Story from Saleh INUWA, Kano
Fati Niger better known as Binta Labaran came to Nigeria over 15-years-ago, to pursue her career in the Kano base famous Kannywood as a Hausa singer and since she released her famous record “Girma Girma” Fati has virtually become a household name in Nigeria and most of African Countries.
When she released the song Girma Girma in her home country, Niger Republic, the record instantly became the hottest selling music across sub-Saharan African, it sold more than 10 million copies but unfortunately, pirates stole the master copy of the music and as Fati was busy in Niger putting finishing touches to the music video, some pirates in Nigeria flooded the market with the music as such, even though it sold more than 10 million copies, Fati claimed, she did not make up to 10,000 Naira from the musical album even though she spent thousands of Naira to produce it.
“This is not the reason I personally invited you, for a special interview, since the last time I featured in your Kannywood column, I have also recorded more successes that I feel I should grace your Kannywood column again to express my happiness over the new development. In fact, I can say without apology that in terms of Hausa Music, Fati Niger is now number one in Africa, talking about successes, some years back, when Zahra Buhari got married to the son of multi-billionaire Maiduguri based businessman Mohammed Indimi. I was personally invited to the Villa to entertain the president’s wife, Aisha Buhari, wives of Ministers, Ambassadors, wives of Businessmen, the immediate families of the first lady and other important dignitaries. I was also, recently invited to Jaji Military Cantonment to perform in honour of a senior Military officer that was just promoted, we were allowed all members of my crew to appear in Military uniform. I was recently named as the Gimbiyar Arewa by Producers Association, Zamfara State Chapter, there was also a company called Queen’s world in Kaduna that recently honoured me with a Laurel and the Emir of Borgu in Niger State, Alhaji Muhammad Halliru Dantoro recently also bestowed on me the title of Gimbiyan Mawakan Sarautar Borgu”.
These are some of the successes that I feel I should invite you to share this moment of joy with me. I am now the Queen of Hausa music, I continued to win awards over the years and I can tell you that the sky is my limit.
EXCERPTS OF THE INTERVIEW
Neptune Prime: You are already a household name, as such, you don’t need to introduce yourself but start by telling us the successes you recorded recently in your career as a Hausa female musician?
Fati Niger: When I received a personal invitation from the Villa to come to Abuja and entertain the first family during the wedding of Zahra Buhari to the son of Maiduguri based businessman and oil magnate Alhaji Muhammed Indimi, I called several female and male singers across Africa to find out if they were equally invited, but I was to discover later that I was the only person invited. I almost shed tears because of joy. Don’t ask me how much I was paid because for the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recognize me and invite me to entertain her and her guest, it is more than any amount one can pay me. As such, let me use this medium to thank Mrs Aisha Buhari, the President himself, President Muhammadu Buhari because if he did not approve of it, his wife will not invite me. I wish to also thank Zahra Buhari and her husband and other children of the first family, I remain extremely grateful to them.
NP: What again do you want to tell us as other successes that you have achieved recently?
Fati Niger: I composed an album in honour of Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai to former Chief of Army Staff, for the way he dealt with the dreaded Boko Haram in the Northeast. And how through his professionalism he has reformed the Nigerian Army and brought discipline back into the service more than before. I was allowed by the Military authority to shoot the musical album in military uniform. This is also more than an honour to me and I will remain grateful to the former Chief of Army Staff. Other things followed after I released my album in Tukur Buratai’s honour but as I keep on telling you, money is not everything but thank God I was also handsomely rewarded.
NP: The new Emir of Borgu, Alhaji Muhammadu Halliru Dantoro also recently bestowed on you the title of Gimbiyar Mawakan Masarautar Borgu, tell us how you were chosen above other female singers in the North and couple with the fact that you are not from Nigeria?
Fati Niger: Let me answer it this way, the issue of origin or nationality as far as I am concern, I now consider myself as a Nigerian because I came to Nigeria with virtually nothing. But today, I am not only successful and rich by all standard, but I also have chains of other artist working under me and they are all Nigerians. I have a beautiful musical studio, well equipped to any standard, I have very good and expensive cars for my personal use. I have a well-furnished office for my personal use, I don’t have an accommodation problem coming to the other part of your question. Honestly, I have recently been winning awards all over Africa, I received invitations to perform in African countries like Ghana, Cameroon, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger Republic and other countries in Africa. I cannot tell the criteria used by the Borgu Emirate Council in Niger State to bestow on me the title of Queen of Music for Borgu Emirate but I remain grateful to the Emir and other traditional titleholders from the Emirate. A company based in Kaduna Queen’s world also honoured me recently, Producers Association, Zamfara State Chapter also recently nominated me as Gimbiyar Arewa (The Princess of the North) some universities and colleges of Education also awarded me Laurels here and there over my Music, they always describe my voice as the sweetest among my peers.