In 2008, the fourth level class “MAC 4019: Media and Gender,” lectured by Carmen McCain, in the Department of Mass Communications at Bayero University, worked on providing summaries and gender analyses of Nigerian films, particularly those in Hausa, with the understanding that the assignments might be used on the website for the Hausa Home video Resource Centre. In the next month, we will be adding some of these summaries to the website. Please note that these summaries contain spoilers. Keep checking back for updates.
The summaries are listed in alphabetical order by the name of the film:
AKWAI MAIFITA [There is a Way Out]
Summary and analysis by Khalid Zakariyya A.
Produced by Newage Network production
Not withstanding its multifarious themes, the film AKWAI MAFITA was produced to advertise the achievements of YSO (youth social organization). As portrayed, YSO is typical charity organization, sponsored by Senator WULINYE who aspires to contest for the second tenure. Throughout the film, the organization engages in development activities like tournaments, public outreach, consultancy services and other development programmes.
DOGARAI (prominent politician) is Wulinya’s campaign manager who later secretly joins Wulinya’s counterpart for the sake of money. He also takes advantage of Wulinya’s leniency to plot and spy on Jamila (Wulinya’s daughter) after he had succeeded in convincing her father to let her work with YSO.
However Jamila overcomes the challenges and is proved innocent by the spy, while ZILFATU (Dogarai’s, daughter), despite her father’s roughness, was victimized and made pregnant by one of YSO members. The parents of Zilfatu are absolutely shocked and consequently confess. Dogarai regrets his hypocritical role. YSO plays an active role in transforming the lives of youth, by providing personal advise, as can be witnessed in Zilfatu’s case.
This film reflected the gender imbalance in working places, which is prevalent in Hausa society. The YSO was dominantly occupied by male workers, so also the activities of the organization. The only female in the organization was Jamila who was purposely employed for the achievement of political objectives.
Though the film engaged political issues, the political roles were only played by men such as Wulinya (senator), Dogaria (campaign manager) and Faisal (political advertiser), while women were isolated from any political role. Instead, all women in the film were shown either housekeepers, victims as the case of Zilfatu, or even a tool in the political environment, as reflected in Jamila’s role.
The film, to some extent, challenges general stereotypes that females are incapable of competing with males in the working places by placing Jamila among YSO members. However, Jamila’s work career was affected by innuendoes that females are incapable of working rationally.As we see in the scenes following Jamila’s employment, females were affected by emotions.
Also, in the first scene of the film, the movie star Faisal is shown coming out majestically from a fashionable car, being admired by impressed ladies who were analyzing his dress. Since Faisal did not pay them any attention, this reinforces stereotype that women are materialistic.
However, there is an element of gender balance in the family structure of both Dogarai and Wulinya. Wulinya was shown as a caring father unlike his wife, while the reverse is the case in Dogarai’s home i.e. the mother was caring while Dogarai was not.
ALMAJIRA [Beggar Girl]
Summary and analysis by Marylyn E.P. Edafe
Produced by Nazifi Asnanic
Directed by Aminu Saira(2008)
The story ‘Almajira’ revolves around a beautiful young lady,referred to as Almajira. Almajira is a begger who grew up with her blind mother,begging as a means of livelihood. One fateful day, while sitting on their begging spot, a youngman who was passing by in his car,stopped over and gave them ‘Sadaka’ (alms).On another occasion, this same young man (Farouk),stopped over again to give them sadaka. He developed an interest in Almajira and took her and her mother off the street,by providing them with a house. He promised to marry Almajira,on his return from Europe. He later traveled to Europe. However Almajira and her mother continued in their “begging” business, because her mother swore she would never stop begging.
One fateful day, while begging, Almajira excused herself to buy pure water. Unfortunately, a reckless driver came and hit the mother, killing her. The young man (Al-Amin) pleaded to take care of Almajira by bringing her to live with his family. Almajira fell in love with Al-Amin, but he never loved her,because she was a “begger.” He married his girl friend (Kubura Dacko). Almajira was heart broken and left the family. She joined another family as a maid, Alhaji Abba’s family. Jibril, son of Alhaji Abba fell in love with Almajira,and proposed marriage, but she refused. On the prodding of Alhaji Abba, she later agreed to marry Jibril. On their engagement night, Farouk, who first promised her marriage, and Al-Amin, who broke her heart,showed up at the party. There and then, Almajira decides to marry Al-Amin instead, leaving both Jibril and Farouk heartbroken and even more confused.
The film “Almajira” reproduces many stereotypes of women as reflected in the charater of Almajira. She was portrayed as a being poor, weak and very dependent on others to make her decisions for her. When her mother died, she could not take of herself; she had to depend on the very young man (Al-Amin) who killed her mother to take care of her. Al-Amin asked her to leave the house Farouk got for her, to come live with his family. She accepted knowning Al-Amin killed her mother. This act portrays her as being “weak” in her decision and “dependant”, as against Al-Amin who was shown as being strong “independent”and in “control” of his decisions. People constantly referred to her as “Almajira which means “female begger” in the Hausa language, even after she has long
stopped begging. Although her beautiful clothing and jewelry portrayed her as responsible and decent, she was called “beggar.” This stereotype indicates that our society hardly separates a woman from her “past”.
Even after she changed, she was victimized by her “past” when Al-Amin refused to marry her, claiming that she was a beggar and that they dont belong to the same class. This portrays another stereotype of class difference. However, this stereotype was challenged when Jibril proposed to marry her, not minding their class difference. Almajira’s agreeing to marry Al-Amin (at the end) shows that she is “ungrateful” after what Jibril and also Farouk did for her. She ended up with the “wrong”person—the person who killed her mother and broke her heart initially. This shows that women often make wrong decisions and have “poor judgment”. Cinematography, editing, and mis-en-scene portrayed Almajira’s naive and inferior nature. She is shown in close-up, casting down her head,when talking with males. She is always shown in shadows, swinging her hands, not looking into their eyes. This portrays woman as inferior to men, while men are shown as having the domineering character. The other women in the movie, Jibril’s kid sister, Farouk’s kid sister, and mum,are portrayed as nice,kind,and accommodating.
Generally, gender portrayal in the movie, is imbalanced, as woman are portrayed to be literally dependent and weak, compared to the males.
