When compared to Nollywood movies, Kannywood presents a much more traditional and moderate plot in its productions.
2016 was the year Kannywood went mainstream and crossed the boundaries of Nollywood and popular culture in the news and this was for two controversial reasons.
For those new to the term Kannywood, this is simply the nickname given to the Hausa-language film industry in Nigeria.
Prior to 2015, Kannywood films were not something I paid any attention to. I would flick by Africa Magic Hausa when channel surfing but that was it. Last year I got reeled into it when I had to cover a ceremony that involved actors from that sector of the Nigerian movie industry - only then did I find out that this was a rather interesting place.
Talking about places, apart from Tinapa Studios in Calabar, Cross Rivers state, Nigeria is not known to own studios or a film village so imagine the excitement in the film industry when it was announced that the Federal government would be building 20-hectare film village, which would be modeled like a film center in China and India.
Only problem with this is that the plan was to build it in Kano. Yes Kano state in Northern Nigeria, a conservative state. Forget the location, the main aim of this was to create jobs and bring local films to high standard. But this dream was short lived - weeks after the announcement was made by member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, some Islamic clerics led by Sheik Abdallah Usman Gadan Kanya, opposed the establishment. And just like that the plans for a film village was cancelled.
According to several reports, the project had been described by the clerics as a plot to undermine Muslims and their religion by creating a hub for immorality.
Now to the topic of immorality. When compared to Nollywood movies, Kannywood presents a much more traditional/cautious/moderate plot in its productions. On October 2016, Nigerians were left gobsmacked when new emerged of actress Rahama Sadau being expelled from Kannywood.
According to a statement issued on Sunday, October 2, by the Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Sadau was expelled for featuring in a romantic music video by Jos born singer, ClassiQ.
While all this drama was in the news, entertaining productions were being churned out of the Hausa film industry.
ALSO READ: Top 10 must-watch Kannywood movies of 2016
Dance, drama, music and action - these are some of the elements of Kannywood movies released in 2016. The year saw engaging movies like "Afra", "Ahmad", “Basaja Gidan Yari”, "Iyalina", “ Maula” and more being released.