Ali Nuhu is one of the biggest names in Kannywood, the Northern arm of Nollywood and while he has been in a few blockbusters, he hasn’t been in many movies outside his region
Ali Nuhu tried to explain the reason for this and why other Northern actors don’t venture far outside of their region to act.
According to him, religious and cultural differences makes the migration very difficult indeed.
This speaks to the issue of segregation that could sometimes happen in the industry as highlighted by Fidelis Duker who said that we need to see ourselves as individuals rather than ethnic groups and religions.
Speaking to Sunday Scoop, Ali Nuhu explained what he meant: “There is a disconnection between the film industries in the northern and southern part of the country. There are many reasons for this; one of which is the market. In northern Nigeria, the stories usually have Muslim themes with Hausa tradition, while in southern Nigeria, it is mostly Christian stories with either Igbo, Yoruba, Benin or southern cultures. As a result of different cultures and backgrounds, northern actors are not usually comfortable with the roles they are given in the southern film industry. That makes it uncomfortable for them to be part of the industry.
“Having said that, I don’t think the dichotomy is healthy for the industry because when movies cut across both axis, they tend to attract a wider audience. If there is a way the gap can be bridged, it would be of immense importance to the industry.”
There has also been a lot of criticism of Kannywood on the many restrictions put on their female actors with hugging and kissing all but forbidden on set.
In respect to this, Ali Nuhu said that it’s not a matter of being too strict but rather one of preservation and that actors rejected in the North were usually also rejected in the South.
“I wouldn’t say that the industry is too strict, but the background and culture an actor comes from matters a lot. If you’re from a particular area and are loved by the people of that area, if you do things your audience is not comfortable with, you would be automatically rejected. And if you’re rejected in the North, even the producers in the south would not want to work with you.” he said.