Movie stars and celebrities are always in the limelight across social media platforms. They are constantly engaged by users daily and a little hitch could simply be weaponised against them. Far from reality, they are expected to live perfect lives.
In northern Nigeria, Kannywood is one of the leading movie industries, with hundreds of actors and actresses. However, with the recent upsurge in social media usage, actresses often come under siege — unbearable criticism, harassment and stigmatization from those they entertain.
Mostly, these criticisms are rooted in societal norms that generally frown upon normalities in the entertainment industry. Some northerners are of the opinion that Kannywood movies only serve to promote immoral acts in society as they do not conform to northern norms and cultures.
That said, it can equally be deduced that the imitation of western culture and lifestyle in the industry also triggers jests.
On several occasions, during interviews or on social media, those actresses have expressed concern and bewilderment as to why they are constantly subjected to toxic treatment.
It is also pertinent to note that this judgemental treatment does not stop with the public, but the entertainment organisations as well.
For instance, in 2016, actress Rahama Sadau, one of the prominent Kannywood actresses, faced expulsion from the film industry after she featured in a romantic music video that was deemed inappropriate by the industry with Jos music star, ClassiQ.
Similarly, in 2013, the Arewa Filmmakers’ Association of Nigeria (AFMAN) suspended popular actress, Nafisa Abdullahi, for improper conduct after she hosted a party.
Safiyya Yusuf, also known as Safara’u, another actress who came into the limelight after she starred in the popular Hausa series, Kwana Casa’in, was suspended from the show after a nude video of hers leaked online.
In an interview with BBC Hausa on August, 30, 2022, the actress lamented how she was stoned after the video went viral. She would later isolate herself from the public for a month.
Despite verbal clapbacks to their critics, the industry continues to suffer more criticism for one reason or another.
Nafeesa Abdullahi recently took to her Twitter page to query faultfinders, questioning why other industries, including Nigerian Nollywood and Indian Bollywood, do not undergo such harassment.
In the face of this societal pressure, these women have learned over time to embrace and accept these incessant attacks by assuming indifference and living their lives as they please.