Dan Zaki [the cub or Son of Lion]
Summary and analysis by Mujtaba A. Abubakar
Produced by Yakubu Moh’d
Directed by Sani Musa Danja
The film Dan Zaki shows how women love men, and how women persist to remain in relationships when problems erupt, in order not loose their fiancé(s), as we see in the relationship between Sa’adatu and Zaki [Ummi Ibrahim & Bash Qaya].
Binta [Maryam Usman] the close friend of Sa’adatu, because of envy, set her up, to break up her relationship with Zaki, which she achieved. Sa’adatu confessed that she didn’t cheat on Zaki and begged him to forgive her, but he refused. Because of this, she went mad. Later, when Binta confessed that she was behind the conspiracy, Zaki forgave Sa’adatu and married her, even though she was mad. His friend Kabir Babba [Kabir na kwango] wed Binta at the same time, and there was a song and dance in the course of their celebration.
After some months Sa’adatu and Zaki got a son and named him Sani Dan Zaki [Sani Musa Danja]. Binta suggested a traditional medicine for the illness of Sa’adatu, which unfortunately turned her from bad to worse. When Sani Dan Zaki grew up he secured a job and faced challenges and criticisms from his co-workers. [This subtly show how Sani Musa Danja is facing and coping with challenges in the film industry and showing how firm he is despite the threats, becoming even more successful.] Sani Dan Zaki was given an appointment abroad [IRAN] and returns home as a rich person. Sani performs a series of songs and dances that shows how he appreciated his successes.
The rest of the film shows how several women love Sani Dan Zaki because of his successes in life. Kabir Babba, the friend of his father, offers him his daughter [Rukayya Umar], which he accepts because of loyalty, not because he loves her. In the course of their married life, Sani Dan Zaki shows no respect, care and concern to his wife. Later he begins to dream of one lady he saw in picture but whom he has never met. Suddenly, he divorces his wife. His former wife secures a mask that resembles the face of his dream lady and takes the name Zabba’u . They “meet” somewhere and get married, although Sani does not know he is marrying his former wife in disguise.
Analysis: The film Dan Zaki reproduces many stereotypes on gender issues; women are shown as persistent when it comes to love issues as in the case of Sa’adatu and Bashariyya [Farida Jalal] the wife of Sani Dan Zaki, in which they show their concern to maintain their relationships. So also women are shown as vicious when envying, as when Binta sets Sa’adatu up to break up with her fiancé.
Men are shown as victims of women. It is Binta that suggested the traditional medicine of one Boka which turned Sa’adatu from bad to worse. Sani Dan Zaki is seen as kind, generous, and it is only when he becomes successful that several women start to love him. This again shows how women like to be identified with successful people. Women are portrayed as tricky, deceitful, not autonomous, weak and with limited foresight. Zabbau’s mother decides the husband of her daughter, commands her daughter to ask for divorce, and when Usman [Ibrahim Maishinku] told the wife of Sani Dan Zaki that he saw a woman that looks like her, she just gets confused.
Similarly women are shown as house wives or servants. No woman appears as enterprising or engaged in one business or the other. Since they are not engaged in any business, this prevents them from being successful in any facets of life. The jacket cover of the film takes a sense of gender balance, but on the contrary, there is an obvious gender disparity in the film. Women are seen as not enterprising, they are inclined toward finding solutions with a Boka, and only their internal problems are seen, while men also have internal and external problems.
Formally, a sound motif is repeated when there is something important or alarming that is going to happen to Sani Dan Zaki or to his close contacts. The scene that shows Sani Dan Zaki riding the stair case of an Air Bus and coming down alone is unrealistic.
In a film that portrays the condition that surrounds Sani Dan Zaki [Sani Musa Danja] in the film industry, the producers failed to respond and address the criticism which Sani Dan Zaki is facing in a gender balanced way. The film portrays the good habits, achievements and successes of men only, while neglecting that of women. On the contrary, it portrays stereotypes of women that tarnish their image, showing them as house wives or servants, unenterprising, unautonomous, unsuccessful, weak in decision making. Above all men are shown as victims of women in a narrow or broader sense.
Summary and analysis by Abiodun Olanrewaju Adeyemi
Produced by Ahmed S. Nuhu
Directed by Ali Nuhu
Dijangala, which doubles as the film title and name of the main character, revolves round the life of a poor orphan, Dije, (Maryam Booth) entrusted alongside her elder brother, Ali (Ali Nuhu), by their late father to their uncle, Halilu (Bashir Nayaya) right from childhood. Years later upon the sojourn of Ali to the city in search of greener pastures, pretty Dije, fondly called Dijangala (The pride of a landlord; bride not for the poor) fell a victim of rape in the hands of Hafizu (Adam A. Zango), the son of a wealthy livestock farmer.
Not comfortable with her uncle’s idea of an abortion of the ensuing pregnancy, Dije ran to the city, where in a helpless state, she met a good samaritan, Rabiu, who rushed her to the hospital where she miscarried, and then took her home. Events took a twist when Ali (Ali Nuhu) returned to the village and learnt of what happened to his sister. Armed with a mindset to search for his sister in the city, Ali ran into Sani (Lawan Ahmad), Dije’s erstwhile village lover, who assured him that Dije is fine. The film reached its climax when Hafizu met Dije (renamed Khadija by her new family) in the city and professes `love` to her without recognizing her as the girl he violated months back. With a mind to seek revenge, Dije (Khadija) lured Hafizu to the village to introduce him to her parents. The film ended with a denouement at Hafizu’s farm house where Ali and Sani, upon sighting Hafizu’s car, ran after him, dealt with him before Halilu (Ali’s uncle) came into the scene ordering the lads to stop beating him (Hafizu). Halilu proclaimed that fate had finally caught up with Hafizu, who shortly before the entrance of Ali and Sani, discovered the true identity of Khadija as the young and naïve girl (Dijangala) he had earlier defiled.
Dijangala, which gave its director, Ali Nuhu, the award of the Best Hausa Film at the Zuma Film Festival (2008), reproduces, among many gender stereotypes, the stereotype of men-folk as mean, wicked and arrogant. The characters of Dije’s uncle, Halilu (Bashir Nayaya) and Hafizu (Adam A. Zango) was used to strongly reinforce this stereotype in the film. The Good Samaritan, Rabiu, who rushed Dije to the hospital was used to also show that behind these wicked, arrogant and wicked beings are nice, caring and loving men; however, this was not properly achieved as just one scene of a man who was caring and nice was not a good balance with the domineering stereotype of men as callous, mean and arrogant. The strongest emphasis of this stereotype of the masculine gender is portrayed in the scene where Hafizu overpowered Dije, violated her and yet felt no remorse – here, the masculine gender is portrayed as an animal with no feelings at all.
