Nigerian actress Rahama Sadau has issued a public apology just days after being banned from the Hausa-language film industry because of her “immoral” behavior in a recent music video where she was shown hugging a man, reports the BBC. The Hausa movie industry, commonly known as “Kannywood,” is the largest film industry in northern Nigeria, which is mostly Muslim, where it’s taboo for men and women to hold hands in public. The industry has been heavily criticized by conservative Muslim clerics who say indecent movies are corrupting community values.
Over the weekend, the Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN) held an emergency meeting that led to the immediate removal of Sadau from the organization. According to Premium Times, MOPPAN sets rules and regulations governing the conduct of actors and actresses as well as the production of movies in northern Nigeria. In a statement signed by MOPPAN Secretary Salisu Mohammed, Sadau was accused of violating the association’s code of ethics. In ClassiQ’s video for “I Love You,” Sadau can be seen hugging and cuddling the musician.
Watch the video that led to Sadau’s ban from Kannywood here::
In an interview with Premium Times, ClassiQ said:
“I actually asked and begged Rahama Sadau to be part of the video because she is a popular figure in the entertainment industry and that is all. I wanted a popular face in the video. When the whole thing blew because of her appearance in the video, I got shocked. In fact I am still not myself till now. I am shocked by her expulsion.We are not in any way trying to prove a point or step on any body’s toe. It is strictly professional and look at what it has turned out to be for her. I am so worried and disturbed about it.”
Why Sadau’s Expulsion Was Unwarranted
Hip-hop and contemporary music in general have become undeniable forces in popular culture. While this is great on many levels, there are still many issues and flaws that need to figured out, especially since this type of music is being mainly enjoyed by younger audiences.
First, the unnecessary display of wealth by flaunting luxurious cars, expensive houses, and pricey bottles of alcohol is a problem that has created a skewed perception of what it truly means to be wealthy. This has ultimately caused a major shift in what today’s youth aspire to do and become.
Perhaps the most alarming aspect of modern music videos is the explicit content that’s misrepresented as art. Images of young unclad ladies in countless videos has become the norm, even within Africa. An actress getting banned from the Nigerian film industry for “indecent” behavior should provide solace to some, right? Well, you be the judge…
The reason for Sadau’s expulsion was her “immoral” appearance in the aforementioned music video. Banning an actress for indecent exposure in a video in order to deter others from doing the same sounds like a good idea, but while watching the video, I was keenly waiting for the part where she appeared immoral or unclad.
Where exactly was the inappropriate behavior? Where is the line between decent and immoral?
She wore nothing revealing, had little or no direct contact with the musician, and in my opinion, did not appear vulgar in any way. However, to my dismay, some of her friends and fans were also on the side of MOPPAN. According to Premium Times, one of her fans, Maryam Umar said, “Rahama has crossed the boundary line this time around. The video is all revealing and this is not proper for a Muslim girl to go this extreme in an open video.”
Another fan wrote, “She has really have gone too far and it is good that she was removed from [MOPPAN] before it becomes a norm among [actors].”
If the reasons for Sadau’s expulsion were based solely from the content featured in the music video, then greater questions need to be asked. Are we back to that time and age when African women were restricted and relegated to the background? Would this have been an issue if it was an African man in question?
The issues surrounding this situation are linked to deeper issues surrounding African women. How free does a lady have to be before it is considered inappropriate? Do you think she dressed or acted in a manner that was wrong or is this another feminism battle that needs to be won?
BY LAWRETTA EGBA