Nigeria: Someone Stole the Credit for the First Movie I Directed - Falalu Dorayi

As one of the leading directors in the Hausa movie industry, Falalu Abubakar Dorayi, earned himself respect and adoration in the industry. He has been combining movie directing with marketing for over 19 years now. In this interview, Falalu talked about the rise and tribulations of the Hausa movie industry and other related issues.

How did you get into the movie industry?

I had my first contact with the movie industry when I was still in secondary school 19 years ago, I started with stage drama with a local drama group in our area. Moreover, during my acting days, I had two mentors then namely Tukuro and Dan Utai; these were pioneer artistes who gave the industry the push which made it what it is today. These were the people who gave me the first role I played in a movie, and I could remember the role was that of a passerby.

From there, my talent with scripting became obvious to operators of the company I worked with, so they encouraged me to be a screenplay writer, which I did and excelled in. I remained in the company as capacity of a script writer for seven years, and it was in the same company that I was taught the art of directing a movie. I have also attended several courses on directing at different recognized training institutions nationwide.

What was the first movie you directed?

The first two movies I directed were taken up and claimed by the producer of the movie who gave himself the credit of directing them and I don't want to mention names but that was what happed. Though I directed those movies, yet I couldn't claim the credit, well let me not go into that anyway. The first movie I directed which bore my name is called Kwagiri , then Uwargida, Majalisa followed and that was how my name became what it is today.

The movie Mela I can say was the one that gave me my breakthrough for the simple fact that I introduced in that movie a sense of professionalism and the storyline was good.

Do you have an estimate of how many movies you have directed so far?

Actually I can't recall immediately how many movies I have directed so far, though I do keep records of them. But I know they are many indeed.

Tell us some of your recent work?

Recently I have directed movies like Ga Zara ga Wata, Zarar Bunu, Sayyada, Tarkon Kauna, Ahalul Kitabi, Babban Mutum and Babban Yaro. I have also directed some comedies like, Ibro Danfulani 1& 2, Hotiho and Namamajo.

Does that imply that you have now shifted focus to directing comedies?

It is not as if I have changed focus, comedy is something that is in me and I am glad to inform you that with my little shift to it, the entire industry now is shifting towards the same direction. I have introduced into the industry the art of versatility among the artistes which I consider very vital to taking the industry to the peak.

How would you compare Hausa movies produced five years back and those being produced now?

Sincerely, when you compare movie production entirely in the last five years you will find out that in terms of quality of equipment, cast and the marketing of movies the industry has attained a higher level and as I have been saying, many people will attest to what I am saying. We have tasked ourselves in ensuring that we have updated our knowledge by attending various courses and seminars on movie production either from BOBTV or Royals Academy. This engagement is what transformed the industry to what it is today. We have more mind blowing movies and well written scripts by experts now and this ensures a better quality in our outputs. And this achievement won back our numerous patrons who have abandoned us due to poor quality.

As a young man whose desire is to be self-reliant, what are your words of encouragement to youngsters like you?

I have been calling on not only the youth but also to members of the community to be encouraged in all activities that will ensure self-reliance and the movie industry is one such avenue that can be explored.

I could remember when I was in Zaria, while directing a movie, I met an elderly man complaining about unemployment and I said to him boldly why not join the Hausa movie industry. This man looked at me for some seconds and I thought he was going to say something nasty against the industry because he didn't know of my association with it, but he didn't, he just asked me for an explanation. And I told him how the man that played the role of Shehu Usman Danfodio was picked from the farm by the movie director while traveling to Katsina and how the old man picked earned a living via that. The industry is a shock absorber, a problem solver and a checkmating institution that helps in giving thousand able youth a means of livelihood. Therefore it is mandatory upon our youth to explore avenues of becoming self-reliant instead of waiting for the government to come to their rescue.

What is the greatest challenge facing the industry?

Quote this anywhere, the greatest challenge facing the industry now is the issue of piracy which has been threatening the existence of the industry in its totality. I have to state here that Government, at all levels, didn't help matters regarding to this issue. It is clear that we contribute to revenue generation because we pay taxes and yet the government does not protect us against the powerful fangs of piracy.

Since the government failed to deliver you from the pangs of piracy how do you think the industry will survive?

We have succeeded in establishing anti-piracy committees in many states and these anti-piracy committees will work with the security agencies in ensuring that piracy is reduced. However, we will soon embark on public awareness campaign against piracy in the international and local media. These efforts we believe will help in reducing this deadly threat facing the industry.

Source: Daily Trust. By IBRAHIM MUSA GIGINYU, 19 Aug. 2012.


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