Tuesday, May 22, 2012




Guitar Soloist
Saturday 10th December 2011 was an unforgettable day for musicians of Northern Nigeria, most especially those of Hausa/Fulani extract. It was on this unique day that the first ever musical awards show tagged FREEDOM FASAHA CONTEMPORARY HAUSA MUSIC AWARDS or Freedom FASAHA Awards (FFA) was born. Jointly organized by Freedom Radio, Kano and Inuwar Fasaha Association of Northern Musicians (iFANM) to spotlight contemporary Hausa music and thus accord it the recognition it truly deserves. It is believed to be the first ever awards night staged to honor specifically musicians and singers of the region in the history of the Nigerian entertainment industry.

Cultural Troupe Performing
The venue was meticulously set at the open space located at the back of The Afficent on Sultan Road in Nassarawa GRA, with the central stage fit for a maiden occasion that giving room for a lot of improvements. The VIP sittings was located immediately off the stage and was divided into two by a red carpeted central aisle. Female audience planned to sit on one side, while the males were to sit on the other all in an effort to comply with the religious dictate of segregation of men from women in a social gathering. (though both were mixed on the stage during the ward presentations.) 

Deputy Governor Kaduna State

The event started about 3 hours later than the 6:00pm it was scheduled to commence and when it eventually did, though a musical award show it was however filled with so much speech delivery by almost all the invited dignitaries who had quite a lot to say, probably because it was the maiden edition. This development further extended the awards proper, which could only start around 11:00pm. With the night chilled by the December harmattan cold, it was quite uncomfortable and unpleasant for all sitting through the protocols and the speeches. 

Many who withstood the cold to make history could be seen hugging themselves to keep warm and mothers who came to the show with their husbands and babies had to make special provisions to prevent the little toddlers from the penetrating cold. The turnout was quite impressive despite the N5,000 VIP and N2,000 ordinary seats price tags, giving the attitude of Kanawa to such events where many in society would dare not be seen at such a place. 
Fati Niger

The youth on the other hand whose show this was defied the odds to represent their generation and had quite some fun. But many of them had to go back home for the lack of the wherewithal. It was a secured and well managed crowd with heavily armed police guarding both the inside and outside of the venue. There was actually no eventuality to be expected since the major threat to such a show could have come from the state Hisbah Committee of the immediate past government which the present administration has de-empowered to conduct such a raid. 

Tijjani M. M. & Billy O
With the presence of some very important government and private sector personalities both from within and outside the country including 2 Deputy Governors (Kaduna and Jigawa), a former Federal Minister, a former Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, a 2011 Gubernatorial Aspirant, current Director General of NTA, Kano Chamber of Commerce President,  a University don, Director Press to the state government, foreign diplomats and representative from foreign countries like United States, Europe, China etc the event was well graced. 

Arc. Aminu Dabo

The 'main course' or the awards proper was very well presented. There was the usual and predictable sequence of screen display of nominees for the 14 categories under consideration, some of which were segmented for both the male and female artistes. Among the awards presented include Best Hausa: Hip Hop, R&B, Nanaye, Film Music, Debut, Islamic Song and Patroitic Song. Others are Song Writing, Moral Enlightenment, innovation in Music, Accapella, Traditional Acoustic and Jingle. One male and one female dignitary or one of the artistes were called to do the usual opening of the envelope, extract the slip within, tease the crowd and finally declare the winner. The successful singer comes on stage, accept the all glass trophy and proceed to give his or her 'Thanks' speech as obtainable in all awards. 

Zuma - Award Winner
Highlights among the interludes at the maiden awards night included a guitar soloist who made quite an impressive performance rendering some songs both in Hausa and English and sometimes mixing the lyrics in the two international languages effortlessly. The comedy track of the current sensational hit song "Baban Chinedu" by the artiste simply called Yusuf was no doubt one of the most entertaining moments of the whole event. He was surrounded by 3 female who dramatized the song as it was being performed. Another nostalgic recall was the performance of a cultural group from Niger State which calls itself 'See Bobo'. The all female group performed a scintillating song in Nupe language that left many amazed at the stimulating effect of the their performance. And finally, the energetic, action packed dance moves of the current acting sensation Adamu A. Zango who is equally talented musically as he stormed the stage left the youth shouting for more. 

