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I want to change negative portrayal of Hausa people in Nollywood – Sani Muazu

A Nigerian actor and movie producer, Sani Muazu, says there is an unfair and stereotypical representation of Hausa people in Nollywood. 

The award-winning actor, who has been in the film industry for over three decades, stated this during an interview with BBC Hausa on Thursday.

Muazu has appeared in many movies, both in the northern Nigeria’s Hausa movie industry, Kannywod, as well as the southern Nollywood.

Famed in the North particularly for his role in a popular Hausa television series, Kwana Casain (where he appeared as Bawa Maikada), the Jos-born former National President of Motion Picture Practitioners’ Association of Nigeria has also carved an enviable name for himself in a number of popular Nollywood movies including for the role he played in award-winning movies such as Shuga (2013), Lion Heart (2018), Up North (2018) and King of Boys (2018).

He said even though he acts in both Kannywood and Nollywood movies, he is often times unsettled by the manner the Hausa people are portrayed.

He said, “When both Nollywood and Kannywood started, I was already in the film-making business. So I was already an actor when the two film industries came to existence. So I could say I’m part of the founders of both Nollywood and Kannywood.

“But still, I prefer Hausa movies because it’s my first language. And that’s why I have a problem with the unfair, negative portrayal of the Hausa man in the southern movie industry, Nollywood.

“I despise the practice of stereotyping the Hausa man as an uneducated person who can’t speak good English, who only does house guard works, or  shoeshine and so on. That’s the dominant perception of most southern Nigerians about the North.

“So, for those reasons, I strongly feel the need to change the portrayal of the Hausa man in Nollywood movies. That’s why whenever I appear in a Nollywood movie, I always try to use Hausa in my speech to tell the world that I’m a Hausa man and can speak good English.”

Speaking about the challenges of the Hausa film industry and why it has been unable to catch up with Nollywood, he attributed such reality to the lack of originality in the movies.

“Among the major challenges of Kannywood is its insistence on adopting Indian culture and Bollywood style of movies in the industry. If as a Hausa man you’re producing a movie, you need to also portray the beauty of your own culture, so that when other people watch, they can know that this is the culture of Hausa people or this is the way Nigerians are. But it’s wrong for Hausa movies to adopt Indian styles of singing and dance,” he said.

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