Babangida Bangis, the movie director, has revealed why young married women “can’t act in Kannywood.”


Kannywood is the term used to refer to the film industry in northern Nigeria; it is headquartered in Kano.

In a chat with BBC Pidgin, Bangis said it “is a rule in Kannywood” that young married women “can’t act in films but are allowed to be producers.”

He added that allowing a young married woman to take a role in movies goes against “Hausa’s cultural values.”


“It’s a rule in Kannywood, young married women cannot act in movies. The only married women are the elderly ones playing motherly roles. Young married women can be producers or something else but not act,” he said.

In 2021, Rahama Sadau, the Kannywood actress in her 20s, stated that she wouldn’t quit acting for marriage.

The north has long had what many describe as informal rules that guide how its film buffs comport themselves.


Observers tend to agree that this is due to religious reservations and the region’s culturally conservative nature.

In 2016, Nigeria canceled plans to build a massive film village in Kano after opposition from Muslim clerics.

More than N3 billion was reportedly budgeted for the project but clerics argued it would promote “immorality”.

Cases have also emerged where Kannywood actors are subjected to sanctions for flouting certain unspoken rules.


An example of such rules is the prohibition of close contact between a man and a woman on set.

For Kannywood films, there is no display of alcoholic products or any form of dressing exposing parts of the body.

Kannywood has produced actors like Ali Nuhu, Adams Zango, Sani Muazu, Umi Zeze, and Nana Ismail, among others.

The Kannywood industry has evolved over the years, with its titles getting wider acceptability outside the north.


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