Perception and Reaction: The Representation of the Shari’a in Nollywood and Kanywood Films

  • Author(s): Nasiru Wada Khalil
  • When: 2016-04
  • Where: Social Science Research Network
  • The paper looked into the Christian southern Nigerian perception of Islamic Sharia and the response made by the Hausa Muslims of Northern Nigeria in their respective films, Holy Law (Sharia) and Tafarki. This perception and corrective reactions in representing the Sharia in films is the focus of the work. The objective of the paper is to explore the ideals of the Sharia and compare it with what is obtained in the two aforementioned films. A particular focus of the paper is Sharia representation, particularly the penal code system that is perceived to be archaic and inhuman. In gathering the data for the paper, the study asks specifically: is there any positive wisdom attached to the Sharia Penal Code System? What brings about misperception of the Sharia by the Christian film makers of southern Nigeria and how do they perceive the Muslim Hausa of Northern Nigeria? These are some of the ethnographic questions that the paper attempted to answer through an assessment of films that deal with the subject matter of the two geo-political entities of Nigeria. In the end, the paper discovered that the very concept of Sharia was misperceived by the Christian south.

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