The film producer also makes use of motif (Hafizu systematically stroking his ear) at different scenes where the masculine gender is either showed as arrogant, callous or mean.
The children of the affluent are also portrayed as arrogant – Hafizu is shown as being contemptuous of his elders and Hausa traditions in the way he threw naira notes on Halilu (Dije’s uncle) when the latter came to inform him that Dije was pregnant following his sexual acts with her. Further Hafizu told Halilu on his way out, “I will give you more money if that is not enough for you.’’ Also, while trying to explain an idea to Dije when she came to carry out `menial jobs` (a plot to draw her closer to Hafizu) for him, he noted, “maybe you wouldn’t understand what I mean because of your background’’. The scene where Hafizu in his car splashed water on Ali (Ali Nuhu, Future Awards 2008 Best Actor-`Sitanda’) without apology, also reinforce this stereotype of arrogance among kids of the affluent.
The feminine gender is also portrayed as lacking independence. Throughout the film, it was only the male characters that were seen as wealthy or well-to-do, thus independent. Characters such as Hafizu (who drove a Jeep), Rabiu, the Samaritan (who drove a Honda) and Nasir, Hafizu’s friend and `business’ partner (who also drove Honda), Alhaji Babba Muhammadu, Hafizu’s dad, (who owned a livestock farm), were all used to reinforce this stereotype of lack of independence by the female folk. The female characters reinforced this stereotype. Dije, for a better part of the film, was dependent on her brother, Ali. In fact, she emphasized this during the first song of the film, where she talked of her dependent state on Ali. Goggo (wife to Dije’s uncle) typified the stereotype of a full-time housewife who is ever dependent on her husband (Halilu) for livelihood.
Equally, the name of the main character (who is a new entrant into the Hausa film industry) and the title of the film, Dijangala, which means “the pride of a landlord…bride not for the poor,’’ goes a long way to reinforce the stereotype that ladies, especially pretty and beautiful ones, are `items’ only affordable by the affluent and well-to-do. Using the pivot of the film, Dije, the producer of the film affirmed the stereotype that it is only characters like Hafizu who can come openly to seek for her hand in marriage and not characters like Sani, who “does not even own a hut not to talk of a house.’’
Importantly, the feminine gender is portrayed as a nice but of weak character. In the film, the character of Dije, especially at the beginning of the movie, is used to depict the womenfolk as nice beings. However, Dije is shown as constantly weeping. Close-ups on her face depict the feminine gender as a weak gender. In fact, this is made more prominent by the picture of the main character, Dije, crying, used on the jacket cover of the video. Also, the domain of music, as portrayed by the two scenes where songs were rendered in the film, is seen as an exclusive preserve of the womenfolk.
Equally, the movie reinforces the cultural anxieties, especially in the Hausa culture, that a mature boy and a young girl should not be left alone together. In the film, when Halilu (Dije’s uncle) told his wife of his plan to bring Dije and Hafizu closer via the former going to do menial jobs for the latter, she answered thus, “how can you allow a young girl like this and a boy of that age to be together.’’ Also, when Ali returned from his sojourn in the city and learnt of what happened between his sister and Hafizu, he exclaimed thus, “how can a mature boy and girl be secluded alone. It is never done.’’ These statements credited to characters in the film reinforces the cultural stereotype that a boy who has come of age cannot be left alone with a young girl without `something funny` happening between them both (such as was seen between Hafizu & Dije in the film).
However, the film with a down-to-earth traditional setting of the Hausa community, challenges the societal stereotype that nothing good can come out of a rape victim. The latter end of the life of Dije, who though was raped was yet able to pick up her life again in the city and brace ahead for the promising future, helped to challenge the societal stereotype that to be raped means the end of life. Also, the two songs rendered in the film with duration of 123 minutes (though the film was just 66 minutes) helped to give the viewer a better understanding of happenings in the film and helped to tie events in the film together. All in all, Dijangala shot majorly in Jos, Plateau State, is a movie that though portrays many gender stereotypes, but yet challenges the stereotype that there is no life for a rape victim.
Starring: Abba El-Mustapha, Sadiya Mohammed
Magaji Mijinyawa, Shu’aibu Lwal
Crew: Producer, Abba El-Mustapha:
Director, Ishaq Sidi Ishaq
Summary and Analysis by Margaret Kwene Ukpele
The film “El-Mustapha” is an adaptation of “Coming to America.” The film begins with shots of Alhaji (Magaji Mijinyawa) giving orders to a set of bodyguards as regards his son’s welfare. Abba El-Mustapha who plays El-Mustapha in this film, is the only son of his parents Alhaji (Magaji Mijinyawa) and Hajiya (Amina Garba). El-Mustapha is loved and pampered by his parents. He has everything at his beck and call. His parents give him all that money could buy to the extent that everything he has is labeled “El-Mustapha.” El-Mustapha gets tired of these gestures by his parents and demands he wants to live a life of his own, not to be controlled like a robot. Because his father loves him so much, he grants El-Mustapha’s request. El-Mustapha gains his freedom and begins to lead a normal life – the life he always wished to live. He travels to an unknown village with his friend Dini (A.A Shariff), where he rents an apartment from Malam Iro. There, he meets Afiya (Sadiya Mohammed) and falls in love with her at first sight. Damaga (Shu’aibu Lawal) Afiya’s lover would not tolerate seeing any man with Afiya. Damaga meets Talle, his friend Afiya’s house and feeling betrayed, Damaga kills Talle. Damaga almost killed El-Mustapha but fate has it that Afiya’s father appears at the scene, the destruction is averted. El-Mustapha’s parents get information that their son is in an unknown village, and they go in search of their son. They see El-Mustapha in the company of Afiya. El-Mustapha reluctantly goes home with his parents. At home, his father arranges a marriage for him. After the marriage ceremony, El-Mustapha meets his bride in the bedroom; he would not unveil her face, because he feels he does not love her; that she is imposed on him. He aggressively asks her to unveil her face before the count of three, the bride unveils her face. Lo, it is Afiya. El-Mustapha finds it difficult to believe that he could see Afiya again. The only song in the film comes after Alhaji Hudu’s daughters come looking for El-Mustapha at his house. In the song, praises of El-Mustapha are chanted singing he is a star and ‘gwarzo.’
