Na Abba Afakallah is the first Executive Director appointed from Kannywood to head Kano Films and Censorship Board. The philosophy behind this according to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje is as an insider he would be in a better position to come up with a strategy to develop the industry which is facing many challenges, ranging from lack of modern equipment, poorly trained directors and actors and the wayward manner of its members.
In fact, because of the massive contribution rendered to President Muhammadu Buhari by members of the industry since 2015, he proposed setting up of 3 billion naira film village in Kofa, Bebeji Local Government Area of Kano State. This will provide an international film market, modern studio, police post, swimming pool, and several other facilities to assist actors and directors in producing their films but Kano Ulamas kicked against this seriously and the project was aborted.
Last week, Afakallah Na’ Abba in his Abubakar Rimi Maiduguri Road Office, Kano, exclusively told Neptune Prime’s correspondent, Saleh Inuwa why Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is setting up a 16 million naira Information Technology Centre in Kano under the control of Kano Films and Censorship Board.
EXCERPTS OF THE INTERVIEW
Neptune Prime: Let’s start by knowing some of the challenges confronting your office?
Afakallah: When I was appointed by Governor Ganduje to come and head this board, I can remember very well you are one of the press at hand that accompanied me to my office to celebrate with me including thousands of my colleagues and associates that converged here on that day to appreciate my appointment being a member of Kannywood, and talking about challenges, I can assure you that they are many but I am doing my best not to disappoint the Governor and my colleagues.
NP: You also on many occasions had a running battle with your colleagues including instituting legal action against some of them, can one say that the seat you are on is actually hot?
Afakallah: Hot or not hot, you can see me sitting comfortably on the exalted seat. To make my job easy, I established offices in all the 44 Local Government Areas and appointed staff there to check piracy, downloading operating illegal cinema houses. In fact, some of the viewing centres were showing prohibited films to members of the public, so my staff are all over the place to stop that. I also organize workshops and seminars to educate our people on our values, religion and culture, we stopped people from displaying pornographic pictures or using a microphone to sell drugs using dirty language. Similarly, I successfully supervised election into various offices of MOPPAN and I also set up 3 committees, Kannywood distribution network, Kannywood development initiatives and the rest.
NP: Tell us the difference between Kano Information Technology Centre and the rejected Kano Film Village proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari?
Afakallah: This is a very tricky question, but to put it blank, the world is changing everything is now done through the internet or online if you like, as such, we must also move to catch up with our partners all over the world. In Kano Film Information Technology which will be a very sophisticated database, businessmen, NGOs and Government parastatals interested in what our members are doing can have access to their activities through our broad bank or through our database, they can easily link up with our Kannywood members and give them contracts for their creativities. Our members too can use our database and advertise their activities for the larger society to know what they are doing and the films they produce or they are producing, honestly, no government in the history of Kano as far as I am concern has assisted our industry tremendously like that of Ganduje.
NP: Finally, what do you want to be remembered for?
Afakallah: If I leave here, by the grace of God, I will still be in the industry or in any position my people want me to serve them, this office has exposed me to many things which I don’t know before like bureaucracy in Government, how to please or displease your employers, how to operate on the same page with your colleagues and I noticed that it is only when you are saddled with such challenges that you will be prepared to handle whatever assignment that might come your way in future either political, cultural or religious, so all in all, I have no regrets.