Archiving Hausa Popular Entertainment through New Media Technology: An Assessment of the Recreation of Ruwan Bagaja into Video Movie

Topics: Hausa people, Nigeria, Culture Pages: 54 (20033 words) Published: August 30, 2010




The Hausa people are the largest ethnic group found in northern Nigeria. They are found in areas of Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zaria as well as other parts of north western and north central Nigeria. The Hausa language is one of the widely spoken languages of black Africa. The Hausawa as they are called by other tribes have a controversial historical origin but the Bayajidda legend is held by Hausa folklorists and anthropologists to be the true account of their emergence. The media as a system of communication is a constituent feature directly linked to the processes of globalisation of culture due to its role in mediating a range of aspects of popular culture like the film, dance, music and other aesthetic expressions. New media technology a recent terminology is a general term used to refer to those digital media which are interactive, incorporate two-way communication and involve some form of computing as opposed to ‘old media’ such as telephone, radio, and television. The frequent use of oral traditions by the Hausa people has proved that they are inevitable aspects of Hausa culture. One very important genre of Hausa oral tradition is the narrative/folktale a form of popular entertainment, which the Hausa people call tatsuniya. Since the advent of the Hausa movie industry it has served as one of the significant source materials for the popular Hausa video movie. Targeted mainly at, but not restricted to children, the traditional tatsuniya reflects the cultural and social life of the Hausa people, at the same time drawing attention to the salient aspects of Hausa culture and how to live it according to set down societal norms and values. This paper therefore attempts an assessment of the recreation of the traditional Hausa folktale Ruwan Bagaja into movie using the power of new media technology which is spreading and developing fast in many communities and societies the world over in an era of globalization thereby bringing many changes to cultural values . -

Globalisation must be understood as a series of new dynamics that promote new cultural and social networks and conflicts both locally and transnational (Hjarvard, 2003,p.7). Globalisation implies a great mobility of cultural impulses, signs, and messages across the world. In the 1990s there was a sudden increase in the need for films and videos, resulting in the growth of new supplementary markets worldwide and the release of material in other formats. Perhaps the first of these was the computer CD-ROM, which permitted interactivity with the user; but its capacity was insufficient for feature-length films and its use for films and television shows was not all-embracing, but the current multimedia technology which is the DVD (digital video disc or digital versatile disc) has proved competent of delivering digital quality pictures and sound for full-length feature films with enhanced features such as alternate versions, other languages, notes and biographies of participants and surround sound. Subsequently, many films and movies are today released on DVDs. This contemporary revolution in media communication technology has also had a remarkable impact in the field of popular entertainment in Hausa society; this new trend in technology has enabled a wide range of changes in the way oral literary genres are transmitted and documented to reach a larger audience. Thus, literary genres that were a few years ago termed archaic and restricted to a small local audience are now viewed globally. Though the Hausa video movie is a recent development in Nigeria compared to their Igbo and Yoruba counterparts, it has become an avenue...

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