This film reproduces gender stereotypes in several ways. Women are shown to be passive. For example, Hajiya (Amina Garba) accepts all that Alhaji (Magaji Mijinyawa) says. Alhaji seeks her opinion of his intention to get El-Mustapha married. Hajiya tells him that El-Mustapha is too young, as he is only seventeen (17). She demands to seek El-Mustapha’s opinion but Alhaji rejects the idea. Hajiya without further argument accepts the idea. Also, the four daughters (Fadeela, Faleela, Jaleela and Nabeela of Alhaji Hudu (Aminu Hudu) were portrayed as subservient; willing to do all that El-Mustapha commands them to do. They obeyed his commands by laughing, meowing, making siren wails and crying. This reinforces the stereotype that women are not independent minded. There is also a stereotype of women being materialistic; as the four daughters of Alhaji Hudu were portrayed as people who cared much about El-Mustapha’s money and possessions. Another aspect of the film that reinforces the stereotype that women are passive is when Afiya complains that Damaga’s attitude towards her has changed. Damaga tells her that he would do anything to protect her and that Afiya should consider her self lucky to have a brave man like him. Afiya quickly eulogizes him.
On the other hand, the film challenges gender stereotypes. The emotional reaction of Afiya’s father (Malam Inuwa) when his rent is paid by El-Mustapha, calls into question that men are reluctant to express emotions. Malam Inuwa who would not pay his rent, had his house locked by Malam Iro the landlord. Malam Inuwa goes in search of the landlord. There, he meets El-Mustapha who feels pity for him and decides to pay his rent. This moves Malam Inuwa to tears. His daughter urges him to stop crying. Also, El-Mustapha shows emotions when he is separated from Afiya (when his father comes to take him back to the city). The idea that only men could work as bodyguards is also refuted in the film as El-Mustapha has four (4) female bodyguards.
Men are portrayed as victims of women. This is shown in Damaga’s ache to eliminate anybody who showed interest in Afiya. Damaga killed Talle and El-Mustapha narrowly escaped Damaga’s wrath.
Cinematography, editing and mis-en-scene, show El-Mustapha as an affluent city boy and Afiya is portrayed as a naive village girl. There is always a close shot of the ladies interviewed by El-Mustapha so that the expressions on their faces (their euphoric state) are clearly seen. Also, when Afiya and El-Mustapha first meet, there is a close up on Afiya’s face showing that she desired El-Mustapha. There are different sound motifs when ever a particular actor or actress is the focus of the scene. For example, there is a sound motif when El-Mustapha wakes up in the beginning of the film, when he enters a train and when Afiya unveils her face. This sound motif shows that El-Mustapha has a feeling of fulfillment. The green light motif in Alhaji’s sitting room, gives a picture of authority and power. A dress motif is seen as Damaga wears the same dress (black hunter regalia) throughout the film. El-Mustapha also wears clothing bearing his label (El-Mustapha), a dress motif that symbolizes affluence. In the only song in the film, there is a balance of the visual representation of men and women. However, Mustapha is shown from a high angle and the ladies are shown sitting at his feet. This emphasizes men’s superiority. The editing is rapid.
On the whole, this film can be said to be a balanced piece as it challenges and reinforces stereotype of both genders.
FAKAT (That is All)
Produced by Aisha Tijjani
Directed by Mansoor Sadiq
Casts: Abba El-Mustapha, Maimuna Muhammad, Jamila Umar, Bashir Nayaya and Sheriff Aminu Ahlan
Summary and Analysis by Abubakar Farra’u
Summary: the film Fakat tells a story of violence against women woven around the story of Mahfuz (Abba El–Mustapha) and Surayya (Maimuna Muhammed). Mahfuz turns out to be very aggressive toward women. He rejects all women around him, including his father’s friend’s endeared daughter, Saddiqa (Jamila Umar), ignoring the advice of those around him. The root cause of this behaviour is the evil action of his mother. Apart from her being rude to his father (Abubakar Nayaya), Mahfuz saw her kill his infant brother and blame it on the father. However, Mahfuz saved his father in a lawsuit and testified against the mother despite her threat to curse him. In consequence, Mahfuz hates women and regards them as capable of deceit. He beats and shouts at them and promises not to have any thing to do with any woman.
In his aggressive bizarre state, Mahfuz run into Surayya (Maimuna Muhammed), a young teenage girl who comes from a poor background. When he thinks Surayya’s sister has behaved rudely to him, he tries to beat the sister. In the ensuing skirmish he damaged Surayya’s left eye. Mahfuz is forced to marry Surayya when the issue reaches his authoritative rich father, whom he respects so much. Mahfuz, despite his attitude toward women and his disgust at her physical handicap, is forced to accept her, but he vows to molest her upon their marriage. Surraya is now taken abroad for a successful treatment.
After the marriage, Mahfuz went on with his illicit decision, ignoring the advices of those around him, including his “westernized” school friend, Sadiq (Aminu Ahlan). The rest of the story tells how he maltreats Surraya, beating, abusing, and battering her while at the same time, ignoring her bed. He sleeps with her just once, while he is drunk and in consequence, she conceives. While his father is away for a treatment, he divorces her. On leaving for her parent’s home, Surraya runs into Adam (Ali Nuhu), who later proposes to marry her after she is ready for marriage. While this is happening, Mahfuz’s father learns about their separation, becomes very angry, and ignores his son. Through that Maffuz realizes his mistakes and he is anxious to take her back. However, Surraya refuses and indicates that it has to wait until she delivers.
Analysis: Fakat, for obvious reasons, is a picture of violence against women. It shows how Mahfuz physically abuses women, including his wife Surraya. He batters her, molests and sexually assaults her. He is frequently shown slapping women ranging from Saddiqa to his wife, particularly when he batters his wife (Surraya) with a belt. Also, the way he came home drunk and slept with her, while at the first instance he denied her such pleasure, is sexually abusive. His behaviors are in all detriment to Islamic teachings, his religion.
Surraya (and by implication other women) is seen as a perpetual minor in the film. She is depicted as weak, secluded but virtuous, because she is submissive, patient, and silent and contends with her husband’s intolerable behaviour (while still, obedient to him especially when bowing while greeting him and many others). By contrast, her sister is seen as rude, because she opens up. Surraya and her mother were excused when a decision was being made about a decision to take her for a treatment abroad. By implication, women are restricted in decision making. Also, Mahfuz attempts to excuse his wife when he thought he should have a private talk with his father.
