If one is to talk of successful singers in the Hausa film industry, the name of Nazifi Asnanic will come either first or second. When this holder of NCE released the song “Kwankwaso, Dawo-Dawo” before last year’s general elections, he instantly became a celebrity and some thought the song would change his fortune.
But Nazifi told Blueprint in Kano that what that song fetched him was goodwill and nothing more. No financial reward came to him, he said.
But since he is successful as a singer why did he cross over to film production, directing and a script writing? Nazifi opened up to our reporter in an interview where he revealed that the press nearly destroyed his marriage when it was reported that he was in serious romance with frontline actress Nafisa Abdullahi.
“My wife was bitter when she read the story,” the lyricist said. “Of course, she confronted me but I told her the whole truth, that I only shared mutual respect with Nafisa, nothing more nothing less.”
In the interview, Nazifi spoke on his life, money, politics and his plans for the future. Excerpts:
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Nazifi Abdulsalam Yusuf, popularly known as Nazifi Asnanic. I am from Kano Municipal. I attended Islamic school, primary, secondary in Rumfa College and Federal College of Education, Kano.
You are supposed to be in the classroom, not in the studio…
It is destiny. I like music and I developed interest in it and later made a hobby out of it.
How did you compose your first song?
I started with a song praising the Prophet Muhammad, then I asked my friends if I had the potential to be a career singer. There was no ‘album’ trend then. The song was titled “Baban Su Fatima.” Later, we produced it with Mahmud Nagudu.
Your success was so instant. What was the secret?
It was Allah’s will. But let me tell you I still have my seniors, like Misbahu Ahmad, Mudassir Kassim, Abubakar Sani and Yakubu Muhammad. In spite of that I made my impact through songs like “Baban Su Fatima,” “Kwankwaso Dawo Dawo,” my song in the film “Fil Azal,” “In Za Ka So Dan’uwan Ka,” etc. I used to play them and enjoy myself a great deal.
Has your popularity and acceptance by your fans affected you in any way?
Yes, there was a particular show we did for MTN. Initially, they were not to include northerners but some people made a case for us and I, Mahmud Nagudu, Maryam Fantimoti, Ali Jita and Murja Baba were selected. During the show we outclassed the southern musicians.
On “Kwankwaso Dawo-dawo”, honestly it is only me that knew the reason why I composed the song. I did not get financial reward from it but today whenever the governor sees me he associates with me freely. In fact, in one meeting I attended he specifically thanked me for the song. To me, that is okay.
Tell us how you transformed from singing to directing and producing films.
Well, I m not rich, and it is true most of my films I go for best actors and actresses. The reason is simple; it is only good products that fetch money. I go for people like Ali Nuhu, Nafisa Abdullahi, Rahama Hassan and the rest because they are mature and we work on terms. My policy is that if you mess me up I will also mess you up.
I read somewhere that you and Nafisa were in serious love. Clarify this.
Well, my wife read about the publication you are talking about and she was furious. But the truth is Nafisa is not my girlfriend. Yes, we are close but we only have mutual respect for each other. But tell me in Nollywood there are gossips, in Bollywood you have gossips, same thing with Kannywood. The media will always look for gossip to sell their papers. One magazine sometimes ago try to run down Ali Nuhu because of his role in Kannywood, but Ali is a decent family man.
Are you saying men and women do not date each other in Kannywood?
Wait for the day you catch us doing so, then you can take us to the village square and hang us.