Of film stars and politicians

The current fourth republic started about 20 years ago when the then military regime decided to hand over power to a civilian administration in 1999. According to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, every four years fresh elections have to be conducted to usher in another tenure. This also requires politicians to go round the country to campaign for votes.

As a result of this electioneering, politicians employ the services of   Kannywood film stars. They take the advantage of the popularity of these actors and actresses to get the acceptability of the citizenry. The politicians  use the stars as part of their campaign tool through banners, bill boards, posters, radio and  television jingles as well as their social media accounts such as facebook, instagram, twitter and other social media to send messages.

The political aspirants continue exploiting the stardom of these artistes which eventually enables them achieve their desired goals. Similarly, all other artistes in the movie industry like singers, musicians, comedians, etc, are also used to promote the candidates.

On the side of the artistes,   they can easily be persuaded to blindly   join various political groups, and being   celebrities they easily attract the electorate. Unfortunately also the celebrities provide their services at a very small amount of money, hoping that after winning the elections, they will be given a special consideration.

This means that the stars join such political campaign without any agreement neither written nor verbal. I can cite an example, especially in the just concluded elections of 2019 in which some of the artistes have joined the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) while others picked the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) as their choice.

But unfortunately no film star or musician is given any consideration in almost all the political appointments. Though Kannywood has a lot of potential in terms of economic growth and employment opportunities, yet the political office holders have refused to consider such potential; the industry and its stars are being neglected.

As an elder statesman in the Hausa film industry, I appeal to the film stars to insist on signing  memorandum of understandingwith any of the political aspirants requiring their services. This will save their future and the future of the industry. Those of us who contribute to the success of the politicians can serve as heads of the   relevant federal government agencies like NFC,  NFVB, NBC, NCC, or at least serve as board members.

Also at state level, I suggest the practitioners can be engaged in the   ministry of information or its parastatal. I also appeal to Mr. President and the state governors to create offices of special assistants and or advisers for Kannywood to enable them know what the industry needs so that they can contribute their own quota in the development of the country.

Mandawari writes via [email protected]

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