Tanimu Yahuza Shaban, who is popularly called TY Shaban, recently got married to the beautiful Kannywood actress, Samira Ahmed - a union which came as a surprise to many. To top it all, events that marked the marriage ceremony have left tongues wagging. In this chat in Kano, the actor/producer defends the introduction of an unusual event in celebration of his marriage; he also talks about his life in the film industry.
According to TY Shaban, entertainment is in his blood; since he was an 11-year-old boy, he has been playing music. He points out that he never had much of an interest in the movie industry, as music, which he started with Sani Danja, has always been his first love.
He said their English songs were well-accepted in Kano. That fetched them several invitations by some producers in Kannywood. While Sani accepted the invitations, TY Shaban declined the offer, opting to stick only to the music; but the rapid success being recorded by the Hausa film Industry made him have a re-think and jump to the opportunity. That marked the beginning of his journey to becoming an actor and producer.
On his challenges as a producer and actor, Shaban said the challenges he faces are the same with any other person in the industry, pointing an accusing finger at "pirates" who, he believes, are the ones killing the industry.
"Another big problem that could make Kannywood a forgotten industry if not for our resilience is lack of viable and vibrant markets for our films. There is only one channel of distribution of our films which is making it impossible for us to produce in large quantity. Most of us are operating at a loss or little profit that could not give way to proper development in terms of introducing high quality equipment for the industry and good remuneration for those that work in Kannywood."
The Degree holder, who is an indigene of Kano, is also of the opinion that lack of cooperation between stakeholders of the Hausa film Industry is another cog in the wheel of progress in the industry. He suggests coming together and getting more educated - "These are keys to solving these lingering problems."
His face quickly lightens up when he is asked about his latest marriage to his heartthrob, Samira Ahmed. Forgetting about challenges in Kannywood for a moment, Shaban, who is already married with children, gives a wide grin.
"Samira and I came from the same film industry - 2 Effect, and initially, I only saw her as a sister. She respected me as a big brother even calling me "yaya". We usually offered each other advice and, I cannot explain it, but I just found myself falling in love with her and it led to marriage. We got married last month."
There were no holds barred as Shaban and Samira presented their marriage with high society events that drew attention.
The introduction of shisha smoking was seen as untraditional event, and had some of the colleagues voicing their unhappiness in the newspapers. An unapologetic Shaban says he owes no explanations.
"I really don’t know why some people are making this an issue, I am a Muslim and I will never do anything against my religion.
"There was nothing like "Shisha Night" as part of our wedding programme, but "Purple Night" where we employed services to provide us with good healthy food and drinks. Shisha was also provided on that occasion - but there was nothing intoxicating in it. Moreover, shisha is an Arab cultural display and my wife is related to Arabs; it was to honour her and her culture."