17 November 2012

Nigeria: Gudaliya - Movie That Landed Sani Danja, Others in Court

Kano — The theme of the Hausa movie Gudaliya is love, but its release has created a no love lost scenario between popular Kannywood star Sani Musa Danja and the Kano State Censorship Board.

Gudaliya seems to have started on a wrong footing ab initio. Reports have it that the problems surrounding the movie started right from the shooting location. It was gathered soon after the casts started arriving at the location rumours of assaults started spreading like wild fire. Though producers of the movie - Sani Musa Danja and Yakubu Muhammad - both denied the rumours, it did little to stop the spread.

After the movie was completed and given enough publicity ahead of its release, Hausa movie fans were anxious to grab a copy. However when it was released, it was greeted by mixed reactions. The Kano State Censorship Tribunal ordered the duo of Sani Danja and Yakubu Muhammad to appear before it or face the wrath of the law.

The movie Gudaliya is a love story of a married man (Sani Danja) whose wife was kidnapped a day after their wedding. The husband remained single for years hoping and wishing he will see his wife someday.

However, along the line he met with a lady who reminded him of his kidnapped wife so much. And gradually, a relationship started and they eventually got married only for his kidnapped wife to resurface and accuse her husband of neglecting their love commitments.

Though the movie which is divided into three parts is said to have enjoyed the work of experts in its productions, some see it as going against the guidelines for Hausa movie production in accordance to the State censorship board. Though the areas found offensive were not clearly stated, many blamed the movie's indecent dressings among other things.

During the court proceedings Sani Danja pleaded guilty and asked the court for leniency. Senior State Counsel Hussain Hassan therefore applied for summary trial under section 157 of the criminal procedure court. Chief Magistrate Mukhtar Ahmed sentenced him to one year imprisonment or pay a fine of N30, 000 for exhibiting for sale an uncensored and unlicensed copy of a film titled "Gudaliya" in contravention of Section 100 (2) of the state Cinematography Censorship Regulation 2001 and punishable under Section 112 of the same law.

In an interview Sani Danja said the release of the movie was a mistake adding that "Before our film went through screening, we have already printed five thousand copies done by somebody we owed some money, thinking that the film would go through screening successfully.

And after the film was censored, we printed about forty five thousand copies which we released in Nigeria. And later, we released the uncensored film in a neighbouring country. I don't know how the censorship board got the uncensored film that was released at the neighbouring country."

Similarly the actor denied the allegations that he did it deliberately because of his relationship with the presidency, saying that his connection with the presidency made him to be a law abiding citizen and not contrary.

"We are part of this government; we cannot do anything to sabotage the efforts of the government towards the development of the state. I am calling on my teeming fans to take this as an act of God. And I am not alone appearing before the tribunal, we are three, even though my name was mentioned alone in all the media ", he said.

Sani Danja has since gone back to his normal activities in the movie industry.

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