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‘Why I wrote book on Radio Nigeria Kaduna’

Musa Idris (Barnawa) PhD, is a seasoned broadcast journalist and a skilled radio-television presenter who rose through the ranks to the position of General Manager…

Musa Idris (Barnawa) PhD, is a seasoned broadcast journalist and a skilled radio-television presenter who rose through the ranks to the position of General Manager in one of the FM stations under Radio Nigeria Kaduna (Horizon FM 100.5MHz- Dutse, Jigawa State). He was an experienced newscaster, news translator, commentator radio/tv programmes conceptualiser, designer, producer and presenter, a trained Master of Ceremony (MC) and a media manager and trainer.

You are about to launch two books: one in English and the other in Hausa. Tell us briefly about the two

The English publication titled: A grassroots broadcaster – Radio Nigeria Kaduna, chronicles the radio station from the beginning to date. It starts by exposing radio as the source of information with the widest audience and traces the emergence and genesis of the advent of Radio Nigeria Kaduna with reasons behind its metamorphosis. Identifying radio as a medium for political communication, the book unravels the political intrigues in the management, economy, departments, communication flow and the programmes contents of the station in consideration to the technicalities of programme types and formats. The book x-rays language as a major tool for content provision considering the efficacy of language of immediate environment in terms of reach and audience beliefs and acceptability. The existence of Radio Nigeria Kaduna in the digital era was also analyzed. It scrutinizes the implications of commercialization on political programmes in particular and other programmes in general. It identifies the contributions of personalities toward the uplift of Radio Nigeria Kaduna to a particular height. I present different views on the radio station as to whether it is a giant living in the shadows of its glories as claimed by some quotas or it is still the broadcast authority of the north, Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

The Hausa book titled: ‘BINCIKEN MASANA AKAN HARSHEN HAUSA’ is a product of a programme I conceptualized and still produce and present on Radio Nigeria Kaduna. It was first titled ‘Gyara Kayanka’ later changed to ‘Gyara Hausarka’ and to ‘Iya Harshe’. The book comprises general purpose and specific knowledge. On the general aspect, it analyzes and explains gender (Jinsi) which is a linguistic aspect that distorts the aesthetics of most Hausa speakers. It also talks on Hausa morphology; phonology/phonetics; dialects; brief history of Hausa and also reveals surprises on who can truly be identified as Hausa, among others.

Specifically, it looks at how broadcast journalists misuse and abuse Hausa language under the guise of speaking the language on air. In this direction, the book treats the importance of language in broadcasting; identifies and provides solutions to some mistakes heard from various broadcast stations. The book treats translation in details – what translation is; branches, ethics and techniques of translation; effects of culture and modernization on translation, among others. 

The book is a compilation of contributions by scholars through the radio programme ‘Iya Harshe’. 

Where did the inspiration to write the books come from?

Inspiration to write the English book began at the middle of my PhD research which was on radio content. I realized that there was not much I could lay my hands on. In the process, I was able to access the theses of senior colleagues who wrote on similar area, relevant writeups in magazines and pamphlets but I couldn’t come across a book written on Radio Nigeria Kaduna. This scenario and my experience in Radio Nigeria Kaduna as a staff who rose through the ranks to the position of General Manager in one of the FM stations under Kaduna made me feel indebted and responsible to my broadcast mentors, university lecturers, my colleagues, students of Mass Communication and the upcoming generation. Thus, I thought of leaving a legacy of knowledge and experience not because I have the capacity to do that but for history to judge me as somebody who made an attempt of document one of the Sardauna’s legacies in northern Nigeria.

The inspiration to write the Hausa book was ignited by my staff when I was a Head of Presentation in 2013. I realized how most of them were careless in the use of the Hausa language, especially in the aspect of gender (Jinsi) while some of them were breaking the rules of translation as it affects Hausa language. When I listened to other stations and compared, I found that we were still better. That was when I truly confirmed that there were and still are linguistic problems in the broadcast journalism. It is a situation where the teacher teaches ’nothing’ or at worst ‘nonsense’. This inspired me to look for a way of reducing this menace at least at my level. So, I conceptualized a radio programme that interviews academics of repute in Hausa on various relevant topics of concern. In the process, veterans such as late Mallam Mahmoon Baba Ahmad and Alhaji Yusuf Katsina (may their souls rest in peace) fuelled the inspiration by talking to me about making the programme into a book. Now, the book BINCIKEN MASANA AKAN HARSHEN HAUSA (Researches on Hausa Language) is published.

What did you learn in the course of writing both books; were there surprises?

In the course of writing both books, I learnt that hard work and perseverance lead to success in whatever one does, but patience is their major lubricant. I understood that nobody can do anything about time. One can only do something within time and can never do anything without time. Some people see time as wicked but I see it as an epitome of reality. I did all I could to publish the books about a year before but that couldn’t materialize because it wasn’t the time.

There were not much surprises because I see disappointments and failures as part of life’s progression. I don’t like them but I expect and learn to accommodate them. So, when they come, I don’t blame their sources much but accommodate them as part of the journey.

How long did it take you to write the two books and how were you able to combine it with your regular schedule?

‘A grassroots broadcaster – Radio Nigeria Kaduna’ took me five years. I started in 2017 and concluded in 2022 while BINCIKEN MASANA AKAN HARSHEN HAUSA took me ten years; from January 2013 to October 2022.

Combining the writing with my regular schedule was not easy but doable, with determination and patience. In this type of scenario, one really needs help in all ramifications. My wife and children helped me immensely by creating a very peaceful atmosphere for me to operate towards my goal. They showed understanding which led to psychological support, which was fundamental for me to forge ahead.

What more should we expect from you and how soon. Are you thinking of writing a fiction, for instance?

More are on the way, God willing. I have started writing some for the past two years. I am believing God that they will see the light of the day too. I will like the next publication (s) to be soon but for want of resources. 

All the next set of my publications will be nonfiction. But I am on the concept of a fiction after my next set of books.

How do we improve the reading culture, especially among youngsters?

Reading culture can greatly be improved from the academia by minimizing the corruption of examination malpractices. If every student is fully aware that there is never any alternative to reading towards passing all examinations, s/he would have no option but to always read. That would create and build the belief that apart from leisure, reading is also a means to success. Hence, the student may realize that readers are leaders! 

Similarly, accepting and embracing modernization will assist in no small measure. More books should be online for more accessibility. Some youngsters might have the interest of reading some particular books but

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