Abubakar Bashir Maishadda is the producer of Hausa films such as ‘Hauwa Kulu’ and ‘Mariya,’ among many others. In this interview, he talks about his success and plans for 2020 among other issues. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: Why did you decide to go into film production?
Abubakar Bashir Maishadda: My interest in the movie business is tied to my burning passion for Hausa films since childhood. I joined Kannywood in 2012. Before then, I had been following top Kannywood directors such as Dan’azumi Baba, Ashiru Nagoma, Sharif Aminu Ahlan, Abba El-Mustapha and Rabi’u the King.
I ventured fully into the industry with the assistance of Abubakar A.S. Mai Kwai, I later met Ibrahim Bala who is also a film director. We worked together and produced a film titled ‘Ba Girma.’
In 2014, I met Hafizu Bello who gave me the opportunity to produce my first movie, ‘Bincike,’ in 2014. I later produced another movie, ‘Budurwa,’ in the same year. My third movie was ‘Tarayya’ directed by Aminu S. Bono, and then ‘Zee Zee’ directed by Kamal S. Alkali.
Abba Miko Yakasai mentored me in the film industry. I also received encouragement from people like Hajiya Aisha Tijjani Amart and produced the film ‘Bakar Inuwa’ while Abba Miko assisted me in the production of ‘Harda Mijina’ and ‘Karfen Nasara.’
Hajiya Aisha Amart assisted me in the formation of my own independent film production company Maishadda Investment Limited in the year 2017. This singular gesture marked a turning point in my professional career and in Kannywood. I produced ‘Kalan Dangi’ under Tsamiya Investment, directed by Ali Gumzak. Luckily, it became the biggest hit in the history of Kannywood.
WM: Why are you called a game changer?
Maishadda: Maybe it’s because people have seen how successful I was in taking risks in the industry and how I was able to emerge victorious at every point. I can vividly remember in 2018 Maishadda Investment released ‘Mariya,’ which became one of the blockbusters of the year 2018. The film won so many awards and nominations, including Zuma Film Festival Award for the best indigenous Hausa Language film.
I later met Kabiru Musa Jammaje who gave me an English movie to produce. I took up the challenge and films like ‘Light and Darkness,’ ‘This is the Way,’ and ‘In Search of the King’ were produced. I also delivered the movie ‘Mujadala’ to the cinema, which became the highest grosser of the year. I was also opportune to emerge as 2018 best producer at the City People Entertainment Awards.
In 2019 I changed my company’s name from Maishadda Investment to Maishadda Global Resources and produced blockbuster movies such as ‘Hafeez,’ ‘Sareena,’ ‘Ana Dara Ga Dare,’ ‘Wutar Kara,’ ‘Hauwa Kulu,’ and ‘Halimatus Sadiya,’ all directed by Ali Nuhu. I also emerged as the 2019 best producer of the year. My film, ‘Hauwa Kulu,’ won best movie of the year at City People Entertainment Awards.
WM: Were you the first to introduce English films in Kannywood?
Maishadda: No, the idea was conceived by my mentor Kabiru Musa Jammaje who introduced the idea to me. After his first English film ‘There is a way,’ which we co-produced, he assigned me to produce ‘This is the Way.’ After a successful production he assigned me yet another one ‘In Search of the King,’ which was also successful. I’m glad we took the risk because it has paid off.
WM: What criteria did you use in selecting the cast for ‘Mariya’?
Maishadda: My mission was to produce a high-quality film that will meet the needs and yearnings of our teeming fans, therefore the major thing I took into consideration was their ability to deliver. The film, from the ideation point, had a very powerful message to send and for it to be properly communicated, there was need for professionalism, dedication and commitment.
WM: How long did it take you to complete the film?
Maishadda: We took three months shooting and seven months editing, so it took us about ten months.