The Kannywood movie industry is currently divided into factions over support for the two main contenders in the 2019 presidential polls, checks by PREMIUM TIMES has revealed.
The two main contestants are incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressive Congress and Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party.
The industry has been largely known for its unflinching support for President Buhari since 2015.
The support was mainly through a series of movies and songs about the APC in northern Nigeria since it garnered massive votes at the polls in 2015.
In 2019, there seems to be a game change, analysts say.
The Kannywood is now divided into two with some top actors pitching sides with Mr Abubakar.
Hassana Dalhat, a Kannywood movie promoter and analyst told our reporter that, although there are the likes of actor Sani Danja who was known to be working for the PDP in 2015, “his participation did not change the will of voters at the polls”.
“Yes Sani Danja was a popular figure and northern entertainer in the Kannywood and worked for the PDP singing and dancing during their campaign rallies in 2015. It was like he was the only one at that time, all other artistes rallied around the APC. It was a massive support the APC got that year from the actors, actresses and singers.
“But in 2019, I think the game has changed. Buhari and APC still has a good support from the Kannywood but not without a sharp divide among the entertainers. Many Kannywood actors have joined Danja (in supporting Atiku) creating a divide in the industry making it not as easy as in 2015.
Checks reveal that while Mr Buhari still enjoys large support from the Kannywood, tops stars in the industry including Sani Danja, Fati Mohammed, Yakubu Mohammed, Abba Al-mustapha, Zaharaddeen Sani, Mufeeda Mohammed and others have reportedly declared their support for the PDP candidate and are working for his success at the polls in 2019.
According to a top northern actor, who craved anonymity for fear of victimisation, some actors decided to pitch their tents with the opposition PDP because they were ‘sidelined’ by the APC.
“Virtually all of us (actors) were together under one roof since 2015 but as elections approached, some of us believed they are most important that the others,” he said. “They selected themselves and ignored others. The last was the visit to the presidency where only a few of us knew about it. This is not fair for the industry.”
“Now we have a group of two. Some are also canvassing support for Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate. They have since rolled out series of songs that are making waves in the north.
“For me I don’t blame them. It is about interest. Atiku is a northerner and should be supported too depending on what you want. It is basically about interest,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES reports that ahead of 2019, it has since became a contest between the two factions, with artistes producing and releasing new songs for their preferred candidates.
Pictures of the groups also dot Instagram pages showing visits by artistes to the two major presidential candidates.
Prominent among those in the Kannywood supporting Mr Buhari are Adam Zango, Rabiu Rikadawa, Fati SU, Hannatu Bashir, Fati Shu’uma, Fati Washa, Jamila Nagudu and host of others.