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My plan for Hausa film industry is big – MD Anas

Muhammad Anas Abubakar popularly known as MD Anas is a young actor, producer and CEO of Sabuwa Productions Ltd that recently pr...

Muhammad Anas Abubakar popularly known as MD Anas is a young actor, producer and CEO of Sabuwa Productions Ltd that recently produced ‘Zabin so’ web series. In a chat with Daily Trust Saturday, the graduate of Kaduna State University, spoke about Kannywood, his movies and the way forward for the industry.


You have been relatively quiet in the industry, what is going on?

I am not far away. I am still within the industry. Sometimes, it is good to stay back, observe and plan for something big. Our new market, which is the YouTube, is still new. I had plans to produce two good movies for the cinema, but as I was planning, most of our producers started rushing to YouTube; which affected my plan. I had to change the story line and elongated it to suit the web series. So, I just did what Hausa people will say ‘Ja da baya ba tsoro ba ne.’

Besides that, you know I am a politician and a businessman. I contested elections in both 2018 and 2022 council election in Kaduna, and my business requires a lot of travels. But I am assuring you that I am now fully ready; my films will soon hit the screens.

Which project are you working on?

We finished filming the Season 1 of ‘Zabin so’ web series which I think will be a blockbuster. We did our very best to make it different. We selected good actors for the project, the story line is a good one and I’m sure our director did his best to bring the script into real play. Hausa films fans should expect the unexpected from this series. I don’t want to go into details, but it is a love story with a different idea which I hope will change the narrative of love stories in Kannywood. I produced it, and I am the lead actor.

You said you selected good actors, which means spending a lot of money. Are you sure of getting back your money or even making profit?

Yes. I am very sure I will make very good profit. YouTube is a good place to make money. You just need to upload good contents and I’m sure my content is a good one. I am sure people will be rushing to watch our content. Some of our Kannywood producers are making good money silently from YouTube, while some are not. If one producer is making good money, why not me? If your series is not attracting good number of views, it means it is from your story line or there is something very important you need to do from your home work. That is why it is a series; if season 1 is not good, you can sit back and make some adjustment for the season 2. Another thing is that YouTube is a life time investment. Whenever some people view your film, YouTube will pay you for as long as the channel is still active, unlike CD that has a life span. We are not yet where we are supposed to be, but we are getting there. We are still improving.

How do you see Kannywood in the near future?

I see Kannywood competing with other movie industries. As far as I am concerned, we are as good as Nollywood, it is just the revenue aspect that is making them look as if they are better than us. If we improve our marketing strategy and start making big money like they are making, we will produce better and highly budgeted movies that can match any industry in the world. We have good stories to tell.

As one of the educated producers and actors, what are you doing to make it to Netflix and other streaming site that brings more profit?

I think it is just a matter of time. It is not that we are not ready. We are fully ready and as I mentioned earlier, we have good stories that fit into the standard of Netflix, we have good script writers that have contributed to many Nollywood movies. I know Netflix has their standard, and we can meet all the standard, we are just afraid of spending our money without confirmation. But if you reach an agreement with them, I can even take a loan from my bank to produce what will surprise even Netflix and our viewers. But as of now, we are just doing what we know we can do. But I am saying this with full confidence that Kannywood will surprise many people in the near future.

You were one of the musicians that sang for President Muhammadu Buhari, any regrets for campaigning for him?

Not at all. I did what I could do and what I thought was good for the nation. During the electioneering of 2015, we were very angry with former president Goodluck Jonathan, and we were yearning for change. I made a complete album for his campaign with eight tracks which I named ‘APC karen bana’, I even performed for him during Kaduna campaign and the Kaduna Music Festival which he attended after winning the elections. I am not happy with his performance because I think there are many areas he could have done better, so he failed us in many areas, but I did not regret what I did because Allah is aware of my intentions.

Between music, acting and producing which one do you like most?

I like and I do all. I have the ability to multi task which is perhaps because I am still young and I have the energy. My company, Sabuwa Production ltd, is a multi media company. We are even working on how to make it bigger by bringing in writers, editors and directors. My plan for the Hausa film industry is big. We want to be training actors, musicians, writers, editors and directors in my company, this I can’t do alone. I have to bring in professionals in all these key aspects so that we can work together.

But as far as I am concerned, I will continue acting, singing and producing for as far as I can foresee before I retire to producing alone.

But which one is bringing more money?

I joined the Hausa movie industry in 2008 as an actor, before I started singing. It was movies that brought my face out, but for now, I can say I got more money from music than acting. I have performed in many weddings and birthday ceremonies which I was paid. But I don’t know what the future holds for me. I am hoping my YouTube channel will bring more money because I am ready to be uploading good contents from my films and songs, it’s just a matter of time.

Among your songs, which one is your favourite, and why?

I sang about 150 songs, and I think I like ‘Tantabara’ more because it was a song I did for my wife before I married her. In Hausa, tantabara (pigeon) is a special animal that symbolizes loyalty.

Among my more than 20 movies, I think I will go with my new series that we will soon release.

Why are you called Kaduna Ali Nuhu?

It started during my secondary school days; you know I started acting in secondary school. During that time, probably due to my stature, people started saying we look alike. And coincidentally, my first show in secondary school was a stage dance on the popular Sangaya song which I think was the biggest movie that announced Ali Nuhu to the world.


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