With the female producer, the film challenges the issue of giving out daughters for marriage without their consent. Even while depicting Mahfuz’s mother as a ‘devil’ woman who killed her own son, reduces her husband to wheelchair and is also responsible for her sons aggressive behaviour and hatred towards women (by implication the reason he molests his wife); she is seen as a victim of forced marriage. She expressed in many instances that she hates Mahfuz’s father. Also, Surraya is forced to marry Mahfuz despites his negative attitudes and consequently, suffers what she suffered. Thus, the film expresses distaste for and challenges the issue of forceful marriage.
Fakat reproduces many stereotypes about women. Mahfuz is shown as rich and successful and therefore, attracts women’s attentions despite his aggression towards them. The first song of the film typically illustrates this. The women were singing pleadingly in a competitive way while he rejects them in his response. Mise en scene seems to reinforce his stardom by portraying him twinkling brightly. The film also reproduces the fact that the place for women is home. Surraya is shown fixing things at home (fixing curtains and dusting electronic materials in a parlour) even while causing her additional battering from Mahfuz. Her virtue is seen as reflecting in her role as house wife even while denying her educational right. Her song reinforces this stereotype. Her words go thus:
Burin ya mace dakin aure,
Koda ko tana shan wuya,
Yana fata zagi harda iyayena
The hope of a woman is marriage,
Even while suffering,
He batters me,
He rejects me,
He is abusing me and my parents
The second song in the film reinforces this with flashbacks of how he has been maltreating her.
Such portrayal of Surraya reinforces subordination of women through her appearance as a daughter. She is imposed, without her consent, on someone who hates and even considers her as “musaka” (as Mahfuz and his friend sings), a handicap caused by him. Also she is portrayed as a good “virtuous” wife only because she is obedient, silent, submissive, restricted from education and secluded, at the same time, contending with her husband’s aggression and wickedness. Men are portrayed in a public sphere (playing basket ball, in office, driving car), while the only place of women in the film is home and home alone.
Summary and Analysis by Adamu Abbas Adamu
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: MURTALA S. IDRISS
PRODUCER: LAWAN M. ADAM
DIRECTOR: SALISU T. BALARABE
The film Farauta is about two ethnic groups, the Fulani and the Maguzawa. It involves conflict between the two ethnic group. The King of Maguzawa,Guza, (Adam A. Zango), sees a beautiful Fulani girl, Munira (Sadiya Gyale Moh’d). He sends his guards to apprehend her for him because he likes her. In the process of getting her, they kill many of the Fulani clan, which results in chaos.
Before King Guwa sees her, she was already in love with her Fulani lover Daji (Lawan M. Adam). When the guards of King Guwa apprehend Munira, which results in the death of many Fulani people, her lover Daji goes for revenge. He kills one of the guards and wears his clothes.
When Munira refuses to fall in love with Guwa, he uses his magic charm to posses her mind and control her. When Daji finds her, she rejects him because she is not herself. King Guwa later finds out that Daji was after Munira, and he promises to get him. When Guwa’s grand mother is about to die she calls Daso and tells him that he should kill Daji and marry Munira by any means. This is the end of part one.
Starring in the film are Sadiya Gyale Muhammad, Lawan M. Adam, Adam A. Zango, Maryam Hiyana Usman, Daso, Fati Muhammad, Fati Baffa, Kubura Dako, Sinana, Adam A. Adam, Sharu Khan, Auwalu Adam, Mahmud Tantiri, Abdul Nura Imam and Bashir Falgore.
Summary and Analysis by Nazifi Dawud Khalid
(included scanned copy of the cd—download)
Starring: Abubakar Hayatu
This movie centers on the life of Muhktar (Abubakar Hayatu), a murder suspect and a fugitive on the run from his hometown of Kano to Calabar. On his arrival in Calabar, Mukhtar gains overwhelming recognition for his spectacular display of honesty, diligence and willingness. He subsequently becomes endeared to a business magnate, Alhaji (Kabiru Nakwango) who loses both his wife and only male child to an auto crash that also paralyses his eldest daughter.
As a Chief Executive in Alhaji’s business establishment, Muktar meets Taslim (Kubra Dakho), a charming and industrious young lady who comes to his office in search of job. The two become so attached to each other that they abruptly fall in love. At some point however, Mukhtar uncovers the shocking revelation that Taslim is Alhaji’s younger daughter. This moment marks the beginning of an escalation in the couple’s relationship as Mukhtar feels betrayed by Taslim’s failure to reveal her true identity to him.
He is nonetheless reassured by the realization that Taslim’s secrecy about her identity lies in her wish to deflect any undue respect she may likely receive from her father’s employees, including Mukhtar.
Analysis of Gender Representations in ‘Gudun Kaddara:
Most of the gender representations in ‘Gudun Kaddara’ tend to reinforce the prevailing social status of women in Hausa society although there are some elements of challenge. At the beginning of the film, Taslim is presented as helpful when she offers to escort Mukhtar to his destination in the midst of ethnic riots. Taslim is also given a positive view as hardworking person and a good counselor when she advises Mukhtar not to overwork himself. She has been portrayed as an educated and highly optimistic young woman who is very keen on achieving self-reliance.
On the other hand Mukhtar receives even more positive portrayals than his female counterpart. He represents most of the core values and expectations that are required from an average male in Hausa society. Mukhtar, despite being a murder suspect is shown as a complete story of success. He is depicted as educated, deeply religious, scrupulously honest, excessively hardworking and extraordinarily successful. He rises from a mere shop attendant to the manager of a big business.
In contrast, Taslim despite her education is illustrated as an alienated woman who only finds happiness in meeting Mukhtar and whose happiness and confidence fade away when their relationship falls into trouble. Furthermore, she is shown as deceptive for not disclosing her true identity to Mukhtar despite their intimacy. And when she finally marries Mukhtar, all her troubles seem to disappear. However, soon after her marriage, she challenges the norm of seclusion by demanding from her husband the permission to become a teacher.
The film reinforces the patriarchal structure of the Hausa society in some respects. This is translated in the inability of married women to explore any opportunities without the consent of their husbands. Marriage seems to be the only recognized status conferred to women. All other achievements ranging from educational or occupational qualifications seem to receive little appreciation. Also, the film puts women at the receiving end of male aggression whose consequence inflicts on women some of the worst forms of suffering and hardship. This explains the basis for domestic violence.
