Academic journal article Hemispheres

New Audiences, New Perspective: Audiences' Views on the Adaptation of Some Stories in Magana Jari Ce from Book to Films

Academic journal article Hemispheres

New Audiences, New Perspective: Audiences' Views on the Adaptation of Some Stories in Magana Jari Ce from Book to Films

Article excerpt


It is an undisputable fact that modern urban life depends on the media for fast and efficient sharing of information to a large number of audiences within the shortest possible time. As a result, the relationship between the media of mass communication and audiences on the other hand can be said to be a very intimate one. While mass media are the disseminators of information, the audiences are the consumers of such information. Thus, one cannot do without the other.

On the other hand, information and communication technology (ICT) contributes in an unquantifiable way in bringing the different parts of the contemporary world into what McLuhan (1987) described as the "global village".2 through the use of technological devices. The applications of these devices, which are portable, digital and sophisticated in the communication process, have paved the way for the rapid disappearance of cultures across communities, nations and continents. At the same time, media productions and reproductions have completely changed from analogue to digital technological devices such as compact discs, video compact discs, MP3 and MP4 among others, which has led to the formation of a systematic and organized interconnected society which simplifies the sharing of cultural and literary products across heterogeneous societies.

However, scholars in media studies have singled out the audio-visual medium, particularly film, as having the strongest consequences for other social institutions - cultural, social, political, and religious. And it is against this backdrop that film receives a series of criticisms and condemnations among other media of communication. This might not be unconnected with the perceived influence of audio and visual on the viewers of films.

In this paper, I argue that communication and information technology contributes in not only the creation of new audiences but, at the same time determines how the audiences receive and react to media content. This paper, therefore, attempts to analyze the receptions and reactions of audiences drawn from Kaduna, Kano and Katsina3 who have read Magana Jari Ce and at the same time watched the adapted Magana Jari Ce films. The aim was to discuss the views of the audiences on the adapted films.

Contextual Background

For a proper understanding of the context within which this paper is situated, this section attempts to provide a brief explanation on Magana Jari Ce - the book and the films.

(a) Magana Jari Ce: The book

The Magana Jari Ce was written in three volumes by Alhaji Abubakar Imam in 1938, 1939, and 1940 respectively. The volumes contain a total number of eighty three (83) short and long stories. The eighty one stories in Magana Jari Ce are either adapted, appropriated or translated from Alfu Laylah Wa Laylatun; Kalilah Wa Dimnah; Bahrul Adab; Hans Anderson Fairy Tales; Aesop Fables; the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales; Tales from Shakespeare; and Rauldhal Jinan.4

The Northern Nigerian Publishing Company (NNPC), which is the publisher of the three volumes of the book, explains that fairytales and folktales from different parts of the world particularly from the Middle East, were used in producing the book. It went further to say that the adaptation of the stories in Magana Jari Ce was done with the assistance of Abubakar Kagara, who was at the corporation on a part time basis for six months.5

The pattern of Magana Jari Ce was written in the form of a frame novel (narrative technique) as every volume is bound by its own independent stories. It is commonly believed that the book is constructed in line with the style of the Thousand and One Nights, in that a narrator relates story after story. However, in the first volume the stories are told not to delay the execution of a stubborn princess as in the Arabian work, but to delay the imminent departure to war of a stubborn prince.

In all the three volumes the main narrator is a parrot, which tells the stories and fulfils different functions in each particular volume of the book. …

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