For many years, Rahama Sadau, Ali Nuhu, Sani Danja, Uzee Usman and others have dominated the most celebrated movie industry in the northern part of the country. These actors cum producers have also been elevated into the mainstream movie industry known as Nollywood. In this report, ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM presents some top Actors in the Kannywood who are currently making the industry thick.
From sex scandals to success in the make-believe industry, the Hausa film industry has become the number one platform where the young and old who have passion for acting showcase their talents to millions of film lovers.
Many top celebrities have entered the mainstream industry and could now be referred to as contemporary actors. People like Rahama Sadau who has shown to the world that she got what it takes to also break even, Yakubu Mohammed, Sani Danja, Ali Nuhu who have all continued to be the face of the industry, Uzee Usman who also has produced, acted and directed lots of Kannywood and Nollywood flicks, is another name.
Though there are others, the below are some of the top Kannywood actors making waves in Kannywood.
Nafisat Abdulrahman Abdullahi also known as Nafisat Abdullahi is an actress, producer, director, professional photographer and entrepreneur from Jos, Plateau State. As a business woman, she founded a film production company and two startups. Nafisat is a graduate of theater arts from the prestigious University of Jos and currently studying photography in London School of Photography, UK.
She has many awards to her credit, such as Afro Hollywood Award(2017), MTN award(2016), AMMA Award(2015) and City People Entertainment Award in the year 2013 for Best Actress and a Kannywood Award in 2014 for Best Kannywood Actress, Popular Choice Award.
Her film career began at the age of 18, followed by her first leading role in a major film, Sai Wata Rana in 2010 produced by FKD Production and directed by award-winning actor and director Ali Nuhu. Nafisat began to shine among the stars, when she played her first role in Sai Wata Rana as a leading actress. Her appearances in Ahlul Kitab and Dan Marayan Zaki in 2012 moved Nafisat’s career to a new level as the two movies were one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
She is the founder of Nahaz Brand (boutique), Grand Tailors and a film production company, Nafs Entertainment Ltd, where she produced and directed her two movies, Guguwar So (2016) and Yaki A Soyayya (2018).
In 2013, she was invited to Berlin International Film Festival as one of the only two attendees from Nigeria alongside a Nollywood cinematographer and was also later invited to Nollywood festivals in Atlanta, Scotland. To date, she is the most awarded actress in Kannywood and also the first female to be endorsed by MTN.
In June 2013, she was suspended by a disciplinary committee of Arewa Filmmakers Association of Nigeria for failing to appear before the committee after being summoned for organising a banned event by the followers of the Hausa movie industry. She was handed two years suspension by the disciplinary committee which was lifted in August 2013 before she went on to star in Aminu Saira’s Kalamu Wahid and ‘Ya Daga Allah in 2014.
Adam A. Zango
Adam A. Zango also known as Usher or Gwaska, is an actor, producer, script writer, dancer, director and singer. Widely considered as one of the greatest Hausa actors of all time, in 2019, he described himself as one of most influential Hausa in the World.
Adam Zango’s musical career started way back from secondary school activities, when he used to represent his school, Government Secondary School, Laranto in Jos, Plateau State.
Zango entered the Hausa film industry in 2001 as a music composer, advantageously he started his acting profession as a low level actor and has appeared in over 100 Hausa movies. He rose to become an international icon, winning Africa Movie Award in London, UK.
Zango was remanded in prison for violating a Kano State Censorship Board’s law in 2007 after releasing his musical video album ‘Bahaushiya’.
According to a report in October 2019, Zango paid a sum of N47m for children, who were said to be orphans, to further their studies.
Maryam Ado Muhammed popularly known as Maryam Booth was born in Kano State. In her family, most members are involved in the movie industry. Zainab Booth, her mother, is a veteran actress and Ahmed Booth, Maryam’s brother, is an actor, too.
Even while studying, Maryam had started acting in movies. Her first role and her first success came to her at the age of 8. Her aunt, Bello Mohammed, introduced her to the movie industry. This was how Maryam found herself in ‘Dijangala’.
Since her debut at the age of 8, Maryam has played prominent roles in many movies produced by Kannywood. However, acting is not the only field where Maryam shows her talent. She’s the CEO of her own MBooth Beauty Parlour where she’s a leading makeup artist, designer and dealer of accessories and fashionable cloths.
Maryam is single. She has had a romantic relationship with a guy and that romance lasted for five years according to reports. Everyone, especially those in Kannywood thought the actress would be banned after her nude video were leaked online. It took the help of the Alhassan Kwalle-led Kannywood Guild of Actors to say she wouldn’t be banned as her situation was a case of a deliberate attempt of blackmail.