Summary and analysis by Adamu Abubakar
Produced by Fatima Abdurrahman
Directed by Ali Nuhu
The film Hiyana portrays Malam (Bashir Nayaya) instructing his daughter Naja’atu (Maryam Usman) to earnestly choose a suitor to be her husband. At the end she can’t get any one and gives the choice to her father. The father chooses Danlami, a son of righteous person, for her; however, Danlami betrayed the trust repose in him and divorced her in due course.
Similarly, the film shows how Lawal (Ali Nuhu) disgraces her when she approaches him for love relationship, marrying another women who dies after giving birth to a baby girl.
It reveals how Mansur (Adamu Zango), a younger brother to Lawal, falls in love with Naja’atu a situation that leads to misunderstanding, conflict and separation between the two brothers. They are later reconciled through the intervention of their mother Ummi.
The film contains four songs. The first one involves Lawal and Naja’atu, the second Naja’atu and Mansur, while the third and the forth involve the three- Ali Nuhu, Adam A. Zango and Maryam Usman.
The film Hiyana is derived from Arabic word Khiyana which means betrayal. The film explores the common idea that every son of a righteous father must be righteous. A typical example was when Malam (Baban Naja’atu) said that Danlami must be good because of the good virtues of his father.
The film shows many betrayals, as indicated in the name of the film. The first betrayal is the one by Danlami (Naja’atu husband), who divorces Naja’atu very early after beating her several times. The second betrayal in the film is the love relationship that occurs between Mansur (Adam A. Zango) and Naja’atu because in Hausa culture a younger brother or even a brother in general cannot engage in love with a girlfriend of his brother.
The film reveals many gender inequalities: visually in the way the scenes were set up and thematically in the way women were treated. Firstly, on the film cover there are two men and one lady (Ali Nuhu, Adam A. Zango and Naja’atu). The third song of the film “Iye anci amanr kauna, Hiyana anci amanar Dan’ua” contains two males and a female. Also the forth song “Hiyana Kala Kala masoya sunyi gangani madoka buga ganguna na kauna” has gender in equality because there were more than ten girls but only two males. Another example is where Naja’atu’s father (Malam) gave her a week ultimatum to bring her suitor. She says it is not enough time. Later even her mother (Hajara Usman) insists that the ultimatum is too short, but the father said “Babu ruwansa tun da ya yanke sati daya sati dayan nan zata fito da miji.”
The film also neglected women seriously, especially the Naja’atu, who appears to be crying almost all the time. Her face appears in close up with a motif of “Hiyana” sound repeatedly appearing whenever she is in a state of grief. Another example is where Danlami (Naja’atus husband) slaps her and says the meal she cooked was not tasty. Additionally, when he divorces her he says, “idan baki fice kin bani wuri ba zan miki duka in daki banza.” Her father Malam takes no action when she tells him what happened.
However, the film does show how mothers are powerful and influential in Hausa culture. A good example is how Ali Nuhu’s mother gave instructions that “ko ka nemo min dana ko ni na fice na bar maka gidan ka zauna ka kula da taka ‘yar na nemo shi da kai na.” This statement leads to the reconciliation between Adam A. Zango and Ali Nuhu.
The cinematography is below standard. Pictures are dark with shadow appearing and the sound is not audible in some places. The actors uses western mode of dress. The locations fit the scenes. The film last for one and half hour.
The analysis of Hiyana film exposes how women are neglected in Hausa culture and are considered unequal to their male counterparts. In addition, even if they are maltreated by men nothing happens.
Summary and Analysis by Musa Alhassan
Producer : Umar Ubale Ja’in
Director : Lawan A. Kaura
Date Released : 2007
Duration : 1hr
Production : SKY Media
The film features a story of two lovers i.e. Mustapha (Son of Ibro) and Fatima (daughter of Kaura Goje) living in Sabongari village, who agree to marry each other, but are rejected by their fathers for selfish reasons (because they are not in good terms). The couple secretly go into exile to a nearby village to find someone to organize their wedding prayer.
Coincidentally both parents go to the same village looking for their children. They meet a group of people about to offer a wedding prayer and join them. The Imam does not come on time, so the two men volunteer to serve as parents of the couples. Ibro serves as the bride’s father, Goje serves as groom’s father, and the prayer is offered.
The two parents only come to realize that the bride and groom are their children (who had fled them) when the couple come to express appreciation for their sacrifice. They are dumb founded but later reconcile and even dance together at the wedding reception of their children.
The film portrays a typical Hausa father as dictatorial with no respect for his children’s choice. Even if the wife supports something, the husband can over rule her decision. This is because children and women are considered largely as property of the husband.
Side A of the film shows men as irresponsible people who have no respect for the marriage institution. For example, Dan- Gwari (a non- indigene living in the village ) decides to abandon his wife and children for fear of ethnic crises when he learn about Ibro/ Kaura crisis.
There is gender balance in the first song (side A ) which features two men and two ladies singing, but there is imbalance in the second song (side B ) during the wedding reception where three men are shown singing and dancing with six ladies.
Similarly, there is no representation of women in the wedding prayer that took place in the village. It is an all – men affair.
Another important gender imbalance is the power given to men to divorce while women don’t have similar choices. For example, when Kaura invites his friends to the wedding reception, the friend’s wife made a statement, and the husband quickly threatens to divorce her. She immediately begs him not to. This shows that divorce in Hausa land is cheap and prevalent.
The producer tries to teach ladies and guys who fall into similar problems to quickly flee to another society that is less hostile and get married there.
Before leaving Sabon-Gari, Fatima contacts her confidant and tells her about the plan to leave. The friend strongly advises her not to. This is an indication that up to now, the culture of ‘Marriage by force’ is still being practice by Hausas.
Contrary to common stereotypes in Hausa films that women are evil, the film Ibro – Aloko portrays them as good, honest and faithful. This is demonstrated by Fatima’s consistency in her affair with her lover.
The producer of the film shows a gradual change of attitudes in the parent/child relationship in Hausa land, from the traditional dictatorial relationship to a modern life where children have right to lead their life in their own way.
Summary and Analysis by Jamila Mohammed
Produced by Mustapha S. Gadanya
Directed by Yakubu Mohammed
2004, by Jaga world productions Kano.
