Nigerian actress Rahama Sadau sorry for 'offensive hug'

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Rahma Sadau and ClassiqImage source, Finesse entertainment
Image caption,
The ban was imposed after the singer Classiq released a music video where he embraced actress Rahama Sadau

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.

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".

A typical Kannywood film - Isa Sanusi, BBC Hausa, Abuja

Image source, AFP

As the film opens parents are seen discussing who their successful city-dwelling son should marry. They decide on a cousin who they deem meets all their expectations of a good wife.

But there's a hitch, their urban, and urbane, son is in love with an educated city lady. He wants to marry her.

The family confronts their son with their choice of wife for him. The dispute generates tension and finally the parents force their son to marry the cousin.

He goes through with the wedding but stays in touch with his preferred partner. They go on romantic outings during which he mentions his loveless marriage.

Throughout the film, dancing and singing punctuate the action.

Despite the passionate plot, there will not be any physical contact. That means no hugging and definitely no kissing. If there is to be any suggestion of sex, the screen will go dark.

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."

Image source, Finesse Entertainment
Image source, Finesse Entertainment

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".

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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