Monday, June 27, 2022

Isa Sanusi: Why are some Nigerians so offended by an on-screen hug?

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A hug between a man and a woman may not raise eyebrows in some cultures, but reactions in northern Nigeria to one of their favourite actresses engaging in such affectionate behaviour have been full of rage.

Rahama Sadau’s appearance in a music video where she was hugged by Nigerian pop star Classiq has led to her being banned from the Hausa-language film industry, known as Kannywood.

The industry body, the Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (Moppan), was responding to comments from many people including other Hausa actors.

One of them, Nura Hussain, took to Instagram holding a sign calling for Ms Sadau’s punishment. The picture got hundreds of comments supporting his demand.

In Hausa culture, any open show of romance is frowned upon, and this was where Ms Sadau slipped up.

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But the actress also has her fans, some of whom have tried to fight back on social media setting up online groups to show their support.

She herself has apologised to anyone she may have offended, but described what she did as “innocuous touching”.

And she seems less than remorseful, posting repeatedly on Snapchat a photo of herself being hugged by a man on her recent visit to India, where she was when the row erupted.

 

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