It appears the Industry coined the canny nickname, Kannywood, to emphasise the similarities between it and Nollywood while also staking a claim for distinct identity.
Unlike the old days when the only movie seen in the north were a handful of products imported by the few elites and the ubiquitous musicals from India which held the old and young captive, the local films have grown tall enough to stand shoulder- to- shoulder with those from the south of Nigeria. The ones from Nollywod.
These days, producers sell hundreds of films in shops across the major cities in Northern Nigeria. An eager audience of patrons that seem to have found the right entertainment materials rent others at video clubs. Because the film comes in the traditional language, the viewers understand better. Moreover the movie reflects their way of life. Eventually, they have driven away to the recesses of memory the foreign Amitab and Mitun flicks.
This movement has bred a generation of awesome stars as well. Patrons venerate and celebrate their stars, as posters of the stars adorn buses and other public spaces in Kano. One of the most highly rated actors in sub section of the Nigerian film industry is Ali Nuhu, whose versatility gives him an edge over many others. He has appeared in a number of Nollywood films. Analysty oftern compare him to such big names as Richard Mofe- Damijo (RMD) and Ramsey Nouah. Nuhu has acted in nearly 100 films and has won two major awards: the Hausa internet movies award and Kannywood award as best male actor.
Mama Hajara is another wave making performer, having also played various role in no fewer than 100 films in a career that has spanned 17 years. Hajara has won no fewer than 10 awards since her NTA days with programmes like Karoda Goma, Karkuzu na Bodara and Samanga Mazan Pama.
The best actor form the axis form an on ending list Ibrahim Mandawari, Kabir Nakwango, Shehu Hassan Kano, Musbahu Ahmed, hauwa Allidodo, Fati Mohammed, Abidda Mohammed, Fatima Baffa, Hajara Usman and Jemila Haruna.
Since the release in 1994 of Ricicin Duniya, the first hausa language film, the industry has tremendously multiplied in scope and content. Like Nollywood, “Kannywoood” has become a vibrant industry that promotes the Hausa/Fulani peoples of Northern Nigeria. This goes to show how important the movie Industry in Nigeria has become.