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Five years of Kannywood without Ibro: Who fills the gap?

Rabilu Musa, popularly known as Dan Ibro, was a Hausa comedian, actor, filmmaker and director who was regarded as the most popular comedian in the…

Rabilu Musa, popularly known as Dan Ibro, was a Hausa comedian, actor, filmmaker and director who was regarded as the most popular comedian in the history of Kannywood until his death in 2014. Since then, artists and fans have wondered and speculated about who is likely to match his comic wit.

December 9th 2014 will forever remain an unforgettable day for the Hausa film making industry, Kannywood. It was the day the popular comic actor, Rabilu Musa (Ibro) died.

Ever since his demise, Kannywood has been left with the task of finding his replacement as one of its finest and most versatile actors. It was believed that the gap left by the comedian can never be filled again while others are of the view that it is only a matter of time as another star will definitely rise.

Late Ibro was known for his ability to twist every scenario into a comedy, so much that he was known as the king of comedy in the industry and respected as an elder, which earned him the tag ‘Chairman.’ He produced several films under his label, Ibro drama group, the last of which was ‘Andamali’. But after his death, the label ceased to exist.

It has been five years now since the demise of Ibro and many comedians have been jostling for a chance to fill his shoes in the Hausa film making industry. Some of them have been reported to be doing very well in their efforts while others have not done so well.

First among the list of comedians is Suleiman Bosho who was seen as Ibro’s natural replacement. It was reported that Bosho featured with Ibro in most of his movies before his death. These included ‘Dan Ba’ura’, ‘Bori’, ‘Babban Direba’ among others. For this reason, many fans see Bosho as the only actor who would fit into the space Ibro left in the industry. Some have even said that Ibro pointed him out as his successor before he died.

Speaking to Weekend Magazine, Abubakar Ibrahim Hotoro, who claimed to have been a staunch supporter of late Ibro said “Indeed Kannywood will never be the same again without late Ibro. It was like he knew he would die because in his last film he seemed to have gone spiritual. However, I know and have watched many of Suleiman Bosho’s films and I have been analysing his skills at comedy. He is a great comedian whose creative skills and ability to interpret every role given to him perfectly has no doubt placed him ahead of his peers. In the absence of late Ibro, I think he can fit into his shoes.”

Late Rabilu’s eldest son Faisal Rabilu Musa
Late Rabilu’s eldest son Faisal Rabilu Musa

However, Kannywood producer, director and actor, Falalu A. Dorayi said, the gap left behind by late Ibro will never be filled as his abilities and talents are gifts to him by God. “I don’t think the gap left by Ibro can ever be filled. He is unique and the contribution he has given to the industry is immeasurable,” he said.

Falalu added that late Ibro’s son wanted to take up acting but he advised him to concentrate on his studies first. “When his son told me that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, I asked him to wait till he finishes his school. He agreed to that, and as long as we are alive, we will ensure that his desire is fulfilled,” Dorayi said.

Rabi’u Ibrahim Daushe is another possible successor of late Ibro. He came into limelight in movies produced by the late comedian after the death of late Ibro’s co-actor Kulu. He gradually rose to become a strong supporting actor to the late comic star’s performance in most of his films.

To many fans of the Hausa movie industry, Daushe is a perfect replacement for Ibro as many producers have already started featuring him in movies where Ibro would have been an ideal candidate. His composure off screen and his agility on the screen has been described as a total replica of what late Ibro was known for.

As far as Malama Shema’u Usman Baffa, an ardent follower of the Hausa movie industry, is concerned there is a contention between Rabi’u Daushe and Bosho. “For me, the industry has already found the missing link created by Ibro’s demise in Daushe. I have watched virtually all of Ibro’s movies, and I have also been watching Daushe. Therefore, as far as Ibro’s replacement is concerned, Daushe was the perfect fit but it seems he lost it to Bosho along the line.

Since Ibro’s demise some have put forward artists such as Mustapha Naburaska, Musa Mai Sana’a, Dan Dolon Zaria and Gundura as possible successors of late Rabilu Musa in Hausa comedy.

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