Mudathir Kassim, Tijjani M. M. & Ahmed Zazzabi

Again as is usual with all awards, there were winners and of course the rest of the nominees in each category. Some truly deserving what they won, others get lucky and those who will claim their hard earned reward was denied them or some some of their fans might think. Virtually, many were disappointed with the outcome of the Best Hip Hop Award which should have been won by Billy O, arguably the very best and most talented of the that genre of music stars the North has to offer, but was given to someone who was almost unknown. In fact some of the fans were declaring they were just hearing the track with which he won for the very first time at the awards ceremony.

K-Boys Rappers
Same story goes for Adamu Nagudu, who is known by all Hausa music lovers as the most exciting contemporary Hausa funk star with many favorite hits to his credit was denied for the eventual winner. Fati Niger, one of the icons among the female artistes also suffered the same fate. Her hit song "Girma, Girma" which she gracefully performed at the show to the delight of all in attendance is a household hit, not just in Nigeria but across the Hausa speaking world. The award in the category she was nominated also slip off her hands to go to another female artiste. Except for a few groans and rejections by the crowd, most of the awards went to artistes deserving of them. 

Prof. Abdallah Uba Adamu & Farouk Dalhatu
The are some famous names and faces that were expected at the events that were not present.  The name Musbahu M. Ahmed, one of the best voices on the contemporary Hausa music scene was no where to be seen at the event. The singer/actor whose ballads rendition of Hausa songs compares to the likes of Freddie Jackson was visibly absent. The lyricist and one of the most talented vocalists of Hausa modern music Aminu Ladan Abubakar, who's every single album is a phenomenal hit was also missing at the show. No mention was made at any stage of Shaba, another lovable singing sensation dear to the ladies for his romantic hits, which gave Hausa music some of it's classics.

The movie legend Ibrahim Mandawari, who was billed to trace the history of music in Hausa movies as part of the proceedings and many of whose contemporaries like Kabiru Maikaba, Kabiru Nakwango, Shehu Kano etc all came to the award ceremony was not present. So also were absent many of the movie stars like Ali Nuhu, Sani Danja, Rabilu Musa Dan Ibro, Baba Ari and several others who should have been there to support their colleagues in the Kannywood movies industry.

Another Winner
Undoubtedly for a show of this importance and magnitude, the major set back of the whole event was it's lack of corporate sponsorship. For such kind of award ceremonies that covers the whole of the northern region, it is usual to see major brands most especially telecommunication networks falling all over themselves, trying to out do each other in seeking for either the full or part sponsorship rights or to just to make their presence felt by donating one thing or another crucial to the success of the event. At this maiden edition of Freedom Fasaha Awards, which for now is Northern Nigeria's equivalent of the likes of the Grammies, HipHop Music World Award, MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA), Nigeria Video Music Awards (NVMA) etc not a single one of them was present. 

Investigations revealed that the organizers did not approach these corporate entities the the sponsorship deal, in fact some even claimed they were not even aware of the event until they heard the jingles of it's taking place on the radio. Where they were approached, it was too short noticed for them to actively contribute as they would have loved to. Many expressed their intentions to sponsor the event, but request that enough time should be given to adequately facilitate their full participation. The first music awards to be staged north of the Naija has come and gone with lots of pomp and grandeur and is a success by all standards, especially with it's being the inaugural version. 
The FFAWARDS 2011 Trophies 

It was never for lack of the interest, ability or financial clout to organize an event of national importance that usually prevents the Hausas in particular or the North In general from staging this kind of shows, but rather it is the moral and religious question that plays the major role. If he so chooses to put that aside, the typical northerner is capable of organizing any show of international standard excellently well as is evident in the contemporary Hausa music awards night just witnessed. 

Tajudden O. Ahmed

No comments:

Post a Comment