Early this week we had an interview with a rising blogger, actor, producer and director in the Hausa Film Industry popular known as Kannywood. He revealed to us some of his motivations, inspirations and challenges in the Industry. Here are some excerpts from our chat;
The Northerner: Can we meet you?
Abubakar: My name is Abubakar Ibrahim Abaji, i was born in Kaduna. I attended both my primary and secondary school in Kaduna. I later went to study Library and Information Science at Kaduna Poly. Presently, i work with Radio Nigeria. But before then i have worked at AIT (ray power), Rave, Gambiza, Show Magazine and Arewa Online. I am married with two wonderful kids, and this is my short biography.
The Northerner: What is your relationship with Kannywood?
Abubakar: My relationship with Kannywood is that I’m an ex producer and director, I sponsored movies like Zumudi, Ambaliya, Mai Ajanda, and many others. I directed Ambaliya and Mai Ajanda. Sometimes I feature in some movies, but I have more preference for production. Right now, I’m currently working on a movie series which will be released by the end of this year.
The Northerner: What prompted you to create Kannywoodtoday.com.ng?
Abubakar: The reason I created kannywoodtoday.com.ng was that for a very long time I have been brooding over the lack of a platform that will show the world the events and happenings around the industry. The world has evolved and people rarely read printed newspaper and magazines to get the right information, the internet has bridged that gap. When I was working with Arewa Online Reports, I made mention of how they could profit from a special website dedicated to Kannywood. However, they asked me to first sponsor the project, but because at the time I lack the knowledge I didn’t. Not until last year after I had done some training and gained more knowledge that I decided to start my own website. At first it was difficult to get the right name but with the help and advice from my Boss Sulaiman Aliyu Waziri I started posting in Febraury 2016. I personally have been posting updates on the site and it has not been easy but with the support and motivation from my friend who is also a film direction, I have been able to keep going. Getting news and information in the industry is has also been a challenge, because at first we started posting in English but was later advised to use Hausa so as to make it easy for those who couldn’t read in English. I have also enjoyed support from many industry stakeholders and personalities like Al’ameen Ciroma of Leadership, Actors Ali Nuhu, Adam A Zango, Rahma Sadau and Nafisa Abdullahi. Honestly speaking, Kannywoodtoday has not yet reached its full potential. I believe there is more to be done.
The Northerner: What is the aim of Kannywoodtoday?
Abubakar: The aim of Kannywoodtoday.com.ng is to provide the latest News, events, gossips, trailers and interviews related to Kannywood. I’m also working on a platform that will promote Hausa and Indigenous music. This initiative is meant to give local musicians a voice on the world stage. You can download our app via Android Play Store. We are also working on our iOS app for apple phones users.
The Northerner: What challenges have you faced so far?
Abubakar: I face a lot of challenges even though I am also part of the industry. Sometimes when a go to place, you see people keeping quiet even when it’s clear that they were discussing something just so that I will not get any information. Also, when we make any posts that an actor doesn’t like, he becomes offended, but when you seek to know his/her side of the story they refuse to cooperate. This makes our work really difficult.
The Northerner: What is your advice to those who want to go into the industry either as a producer, director or acting?
Abubakar: My advice is for them to come in with good intentions of making positive additions to the industry. They should also take it as a means of livelihood.