Nigeria’s Kaniwood actress Rahama Sadau apologises for ‘offensive hug’

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A leading Nigerian actress, who was banned from the Hausa-language film industry because of her “immoral” behaviour, has apologised.

Rahama Sadau’s appearance in a music video “hugging and cuddling” Nigerian pop star Classiq offended some people, but Ms Sadau said sorry to those she upset, but said her actions were “innocuous”.

Hausa films are popular in the mostly Muslim northern Nigeria where it is taboo for men and women to hold hands in public.

The industry, commonly known as Kannywood, has been under fire from conservative Muslim clerics who accuse it of corrupting people’s values.

The Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria banned the actress from Kannywood films, saying that her appearance in the video violated the industry’s code of ethics.

It added that it hoped the ban would serve as a deterrent to other actors and actresses who are “expected to be good ambassadors of the society they represent”.

Ms Sadau said she took full responsibility for what happened, but argued that she was behaving professionally and added that in her line of work “innocuous touching with other people… is inevitable”.

But she reassured people that she would behave with decorum, adding: “I have lines that I would never cross.”

Responding to the criticism she has received she said people should “be more tolerant and forgiving towards one another and to cease all the senseless abuse, name calling and backbiting”.

The Kannywood star appeared in the video with Classiq, in a song entitled I Love You. In it, the Nigerian pop star is smitten with a vegetable seller in a market, acted by Ms Sadau.

Initially, she rejects his advances, batting him away with a bunch of vegetables, but he eventually wins her over.

They hold hands and engage in a bit of cuddling that would be considered demure in a Western film.

But many people in northern Nigeria felt she had gone too far with Classiq in the music video, reports the BBC’s Isa Sanusi from the capital, Abuja.

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