekarau in the Emir's Palace. Mamar is popularly sung to make a jest of people that wear a peculiarly striped textile material in Kano during the last Eid- el-Fitr Sallah. The term, Mamar is also alleged to have originated from some Borno dialects, meaning of which could no be ascertained at the time of this piece. Governor Shekarau was allegedly fond of the material, which he was wearing when he was pelted in the Emir's Palace. Political observers believe that Dan Ibro and Lawan Kunawa were targeted as scapegoats to face punishment for governor Shekarau's pelting and embarrassment.
In addition, some Kano-based textile material merchants were alleged to have stock-piled the material in question, and have reportedly made representation to the state government and security agencies in the state over the issue. The traders allegedly in possession of unsold striped material were very angry. What made them jittery was possibility of incurring losses, because prospective buyers have shunned the material in the market. The merchants have attributed this to Dan Ibro's Mamar song in Ibro Aloko film that has been used to make a jest of anybody wearing the material in Kano State. Some of the traders were allegedly boastful that somebody somewhere must pay for their impending loss.
Contacted for his reaction over alleged political undertone in Ibro and Kunawa's trial, Mallam Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem, Director-General, Kano State Censorship Board, out rightly refuted the allegation. He claimed he was away In Saudi-Arabia when governor Shekarau was pelted. He however, agreed that the film, Ibro Aloko could have been shot about two years ago, but it was not released till recently. He added, "We can only take an action when it is released to the public." Mallam Rabo has vehemently denied that their action on the film was dictated by political considerations, stating, "Kano Censorship Board is a statutory body set by the state government law aimed at sanitizing filmmaking and marketing industry in Kano state." But he conceded that the Board acted under mounting pressure from stakeholders, though he denied that was dictated by political motive/ consideration.
On the other hand, watchers of political events and Kano state Censorship Board activities have posited that Dan Ibro/ Kunawa's arrest and conviction was in tandem with seemingly systematic harassment of artists, especially filmmakers. They also asserted that it could be recalled that Alhaji Hamisu Iyan Tama, Hausa film producer/ artist was also targeted and humiliated, though his trial was not as speedy and controversial. It is not unlikely that high profile arrests, arraignments and convictions of particularly Hausa filmmakers and book writers would be witnessed in the state more often than not.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Breaking News: Hausa Comedian dan Ibro arrested and imprisoned for 2 months without bail by Kano State Censors Board

Breaking News.

Dazu, I recieved the following text:

"Kano state censorship board arrest rabilu musa dan ibro and 3 other members of his group."

Ibro is a Hausa comedian, and one of the biggest stars in the industry. People I know in Jos who don't watch Hausa films DO watch Ibro.

So, I called the friend who sent me the text and this is the story I heard. Again, this is breaking news, so I might have some of the details wrong. Supposedly, the group was arrested today over the film Aloko which was shot (and censored?) before the ban on Hausa films last year. The producer is being required to pay a N40,000 fine and Ibro a N20,000 fine. Furthermore, Ibro will be imprisoned for 2 months without bail.

Supposedly, the censorship board has accused Ibro of not registering his company with the censorship board. Ibro had registered individually, as an actor, with the censorship board and had the receipt and the certificate to prove it. But apparently the censorship board is saying that he has a company he hadn't registered. Ibro says he does not have a company--that if he has a company, what is the name of the company they are accusing him of not registering. Apparently, they said they didn't know the name of the company but that they knew he had one and that is why they were arresting him.

So, I suppose it is his claim against theirs.

