By Inter Press Service

Friday, October 17, 2008


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Amina Koki Gizo

Inter Press Service


KANO: “I don’t sell cocaine,” says the video vendor in Kano’s Rimi market when I ask for Adam Zango’s music video CD Bahaushiya. He is not referring to the white powder, but to a new illegal substance – Hausa films that have not passed through the Kano State Censors Board.

The video CD I’m asking for is an especially hot drug: a series of six music videos satirizing corrupt old men, lamenting fickle girlfriends, and featuring dancing Hausa girls. The musician, Adam Zango, also an actor and director in the Hausa film industry, was arrested and jailed for three months for releasing the collection during a ban on Hausa filmmaking in Kano.

The censorship board in Nigeria’s northern Kano State was instituted in 2001 after the controversial implementation of Islamic Sharia law in the state. Film-making was at first banned outright, but the filmmakers’ association of Northern Nigeria (MOPPAN) suggested a “review” board as a compromise measure, which allowed the industry to continue, though with certain restrictions on language, dress and “close dancing between men and women.”

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