Different reactions have begun to trail the recent order by Kano State censorship board issued to Kano based satellite TV channel, Arewa24, directing it to desist from showing two popular Drama TV series, with immediate effect, for violating its laws.
The series Kwana Casa’in and Gidan Badamasi were among the best series cherished by millions of Hausa movie enthusiasts around the world.
The directive was contained in a letter personally signed and issued by the Executive Director, Kano State Censorship Board, Alhaji Ismai’la Na’abba Afakallah, giving the TV channel 24 hours to suspend anything that has to do with the said drama series.
However, the ban according to some fans of the two TV series, is an inappropriate move especially at the moment when people are being encouraged to adapt stay-at-home directive of the government for safety against COVID-19.
They said the Drama series, which has been ongoing for over three years, has been a good companion for relaxation during the lockdown period, thereby urging the board to revisit its decision.
They, however, noted some flaws identified by the board which they said could be corrected without necessarily banning the entire programme.
According to Husseini Bashir: “I have heard of the development but being a fan of that series I feel bad because it has being my good companion for over three years. Besides, if for whatever reason, this moment that the government is trying to encourage people to stay at home is not appropriate for such decision, I hope and pray that the censorship board will revisit its decision.”
Another viewer and a housewife, Hajiya Zainab Sulaiman lamented over the development even as she noted some of the shortcomings on the series which she said are not good morally for vulnerable groups of viewers.
She said, “I enjoy every bit of the series, Gidan Badamasi and Kwana Casa’in, though as a woman and mother there are things we may wish them to correct but those things should not warrant outright banning of the series. We want the censorship board to withdraw the ban because of the programme is almost becoming part of our lives.”
Maryam Mohammed, another viewer who spoke with our reporter urged the state Censorship Board to explore other means to address the issue rather than banning or suspending it because of the wide acceptance it has among the public.
She advocated for dialogue with the producers of the series for possible resolution of the differences.
Looking at the global reach of the satellite TV series, Daily Trust Saturday asked a Kano based human rights activist, Comrade A. A. Ayagi if Kano state government has the right to ban a programme that targets a global audience and he said:
“Kano state government has the right to take the decision because the programme is produced in Kano. Had it been that it was somewhere else under the jurisdiction of the federal government, it should be the federal government that will raise the issue, not Kano state government. So anything happening within state jurisdiction, the state government has the right to invoke its laws.”
He said he is in support of the action of the censorship board even as he urged the producers of the TV series to always ensure that they reflect the real culture of the people of Kano state.
Afakallah claimed that the movie series defied sections 100 and 102 of the Kano state censorship board laws (2001), thus debasing cherished cultural values and norms of the people of the state.
He note that it is impermissible in an Islamic Hausa society like Kano for persons of the opposite sex who are not under rights of marriage to be seen in public encroaching each other’s personal spaces.
Afakallah alleged that some of the episodes in the affected series are promoting values capable of corrupting morals of the vulnerable groups of viewers particularly children.
He identified specific scenes in season 3 of Kwana Casa’in where some men were shown holding a lady in a tricycle in an attempt to rob her of her phone, which he described as an abuse of Hausa Islamic cultural norms.
Afakallah had in several interviews with Daily Trust Saturday reiterated his commitment to protecting the cultural values and norms of the people of Kano, even vowing to deal with whoever is involved, no matter how highly placed he is or his political leaning.
In the letter served the management of the television channel, Kano state censorship board also alleged that the episodic movie, Gidan Badamasi was not censored and therefore contravened section (100) of its laws.
The letter which reads in parts cited some provisions of the Censorship Board laws thus:
“Section 100(2) that a person shall not be allowed to exhibit a film, a video work or audio visual cassette or publications without censorship board certificate.
“Furthermore, section 102(2) of the Kano state censorship board law (2001) stated thus: The board shall not approve a film video work or an indecent, obscene or likely to be injurious to morality (c) undesirable in the public interest.
Afakallah said, “It was from the forgoing provisions of the law that we are drawing your attention to a recent episode in a tricycle and in Sahad stores showing a lady being held by men which is against our norms, values, religion and culture.
“It is also on record that another TV series being shown by your TV station called Gidan Badamasi is uncensored and unlicensed film which is an offence contrary to the Kano state censorship board laws (2001).
“It is against the above background that we are giving your TV station 48hours from the receipt of this letter to stop showing Kwana Casa’in and Gidan Badamasi for not complying with the laws mandating all films shown in Kano to pass through censorship board” adding that failure to comply with the directive will attract legal action.