The report said the top actress’ nude video was leaked by her ex-boyfriend on social media and it went viral and was the top trending topic that period. She went further to sue him for N10m for defamation, but nothing has been heard about thrthe case since then.
Hafsat Ahmad Idris also known as Hafsat Idris won the 2019 Best Female Actress and the Most Promising Kannywood Actress at the City People Movie Awards.
Hafsat hails from Kano State although she was born and raised in Shagamu, Ogun State. She joined Kannywood film industry in 2016 after triying her hand in business which involved travelling most of the times from Osogbo to Kano for business purposes.
However, despite doing better in business, Hafsat’s desire tilted towards becoming an actress. She made her first appearance in a Kannywood movie titled Barauniya, where she was featured alongside Ali Nuhu, Jamila Nagudu, and Fati Waraka.
The movie became popular and her stepping stone into lamelight. In 2018, Hafsat established a film production company known as Ramlat Investment. She produced a number of movies in 2019 including Kawaye which paraded stars such as Ali Nuhu, Sani Musa Danja and herself.
Nuhu Abdullahi Balarabe is one of the most promising Kannywood actors. He acts in both Hausa and English movies. He has won the best supporting actor in Kannywood at the City People Entertainment Awards in 2015. He was nominated in 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in Best Indigenous Language (Hausa) category and also nominated in 2017 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
Nuhu Abdullahi joined Kannywood in 2009 as a film producer, and he has produced a number of movies including Baya da Kura, Fulanin Asali, Kuskure, Mujarrabi, and many more.
Nuhu made his first movie appearance in a movie titled Ashabul Kahfi. He gained fame after his acting in one of the blockbuster movies called Kanin Miji. He has acted in numerous English movies both in Kannywood and Nollywood such as There’s A Way, Light And Darkness, Thorny, Heart Beat, Yellow Paper and so on.
Hadiza Aliyu also known as Hadiza Gabon is a professional actress and filmmaker and acts in both Hausa and English movies. She serves as an ambassador for MTN Nigeria and Indomie noodles company. She was named Best Actress at the 2013 Best of Nollywood Awards. She has also won the 2nd Kannywood/MTN Awards in the year 2014. She is the founder of HAG Foundation.
Hadiza Aliyu joined Kannywood after she arrived from Gabon to Adamawa State, Nigeria. She moved from Adamawa to Kaduna upon developing interest to join Kannywood film industry with her cousin. She had a chance of encounter with Ali Nuhu and sought his assistance to launch her as an actress. Hadiza made her debut in 2009, where she was cast in Artabu.
She got a break into Kannywood industry as one of the leading female stars with the help and guidance of Ali Nuhu and later Aminu Shariff.
She decided to join Nollywood in 2017, following the footsteps of Ali Nuhu, Sani Musa Danja, Yakubu Muhammed, Maryam Booth and Rahama Sadau. She was featured in her first Nollywood movie alongside Nollywood stars like Mike Ezuruonye, Mike Angel and Emmanuella in a film titled Lagos Real Fake Life.
Falalu Abubakar Dorayi, popularly known as Falalu Dorayi is a filmmaker, director, script writer, actor and distributor through his company, Dorayi Films. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful and critically acclaimed filmmakers of today’s Kannywood Movie Industry.
Dorayi is best known in Kannywood for his imaginative approach to film-making. He is popularly known for directing popular movies such as Uwargida Sakna, Amaliya, Mela, Sayyada, Zarar Bunu, Namamajo, Ahlul Kitab, Karen Bans, Al-Qibla and There’s A Way. Through Dorayi Films, Falalu produced films that include Rai Dai, Basaja, BasajaTakun Farko, Basaja Takun Karshe, Basaja and Gidan Yari.
In 2015, Dorayi rose to fame with the release of his biggest commercial successes, the Basaja series. He made his directorial debut with the series and this made him to be regarded as one of the best Directors of all times.
The Basaja series were the highest-grossing films of Dorayi as they have been all-time highest selling movies of his company. His popularity was as a result of directing both Hausa and English movies.
In 2016, Dorayi was included in Muryar Arewa’s Kannywood ranking as one of the “Most Influential People in Kannywood” and is considered to be the highest paid actor according to the magazine’s annual ranking, 2017-2018.
Dorayi began his life in Kannywood as a Director based on an influence by his mentor, Bala Ahmad with Kwagiri as his first directed movie in 1997 under Sarauniya Films Production, followed by Uwargida Sakna and Majalisa. He became a successful screenwriter in 2004 and later started acting with Na Hauwa as his first movie.