Going Beyond Boundaries: There is a Way and the Use of English Medium in Hausa Film Industry


  • Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim Institute of African Studies and Egyptology University of Cologne
  • Aliyu Yakubu Yusuf Department of English and Literary Studies Bayero University, Kano




English Language, Hausa, Kannywood, Nigeria, Nollywood


Since its inception in 1990, Kannywood, the Northern Nigerian film industry, produced films only in Hausa, the dominant language of the region. The film, There is a Way (2016, dir. Falalu A. Dorayi) has recently debuted a new “genre” in the English language in the industry. However, the place of English or any non-African language in African arts (film, inclusive) is a topic of scholarly debate, especially within the discourse of postcolonial studies. Many pan-African writers and critics query the justification of that as the language is, they argue, foreign to African audience and is used only by and for the elites. Kannywood filmmakers, nevertheless, claim that theirs is rather a response to the Southern Nigerian filmmakers whose industry, Nollywood is enormously successful and far ahead for, among other reasons, their use of English. This paper attempts an evaluation of the English language and the subtitle of the film in question, to access the success or otherwise of its narrative essence.

Author Biography

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim, Institute of African Studies and Egyptology University of Cologne

Institute of African Studies and Egyptology

Meister-Ekkehart-Str. 7

50923 Koln


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How to Cite

Ibrahim, M. M., & Yusuf, A. Y. (2018). Going Beyond Boundaries: There is a Way and the Use of English Medium in Hausa Film Industry. CINEJ Cinema Journal, 7(1), 205–224. https://doi.org/10.5195/cinej.2018.206