Kanywood: ‘I employed over 77 in just one set’
Arenowned and young movie producer, Usman Uzee, has described the movie industry as a place of fortune where one could achieve tall dreams while recreating new ideas and unique strategies. Uzee, who spoke to the WEEKEND in an interview, said creativity and talent have earned him a place in Kannywood film industry where he has employed over 77 persons, both actors and cast, in just one set where he fuses actors across the indigenous movie industries.
The 28 year old movie producer has developed a unique way in the movie industry by creating a name for the fusion of Kannywood and Nollywood actors in recent movies.
A graduate of Political Science from University of Abuja, Uzee Concept, as he is popularly called, started as a makeup artist in the industry and has produced several movies both in English and Hausa and won many awards in his career among which won the 2008 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). He also won the best makeup artist in 2008 after studying Make Up Practices in South Africa.
“The industry as a whole if government knows what they are doing it is a money making industry. Just look at the last GDP we contributed tremendously, its operations run into trillions, you can imagine, if government pays emphasis in it, it creates employment for many.
“I employed over 77 persons both cast and crew just in one set, so imagine many movies been done across the country and the people that will live by that. Government need to come in to fully assist us especially in terms of piracy, we are crying out for that,” he said.
Uzee described the notion of fusing Nollywood and Kannywood for better performance. He said, “When I started producing, it was with an English movie the one we all call Nollywood, I don’t know why Hausa people are calling theirs Kannywood, both Hausa, Yoruba, Igbos, we are all Nollywood.”
“So from the English aspect of it, I started with a movie called ‘Under’ which was my first movie. I produced it in Ghana. In 2008 when I won best AMAA makeup artist I met Ali Nuhu, who advised that I should come home to collaborate and make Hausa films superb and so on. That’s how he prompted me and I thought over it and decided to come and give my people something unique,” Uzee disclosed.
He stated that on his return to Kaduna, he joined Kannywood where he launched his first movie, Wata Shari’a with Jim Iyke three years ago. Uzee said Oga Abuja, is another movie that has Mr Ibu and Ibro among the major cast, fusing the English speaking and Hausa speaking actors of Nigeria.
Uzee said, “It was a big hit and success as I used the opportunity of Oga Abuja advertise Wata Shari’a, but then I did Azima.” He noted that before he started the integration initiative, there was not any Nollywood cast in the Kannywood industry and only Ali Nuhu and Fati Ladan in the English section, Nollywood.
Other movies after Azima and Wata Shari’a he said are Mai Farin Jini starring Ali Nuhu with his three hundred women, then comes Maja, another set with Nkem Owoh and Ibro. Uzee said he is currently working on his new flick, Hassana Da Hussaina the twins; while the next is titled Har Da Mijina which will have Adam Zango, a famed Kannywood star in the cast.
The producer believe that his hard work lifestyle and this initiative of fusing English and Hausa actors on a set is having a huge acceptance as the concept is just fresh and unique. “I’m doing it and people are appreciating all my things. I have huge viewers and followership,” he added.
On his new project, Uzee maintained that his greatest achievement in the industry will be to be able to fuse Kannywood and Nollywood or rather, the English and the Hausa movies.