ACTORS: Ali Nuhu, Sani Danja, Ibrahim Maishinku, Aminu Shariff, Abba Elmustapha, Hannatu Umar and Aisha Dankano.
SUMMARY: The film Jarumai 1 portrays the life of a girl Safiya (Hannatu Umar) who after failing exams at school, drops out in search of a wealthy husband courtesy of her mother’s (Aisha Dankano) advice. Safiya refuses to marry an engineer, doctor, lawyer, teacher, and a soldier (people with skills) because she is told by her mum that she is beautiful thus she only belong to a wealthy husband.
Although Safiyya’s father (Bashir Nayaya) warns the mother, Safiya continues with her mother even after his death. Now, with the help of “rubutu” from a mallam and one Hajiya Adirisai, Safiya gets married to a rich husband Alhaji Ali(Ali Nuhu). Instead of living with her husband, she proceeds to kill him. She continues this pattern in each of her following four marriages, killing each of her husbands, Alhaji Sani (Sani Danja), Alhaji Aminu (Aminu Shariff), Alhaji Ibrahim (Ibrahim Maishinku), and Alhaji Elmustapha(Abba el mustapha), despite being preganant for each of them.
Safiya and her mother get money from each of the husbands, but she is now at home alone with no one to marry. After 20 years, six children Yakubu(Ali Nuhu), Sadi(Sani Danja), Mudassir (Aminu Shariff), Misbahu (Ibrahim Maishinku), Abubakar (Abba Elmustapha) and Sadiya (Sadiya Mohammmed) come to stay with their mother Safiya (now Zainab Booth) in one house without brotherhood, love, intimacy, or care for their mother. There is also disagreement between the brothers over love of a young girl Aliya (Mansurah Isah).
ANALYSIS: Jarumai 1, reproduces many stereotypes of women in its reflection of the controversies in raising children and the dangers of marrying beautiful women with bad backgrounds.
The film portrays mothers misguiding their children. Safiya’s mother (Aisha dankano) misadvises her daughter Safiya throughout the film, while the father (Bashir Nayaya) is portrayed as an innocent man who warns his wife against her illicit advice.
The film also reproduces stereotypes that women are materialistic. This is seen where Safiya’s mother tell one Hajiya Mai Adirisai that to them marriage is just like a lido game and also where Safiya’s mother warns her to only attend to rich guys.
Furthermore, women are portrayed as killers. Safiya (Hannatu Umar) is seen as a wife who kills her husbands. For example, during the second song in the film, all the husbands account their cause of death to Safiya. This fact is not to be accounted to Safiya alone because Safiya does not kill her second husband Alhaji Sani (Sani Danja) her self. She hires some one to kill him. Also Safiya kills her third husband Alhaji Aminu (Aminu Shariff) in self defense because he threatens to kill her when he finds out that she is seeing another man. Thus, Safiya should not be considered as the only murderer but together with the other two guys.
The film also portrays women as deceivers and pretenders. For example, Safiya is portrayed as some one who deceives all five husbands she married. She pretends that she loves them all, from her second husband to the last, telling them that she has never married, talk less of giving birth. When her second husband Alhaji Sani asked her whether it is true she has a son, she says no.
Women are also portrayed as being proud of their beauty, using it as a trap to get men’s attention. This can be seen where safiya’s mother advises the daughter (safiya) to drop out of school, that since she is beautiful she has all it takes to be a woman, and also where the mother advises Safiya to kill her fourth husband Alhaji Ibrahim, saying that since she is beautiful, she can get another husband. This feature of pride is only portrayed in Safiya. None of the husbands show concern for wealth or any other thing.
To emphasize Safiya’s illicit actions, the film produces a soft and hard music background when ever Safiya was shown doing or about to do something bad.
The negative aspects of Safiya are that she has no judgment of her own. She follows all her mother’s advice blindly. She is seen only once telling the mother that she is tired of killing her husbands, but she still does what the mother tells her to do, going ahead to kill her fourth husband. She also seeks her mother’s advice on any matter and is never seen taking action on her own. Her positive aspects are that she is portrayed as a respectful daughter (who follows her mother blindly) and the fact that she seems to be a patient and caring mother. At one point she tells her mother that she is tired of marriage and that she want her children back. She keeps following the mother more than twenty years. She never gives up or grows bitter at her mother (now Amina Garba).
Also, although Safiya is portrayed as a bad girl in the film, she is never dressed indecently. She also always speaks with a low pitched calm voice, showing how untroubled she is and how good she is at deceiving her lovers. Other women in the film like Hajara Usman (Alhaji Elmustapha’s mother) and Ruqayya Usman (Alhaji Ibrahim’s sister) are foils to Safiya, who care for their son and brother and who dislike Safiya despite her fake behavior.
On the other hand, men are portrayed as victims of women. Safiya was portrayed as a wife who takes advantage of her husband’s love, innocence, kindness, caring and concern. Her first husband Alhaji Ali is kind to her and even trusts her more than his own brother. Her fourth husband Alhaji Ibrahim also denies his relatives allegations about her and always smiles and forgives her. Her last husband Alhaji El Mustapha always wishes to be with her and denies his parent’s choice in order to be with her but only gets the reward of being murdered by her.
Even though these are positive portrayals of men, they are also portrayed as weak, allowing women to overpower them in house decisions. For instance, Safiya’s father seems to be weak in his daughter’s decision. Men are also portrayed as being naïve, allowing Safiya’s beauty and fake attitude to overrule them. Safiya is never shown using charms to take control of her husbands after marriage. She just deceives them with tricks.
