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Why I sought forgiveness for praise singing President Buhari – Sha’arani

Malam Ibrahim Yala is a popular Hausa musician who’s been making waves for more than 20 years in the industry, as well as a film…

Malam Ibrahim Yala is a popular Hausa musician who’s been making waves for more than 20 years in the industry, as well as a film producer. He features as Sha’arani in the Hausa film series ‘Gidan Badamasi’. In this interview with Daily Trust Saturday, Yala spoke about acting, music and many more. 

You sang the biggest PMB song ‘Yau Najeriya riko sai mai gaskiya’ but you recently released another song asking Nigerians for forgiveness, what happened?

Yes, even before that one, we did a song in collaboration with Farfesan Waka where we called on PMB to do the needful in fulfilling the promises he made to Nigerians.

But this latest one is about insecurity. Things are getting worse. I am a victim of banditry. My younger brother was killed along Kaduna-Abuja highway. PMB himself is a victim because a big man was once picked from Daura. So, things have obviously gotten bad. I know many people voted him because of me, so I think it is binding on me to ask for their forgiveness because this is definitely not what we wanted.

You are more popular as a musician. How did you become one of the prominent actors in Gidan Badamasi?

I am an artist, and as an artist, I should be able to fit into different entertainment roles. In most of my songs, I do video and dramatize the songs. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to see me acting in ‘Gidan Badamasi’.

And in any entertainment industry in the world, you will hardly find a very big celebrity playing just one role in the industry. In fact, multitasking is a good attribute of a good artist. If you can’t multitask, then you cannot call yourself a celebrity.

Meanwhile, for a very long time, I have been getting movies roles but to be fair to them, I do reject many of them because I can’t imagine going to a film location and spending a very long time acting. I am a man of many responsibilities and many schedules. 

That is why for a very long time, I chose to be a producer and executive producer. But I’ve featured in many movies in the past 15 years.


You feature in ‘Gidan Badamasi’ as Sha’arani – a crippled Kanuri man, can you describe your role?

I told you I’ve been a producer for a long time, so the director of ‘Gidan Badamasi’ Falalu Dorayi is my long-time friend and we enjoy a very close and mutual working relationship. He was the one that invited me to act the character of Sha’arani in the series.

Meanwhile, Sha’arani is a Kanuri man from Borno and he is a cripple. I instantly changed my Hausa to mimic that of the Kanuri and mimic the crippling. He was impressed and was surprise on how fast I changed.

I featured in Season 1 complete, but couldn’t continue with Season 2 due to some reasons. If he had wanted to remove me, he could have either killed the character or something else, but the story line keeps running and you know the series is very popular not only in Nigeria but in West Africa, and so many fans are asking about me. That was how I returned in Season 3.

You played the role to perfection. Do you have any ties with the Kanuri?

Yes, I have a relationship with Borno. My grand parents are originally from Borno before they settled in Jigawa State. But as far as Sha’arani is concerned, it’s just acting. And I think a good actor should be able to change to any character he is playing with ease.

‘Gidan Badamasi’ has become so entertaining that people now say it’s a remedy for hypertension. How do you react to the reviews?   

This is one of the reasons I accepted to act in the series. There is a limit to the role I can play in movies. I can’t accept a role that will tarnish my hard-earned reputation directly or indirectly. So, after reading the script I immediately fell in love with it. 

The story line is a problem solver, and the comedy part is superbly written to ease the passage of the message. 

Another aspect of the series is that many tribes have been drawn into it. I acted as Kanuri; there is a Gwari man among his children. You see, that also shows diversity.

What is your message to fans?

They should be patient with us and appreciate the fact that movies are here to stay. If they see any good and positive observations, they should forward it directly to the right channel. They should stop criticizing movies and actors negatively. Movies are medium of passing messages across.

Do you have any message to actors?

I have been very vocal on calling our Kannywood actors to be very careful with life and stardom. Even if you’ve never been to school, just mere looking at yourself is enough to know that there is a supreme being that created you and he is watching over you. So, being very pompous and proud is like challenging Him. No matter how big you are in the industry, a day will come when even if you are alive, you will see others doing exactly what you did and no body will be talking about you. That is stardom for you. It rotates.

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