What is Really Wrong With Veteran Kannywood Director Ashiru Nagoma

Ashiru Nagoma

Written by Ummu-Salma Ahmad

Ummu-Salma Ahmad is a student and a freelance writer mainly working on entertainment and news reports. A bibliophile who loves to eat.

January 16, 2021

Aggrieved fans of famous former Kannywood director Ashiru Nagoma have taken to social media to call out famous actors for not helping the former director. Rumors have it that the mental health of the director has deteriorated over the past two years. According to the rumors, the director is sometimes seen roaming from one shop to another in Zoo Road, Kano asking for meager amounts of money.

But what is really wrong with Ashiru Nagoma? Is he suffering from dementia? Or is he running mad as the rumors claim? Before we answer that, we need to know the history of Kannywood and how the industry started.

Brief History of Kannywood

The Nigerian cinema is divided into two – Nollywood and Kannywood. Nollywood produces movies in so many Nigerian languages like Yoruba, Igbo, etc. Kannywood however produces movies in the Hausa language mainly. The name “Kannywood” is a blend of two words Kano and Hollywood as the industry is located in the Kano, Northern part of Nigeria. The term was coined in the 1990s.

Read: The Challenges Facing Kannywood

The Hausa Language Cinema evolved from productions of RTV Kaduna, Radio Kaduna. The 1990s however was when big moves were made and the movie “Turmin Danya” made waves and became the first commercially successful movie. Since then, the industry has become the biggest entertainment industry in Arewa. It has birthed a lot of talented acts like Ali Nuhu, Adam Zango, Jamila Nagudu, Rahama Sadau, Nafisa Abdullahi, Sani Musa Danja, Fati Mohammed, etc.

Ashiru Nagoma, The Intelligent Director

In becoming a successful industry, the help of brilliant directors like Ashiru Nagoma was required. Ashiru Nagoma was a talented director at the Kannywood industry. He entered the Kannywood industry in 1994. The first movie he directed was ‘Dubayya’. He then went on to direct other films like ‘Tutar So’ —where an ensemble cast featured. He further went on to direct Alhazai, Adawa, Nagoma, Zakka, Bajinta, Kwalele, Tagwayen Mata, and many more. This feat and many more, earned him the nickname, The intelligent director by his fans, and other actors.

What is Really Wrong With Ashiru Nagoma?

According to Fauziyya D Sulaiman of the Creative Helping Needy Foundation (CHNF), Ashiru Nagoma’s troubles started when he invested huge sums of money featuring then-popular actress Maryam Hiyana. The movies were banned from being released after a sex video of the actress surfaced.

“They said he (Nagoma) had invested his money in about seven films before the video leaked, leading the Kano State Film and Censorship Board to ban the release of any film featuring the then popular actress”, said Fauziyya in her interview with BBC Hausa.

“That was when he slipped into depression because of the huge investment in the films, which he couldn’t even recoup let alone make any gain. It was obviously too much for him to bear and he had to leave the industry. Slowly his case deteriorated and affected his mental state.” She further added.

Read: Why 1 Out of 4 People Suffer From Mental Health Conditions

According to the activist who has since assumed the responsibility of taking care of the director, Ashiru’s mother refused any attempt to take him for treatment. She even threatened to not forgive anyone who takes her son to a psychiatric hospital. The mother died seven years ago. The director’s condition however worsened two years ago.

According to reports, Ashiru Nagoma is now in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) receiving treatment and his condition is stable. The former director can operate his phone and talk to anyone.

The rumours about Ashiru Nagoma suffering from dementia are therefore baseless.

Ashiru Nagoma over the years worked as a director in Kannywood and has had a lot of good relationship with people. One of such was his relationship with Falalu Dorayi who said he has learned a lot from the ‘Intelligent Director’.

Other actors, like Ali Nuhu all pledged to be doing their best to help the veteran director.

Ashiru Nagoma was remarkable and that is why a lot of people are angry that he has had no help from many of the people he made popular through his incredible talent of directing. One of his goals was to bring the actors and actresses together in unity and he portrayed that in many of his movies where he cast a lot of them together. He also directed movies where he showed the problems a lot of marriages face, even though he has never been married.

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