Summary and Analysis by Sagiru Kano Saleh
Produced by Sani Danja;
Directed by Suleiman Mohammed;
Storyline: Yakubu Mohammed;
Camera: Hashimu Dikko, Nasiru Dorayi and Bilya Tage;
Cast: Sani Danja, Ubale Ibrahim, Mansura Isa, etc.;
SUMMARY: Kirjin Biki, is a story of two friends (Amaka and Gufinta) who wish to strengthen their own friendship by arranging a marriage between their children, Maryo and Abubakar who have never met each other. Amaka wanted to intimidate Sarfata, the bridegroom’s grandmother, and other women, so she stole the jewelry of one of the attendants (Ariguna) and had it put in Sharfata’s handbag. She also pretended to be possessed by her former co-wife (meaning that the the ex co- wife is a witch) and had wanted to keep Zabuwa and another woman from attending the wedding eve. Other women also used the wedding day as opportunity to blackmail, intimidate and cajole one another: Figi was fought by Ariguna, her former co-wife, for instigating Amaka to deal with her (Ariguna). On the other hand, the bride, Maryo was pregnant and had been to a hospital to abort the pregnancy, but was turned down by the Chief Medical Officer. However another doctor in the hospital received her money and did the abortion. The Chief Medical Officer was disatisfied when the said medical officer told him he had aborted the pregnacy. The same day Amaka was told of the development and she went to talk with Maryo. Nasha-nasha came in when Amaka was talking to Maryo about the abortion. Amaka tried to hide it from Nasha- nasha who had already heard. Nasha-nasha threatened to reveal the abortion to the bridegroom unless her debts to Amaka were waived. Amaka agreed and the celebration continued. When it was time for the introduction of the bride to her unknown groom, Maryo discovered she was to be married to the doctor who refused to abort her pregnancy few hours ago. Dr Abubakar refused the marriage and narrated what Maryo had done that morning. His mother was disapponted and the wedding was stopped.
ANALYSIS: There are various ways in which gender is represented in Kirjin Biki. In it there is gender imbalance. It is female-dominated: only six men featured in the film, four of whom appeared only once each. The film gives the impression that females are irrational, while men are rational. For example Gufinta and Amaka resolved to marry their children (who have never met each other) together, without thinking of what might happen when the marriage brings unhappy life to the couple. However, Abubakar’s friend thinks that it is irrational for Abubakar to marry a woman whom he had never met. In the film also, there is the stereotype that women are secretive and deceitful. For example, Maryo did not reveal her pregnancy and abortion to her mother, Amaka also failed to tell it to Gufinta though they were friends. Women were also portrayed as desperate. For example Maryo was desperate when the doctor refused to abort her pregnancy. She urged the other doctor to do it and that she had the money to pay.
Men were potrayed as professional and desciplined. For example Abubakar was presented as a ‘professional’ doctor who refused to abort an uncertified pregnancy because doing so was ‘unprofessonal.’ On the other hand Maryo was not identified with any profession. In fact she was presented as an indecent girl who got pregnant without being married. However the film also admit that some men are unprofessional because the other doctor agreed to abort Maryo’s pregnancy, which doctor Abubakar had refused to do earlier. Women were potrayed as pure and innocent. For example jewelry was put in Sharfata’s bag, but Sharfata was innocent, she did not steal it. Similarly, an innocent woman who only came to attend the wedding ceremony, was accused of being a witch which she is not. However women were also potrayed as immoral. For example a woman revealed that some women (refering to Zabuwa) were taking their sisters to Dubai for prostitution. Zabuwa also revealed that the said woman had molested a boy, which means she sprees with young boys. Similarly Amaka said she had done ‘yawon barbadanci.’ Blame was also put on women alone. For example the whole fault of Maryo’s pregnancy was blamed on her, but the man who impregnated her was not identified. He was not shown, neither was his name mentioned, he was also not blamed for impregnating her. The film also stereotyped women as dependent on men. For example, when Ariguna’s jeweleries were missing two ‘yan daudus’ were called by the women to sing so that the thief will be identified. Men were also stereotyped as slanderous. For example Ari was the one who secretly told Amaka of Maryo’s abortion, he said that was the only way he can keep the ‘fire burning’ after she had left. Men were also characterised with femininity. For example two men out of the six in the film were ‘yan daudus.’
KUKAN ZAKI (the Lion’s Cry)
Review and Analysis by Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim
Produced by Sani Danja
Directed by Yakubu Muhammad\
Kukan Zaki is a film that portrays a typical Hausa extended family setting. It tells a story of a wealthy Alhaji (Kabiru Maikaba), his wives and his two sons (Ali Nuhu and Sani Danja). Alhaji’s desire to have a grandchild makes him offer fifty million naira for the first grandchild delivered to him. This covenant, he tells a friend who visited him, is over heard by one of Alhaji’s wives Hajiya(Zuwaira Isah). Therefore, when Sani’s (Sani Danja)’s wife conceived, Hajiya contracts the services of a shaman to terminate the pregnancy. Later in the film, Khalil (Ali Nuhu)’s wife conceives and delivers a baby boy, who was named Ali and eventually got the fifty million naira gift. On the naming ceremony day, the boy was stole by unknown person. The rest of the film shows the ups and downs to find the baby’s where about, which include Alhaji’s attempt to call police and Hajiya’s invitation to call the shaman ( Boka) .
Kukan Zaki has reflected some practical stereotypes of women. Hajiya (Zuwaira Isah) was portrayed as a greedy, wicked, destructive, bitchy woman who solicits the services of a shaman (boka) to terminate the pregnancy of her stepson’s (Sani Danja) wife, so as to get the fifty million naira set aside for the first grandchild. The irrationality of Hajiya led her to invite the shaman to her house in order to find out who kidnapped her grandchild Ali, Khalil (Ali Nuhu)’s son. The shaman attributed the guilt to her. Hajiya’s destructive role was when she enters Baba (Hajara Usman)’s room and accused her of stealing the baby, causing a conflict among the family members, especially between Sani (Sani Danja) and Khalil (Ali Nuhu). This confirms Aminu Fagge’s claims that Hausa films potray women soliciting Shaman’s assistance to get rid of an existing rival.
Despite her calmness and kindness, Samira (Samira Ahmad) Sani Danja’s wife was accused of being unproductive by her husband’s family since she was unable to conceive, though the responsibility is not her’s alone.
Mis-en-scene also reinforces cultural stereotype of women seclusion. Alhaji’s wives and his two daughters-in-law were all secluded from public sphere, only Alhaji (Kabiru mai kaba) and his two sons (Ali Nuhu and Sani Danja) were shown shuttle in and out as they wish.
Kukan Zaki presents a complicated role where Saratu, a male pimp Dandaudu works as midwife to Samira. This eventually causes destruction in the family.
The film portrayed the life of Hausa extended family setting where wives and their children compete to satisfy the husband. The film fails to portray the severe consequences faced by guilty party at the end of the film. Alhaji (Balarabe Maikaba) should be the first guilty person, because he is responsible for creating the chaos by giving fifty million for the first grandchild delivered. Saratu Dandaudu should also be punished due to his dual role in the house to create chaos between the co-wives.