Shaibu Yawale Yakasai, one of the acting veterans in the Kannywood industry, is the immediate past Chairman of the Motion Pictures Association of Nigeria (MOPAN). In this interview with ALIYU ASKIRA in Kano, Yakasai speaks on indiscipline in Kannywood, the expulsion of Rahama Sadau from kannywood, the recent arrest of kannywood Hausa singer Sadiq Zazzabi and sondary other issues.
Sir, you have been in Kannywood since 1990 yet you are not popular what do you think seems to be the problem?
Well, let me start by telling you a bit about my background. I was born in 1964, did my primary school in Kano, later attended Teachers College, Sumaila. I later went to Sa’adatu Rimi College of education where I obtained my NCE before proceeding to Bayero University Kano and obtained my degree and masters degree. I lecture at the Federal College of Education, Kano.
I was introduced to drama when I was in primary school by Hajiya Naja’aatu Bala Mohammed who was then our teacher. Later I joined Tumbin Giwa Drama club then with the coming of kannywood I become a full time actor and producer. So far, I produced more than 10 films from my company but the films I featured in so far are many that I can’t count them. My most difficult film is Biri da Mutum which we short in Yola.
What is your position on the expulsion of Rahama Sadau from kannywood, because you are the immediate past chairman of MOPPAN?
Left to me I would not have sanctioned her with expulsion if I am still the chairman of MOPPAN. But she was expelled under the chairmanship of Kabiru Mai Kabba and Salisu Mohammed Officer as Executive Secretary of MOPPAN. They gave several reasons for expelling her including the fact that this is the third time she was breaching the law governing MOPPAN, and also that she once gave an undertaking that if she misbehaved again the association should take any decision they deem necessary on her.
However, left to me we are all human beings and subject to make mistake as such if I am still the chairman I would ask her to go to the media and apologise to us and to the society in general and her fans, then we could give her indefinite suspension and later recall her to continue with her acting career. As human being, I also put God before anything else in taking decisions. We are like one family here and everybody is trying to make success of his career, so I do not take a decision that will affect somebody’s career for life. Before Rahama, we had other members that also did worst things but they are still in kannywood.
Can you marry from kannywood?
The answer is capital yes, we have beautiful and intelligent girls that can make good wives in kannywood. In fact my children are already acting, I have one wife and three children but I don’t want madam to hear this that I may go for second wife. The truth is I am not into any relationship and I have never dated any lady from Kannywood, what I am saying is that we have good materials for marriage in Kannywood.
Let me use this medium to clarify the issue or allegation that ladies from Kannywood don’t make success of their marriages when they settle down. This is true because somebody who is used to freedom of movement from one place to another, used to money, and can do and undo then you marry her and lock her up in a house, when you are no longer in a position to put food on the table, what do you think will happen? There will be crises.
I therefore advise those that will come here and marry from Kannywood if you are not after their body, when you marry them set up a business for them or since some of them are rich, allow them to continue with their businesses including acting.
If I marry from Kannywood I will allow my wife to continue acting. What is the difference between women who are doing office work, nurses that go to work and come the following day, air hostesses that flit to other countries and spend week before coming back or office secretaries that prepare tea for their bosses who are not their husbands or women in political offices that go to meetings late in the night? Honestly it is better to marry an actress who you can follow to a film location, becuase you can’t follow your wife to political meetings in the night or to her office.
Could you quantify what you have achieved from kannywood over the years as producer and actor?
Let me start with my regret since I joined the industry and that is the issue of the controversial N3.5 billion naira propose kano film village, the project was located in kano by the president himself through federal ministry of information, before now there are lot of money that when into nollywood through past government through federal ministry of finance, some of their members benefited through training in and outside the country, only few of kannywood members benefited from the project, and because of the way and manner we camping for president Buhari, especially our musicians people like Dauda
Kahutu Rara the president decided to set up the film village in bebeji local government of kano state assuming our Islamic scholars did not politicize the project, the film village when fully functional will generate billions of revenue to both federal and kano state government, we will have training institute there, modern studios, swimming pool,
modern market, police post, access roads, modern costumes and many other things that we don’t have before, instead of acting I mean shooting films on major roads in town or renting places to shoot films in town or travelling out of kano to produce films, when your script is ready you will just go to kano film village with your crew and do all you will do up to the finishing of the film and you will even have standard hotel where you will put up you don’t need to travel out of kano to put up in hotels or use facilities that are not in kano you will have all this in the film village, so if I remember that this project will no longer be located in kano I feel sad, in fact the place will mould the character of our actors and actresses, you can do whatever you want to do there without members of the public watching you, I am saying this because the society is looking at us as people who are jobless or way word, they look at our ladies as cheap as prostitutes, these things are given us lot of concern.
What is your reaction to the arrest and detention of Sadiq Zazzabi recently who was charge to court by kano state films and censorship board, can’t you separate your work from politics?
Well, Sadiq Zazzabi himself made a mistake he can release his song into the market without seeking for clearance from the kano films and censorship board, there are other singers that release songs critical to the state government but nobody arrested them because they did not seek the clearance of the board, since he decided to seek their clearance he should wait for their approval before releasing his song, the director of the board is one of us but he is now in government and he want to protect his job so what he did as far as he is concern is in order, Zazzabi aware of the political rift between Kwankwaso and Ganduje he release his song in honour of Kwankwaso and he uses lyrics that did not go down well with the present administration of kano state, except one is looking for cheap popularity he has a way to release his song into the market without causing trouble for himself whatever one will do in life one should fear God and be sincere to yourself, if you want cheap popularity God is reading your mind, if you are sincere by seeking the approval of the God then why did you release the song before clearance from the board this is my position as former chairman of MOPPAN and if I am still the chairman this will still be my position.