I will post more news as I hear it.
UPDATE: 9:06am, 7 October 2008
I just pulled this off of Nigeria News (Ngex):

Hausa Actor Sentenced To Two Months Imprisonment
x October 07, 2008A popular Hausa comedian, Mr. Rabiu Musa (Ibro) and his associate, Mr. Lawan Kunawa, were sentenced to two-months imprisonement without any option of fine for operating a film industry without approval by the State Censorship Registration Board and acting in a film entitled, "Ibro A-LOCO."He was arrested by officials of the Kano State Censorhip Board and arraigned before a Censorship Mobile Court in Kano presided over by Senior Magistrate Mukhtar Ahmed.The comedian denied owning the film company or producing any film and said he only acted in the film. The magistrate refused his defence and sentenced him to two months without an option of fine.
UPDATE, 10:33pm, 7 October 2008
Nudity - Kannywood Star Ibro Sentenced
Daily Trust (Abuja)NEWS7 October 2008 Posted to the web 7 October 2008
By Hassan a Karofi Kano
Kannywood star and popular comedian Rabilu Musa alias Dan Ibro has been sentenced to four months imprisonment for allegedly operating an illegal film production company and shooting a film that exposes nudity and immoral acts in contravention of the Kano State censorship laws.
Dan Ibro was sentenced along with his friend and co-actor Lawal Kaura by Chief Magistrate Muktar Ahmed. According to the Police First Information report read at the chief magistrate's court 14, the duo were accused and arraigned on a two count charge before the court for operating an unregistered film production company known as Ibro Film Production without registration and exposing nudity and immoral scenes in a film called Ibro Aluko. The film, according to the censorship lawyers, has contravened section 97 of the state censorship laws. The censorship board argued that the film released without authorisation depicts corrupt acts especially during a singing scene in which a song called Mar-Mar was organised with half naked women dancing in mesmerising steps and movements that attack the sensibilities of the people of Kano State. Additionally, Lawal Kaura, who appeared in the said dancing with some women was also accused for the same offences. Reading his judgement, the Chief Magistrate, therefore, said the two actors were sentenced to two months imprisonment on the first charge of producing a film with immoral scene without option, and another two months imprisonment for operating a film production firm without registration, the second carries an option of N10000.

Dan Ibro is the second Hausa film star that was sentenced to imprisonment since the introduction of stiff regulations governing film production in Kano State after the Maryam Hiyana's nudity video. [TC COMMENT: Make that THIRD Hausa film star. 1) Adam Zango, 2) Iyan Tama, 3) Ibro]

Copyright © 2008 Daily Trust. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (
Hausa Actor, Ibro Sentenced to Two Month Imprisonment
Leadership (Abuja)
NEWS7 October 2008 Posted to the web 7 October 2008
By Mansur Sani Malam
A popular and controversial lead comedian, Mr. Rabiu Musa (Ibro) and his associate, Mr. Lawan Kunawa, were yesterday sentenced to two-months imprisonement without any option of fine. Ibro was arrested by officials of the Kano State Censorhip Board and arraigned before a Censorship Mobile Court in Kano presided over by Senior Magistrate Mukhtar Ahmed.
He was charged with operating a film industry without approval by the State Censorship Registration Board and acting in a film entitled, "Ibro A-LOCO." But, in his defence, Ibro denied ownership of any film company or producing any film, saying that he only acted in the film like many others in which he appeared in the past. However, the magistrate refused his defence and consequently sentenced him to two months without an option of fine. Ibro who was arraigned with his producer, Malam Hassan was also charged with releasing a film without the approval of the censhorship board. But in his defence, the producer tendered a certificate issued him by the board. However, his defence did not convince the magistrate who convicted him. Hassan was lucky and paid his N40,000 fine.

Copyright © 2008 Leadership. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (
(Note the tone in the following article from the Daily Triumph, a government owned paper)
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
state tribunal on films activities has sentence a renown Housa film artist in Kano, Rabilu Musa alias Dan Ibro, to two monthsi in prison for partaking in an indecent play in a Hausa video CD name Aloko.Delivering judgment on the second count charges the tribunal chairman, Senior Magistrate Muktari Ahmad, ordered the artist to cool his feet behind bars for two months or pay a fine of N10, 000 each to both the state government and the state Film Censorship Board, for operating a film company by the name Ibro Film Production Company.Also sentenced alongside Ibro was another Hausa film artist, Lawan Kaura, who was adminstered the same sentence in the second count charge.On the first count charge, he was ordered to pay a fine of N10, 000 to both the state government and the state Film Censorship Board for releasing the video.Before the sentences were announced to the convicts, the state prosecutor, Barr. Sunusi Ado Ma’aji applied that the court gives them summary trial since they have admitted committing the offences.Barr. Ma’aji, also applied for the banning of the said CD which include its sales and its viewing.The CD contained a lied song called “Mamar,” a slogan now being used to tease anyone who wears clothes that were carrying lines in Kano and other neighbouring states.Speaking to newsmen after the verdict, the Director General, Kano state Film Censorship Board, Alhaji Rabo Abdul-Karim, assured that his board will not relent in its effort to see that the state is rid of all illicit films and other vices.“We will continue to see that all those who break our laws are charged to court,” he said.The convicts have one month to appeal the sentenced passed on them.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Most Gorgeous Nigerian Women (apparently live abroad...)

