Just like Nollywood, the Hausa movie industry has been growing in leaps and bounds, and with its expansion came a crop of talented actors adored by their numerous fans. Since 1999 when it was dubbed Kannywood, it has spread beyond the shores of Nigeria to other African countries like Ghana, Niger Republic, Sudan, and Chad Republic. And most of the films that come out from the North are shot in the bustling city of Kano, and close to 300 have been produced in Kannywood's eight years of existence. The most important skill an actor needs is dancing, as most Hausa films have love themes fashioned after Indian films (Bollywood). Good looks are also celebrated. Correspondent, Kemi Yesufu, brings you the major players.

Ali Nuhu

Ali Nuhu is Kannywood's most talked about actor. He came into the scene in the late 90s. Some of the films that shot him into limelight include Abin Sirrine, Dingala, Yana Yi, and Tasir

Nuhu holds a bachelor's degree in Geography from the University of Jos and has won so many awards within and outside our shores.

Ibrahim Maishunku

This 31-year-old actor is among the best in the Hausa movie genre. Ibrahim Maishunku started acting while in SSIII. He has acted in dozens of films and some of them are Alieba, Jarumac and Hujja. The interesting thing is that all the films he has featured in are box office hits.

Kabir Nakwanjo

The octogenarian left 18 years of trading to venture into the world of make-believe. Kabir Nakwanjo is a producer and director, too. He has received several awards for his acting skill from Kaduna and Kano governments and the Bayero University, Kano.

Mustapha Mustapha

Kano-born Mustapha Mustapha is admired for his role delivery. Though a new comer, Mustapha is already a favourite among Hausa movie aficionados. Critics say he has a bright future in acting.

Sharrif Anuni Alhan

This towering fellow rules among the most talented actors in the Hausa movie scene. Alhan is an admired director and producer, too. Married with children, films like Mafia, 419, Rufa-Rufa are among his outstanding works.

Sanni Danja

Sanni Danja is undoubtedly one of the prolific actors, producers and directors in Kannywood. He started acting in 1999 and is known for block-buster movies like Kwarya Tabi Kwaya Zuga Zuga and Students Dalibal. The celebrated actor is also into music production. He is single.

Abba El-Mustapha

Twenty-nine-year-old Abba Mustapha ranks among highly sought after actors in the Hausa movie industry. He is a director and producer of films like Ruda, Girma and Auduga. Fondly called Abba Aruda by his fans, the Bayero University graduate is still single.

Fati Mohammed

Some say that Fati Mohammed is on a sabbatical from acting. But this has not diminished her popularity among movie buffs in the North. Formerly married to another Kannywood star, Sani Musa Mai'iska, the ex-Pittsburg Regional College, London, student has a cult-like fan base.

Zainab Idris

Pretty Zainab Idris is a popular Kannywood actress. Her dancing prowess is her unique selling point. One of the youngest actresses on the scene, the Kaduna State Polytechnic student is in hot romance with another Kannywood star, Abbass Sadiqu. Twenty-six-year-old Zainab has featured in films such as Kallabi and Ikarra.

Kubura Dacko

Niger State-born Kubura Dacko is a starlet in the Hausa movie scene. At a relatively young age (23), Dacko is already staking her claim among older actors. She is considered the best dressed actress in Kannywood. The sociology undergraduate of the Bayero University has acted in many films including Gata, Madafa and Ceata.

Bashir Bala

Call him the best comedian in Kannywood and you will be right. Highly talented in the art of comedy, many Hausa movie fans say he is their number one pick any day. The acting bug bit Bala early in his primary school days. He is also involved in directing and production.

Abbas Sadiqu

Plataue State-born Abbas Sadiqu is a star in the Hausa movie industry. A one-time disc jockey, he has stared in hit movies such as Komai Dozen and Fufar So. Sadiqu is an accounting student at the University of Jos.

Isa Bello Ja

Isa Bello Ja is very much respected in Kannywood. The Sokoto State-born actor is revered in the industry because of his over 30 years acting experience. Isa Bello Ja is one of the leading lights in Kannywood.

Umar Gombe

Umar Gombe, like his name suggests, is from Gombe State. The 23-year-old actor loves adventure a lot. He is currently studying for a degree at the Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State. He is rated as one of the brightest stars in Kannywood with movies like Haske, Saida and Salini. He has a number of awards to his credit.

Hajara Musa

Hajara Musa is one of the biggest actresses in Kannywood. Mummy Haji, as she is fondly called, is regarded as a role model for upcoming actresses. The mother of four starred in some NTA soaps before getting into Hausa home video. She is also a broadcaster.

Ahmad Nuhu

Known for his versatility, directors are full of kind words for him because of the way he interprets his roles. He has played lead roles in some major films in Kannywood including Djangala directed by the late Tijjani Ibraheem. He has appeared in other films like Lnzam Da Wata Al-Mustapha and Akasi both directed by Ishaq Sidi Ishaq. He is married to actress, Hafsat Shehu. They met on the set of Zabari, but fell in love on the set of Yayee. Ahmad and Hafsat are Kannywood's most celebrated couple.

Safiya Musa

Safiya Musa has a lot going for her as an actress. She is pretty and incredibly talented. In Kannywood she has loads of loyal fans. Her face sells any film she appears in.