I will bracket the concern whether there should be these lists of people classified by their physical attractiveness at all (I admit I'm a sucker for People Magazine's the 50 Most Beautiful People), but let me speak to another concern. As I read through the "artville" section in today's Leadership "Most Gorgeous Nigerian Women" by Zully Abdul, I was struck by the fact that with the exception of Nollywood actresses Dakore Egbuson and Genevieve Nnaji and possibly model Agbani Darego, the women (12 out of 15) featured here live and have careers outside of Nigeria. Now of course I am in favour of celebrating the achievements (beauty, career, or otherwise) of Nigerians wherever they may reside and I am uncomfortable with "more authentic than thou" arguments; however, what does this list say about the standards used in judgment and what does this mean to the target audience, which I assuming would be women living in Nigeria where print copies of Leadership are distributed? Is it that there is a paucity of "gorgeous" women who actually live and work in this country???? I've seen women just as gorgeous if not more so among my students at Bayero, singing in church, designing clothing in tailor shops, or sitting behind the counter at an MTN shop. (Granted these sorts of lists generally deal with glamourous public figures, but are there not at least 7 or 8 gorgeous and glamourous Nigerian women living in Nigeria?) What does this list say to Nigerian women in Nigeria who would like to be seen as "gorgeous"? That they must get visas and go appear in American music videos, Hollywood films, and Italian runways? And looking at these women, what does it say about what beauty is? All of these women appear to have straightened hair (with the exception of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, ), they all appear to be wearing Western-style clothing, most of them seem to be fairly light skinned, and they are all rail thin....

It's not that I don't think these women are "gorgeous." I think they are. I also think there is a place for celebrating the accomplishments of expatriate Nigerians. But when there is so much beauty and creativity all around us here in Nigeria, why can't at least half of the "most gorgeous Nigerian women" highlighted here be ones living at home?

A related kvetch. Style. Nigerians have absolutely amazing styles. When I come to Nigeria from the U.S. I tend to leave most of my Western clothes there and just have clothing tailored here. When I go back to the U.S., one of the things I miss the most is getting to dress in beautifully designed, floor-sweeping skirts/wrappers whenever I like. But, and I noticed this while grading 113 gender analyses of Nigerian newspaper articles, it seems that often when 'style' is discussed in Nigerian newspapers it is more often about how to wear "skinny jeans," V-neck blouses, spagetti strap tank tops, etc. The photographs featured and advice given are (to pick a random number that seems about right) usually about 70% on 'Western' style. (I'm talking specifically of newspapers and not magazines like Ovation, which features a good deal of glamourous "traddie"). Now I think people should wear whatever they want and there is a case to be made that if it is worn by a Nigerian it becomes Nigerian style, but at the same time, it strikes me that there is something not quite right here...

Friday, October 03, 2008

"An Intellectual Christianity" by my friend Voz Nocturna

A fantastic post by my friend Voz Nocturna expressing a manifesto for an "intellectual" Christianity.

Mutum Duka Mod’a Ne: HIV as Transformative agent in Hausa Novels and films

I have just posted on my other "academic"/"literary" blog a paper and the handout (with pictures) that I presented at the African Studies Association in 2006, looking at representations of HIV/AIDS in Hausa novels and films. The film Hafsah directed and produced by Sani Mu'azu had not yet been released at that time, but I hope to add a section to the paper dealing with Hafsah.