Muhammad Aliyu Inuwa a.k.a Oga Goga is a hiphop artist and Kannywood actor. In this interview, he talks about his role as drug baron in the TV series ‘Dadin Kowa’ and his efforts to mobilize support for almajiri Qur’anic students in a new song. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: What would you say the TV show ‘Dadin Kowa’ has been able to accomplish so far?
Muhammad Aliyu Inuwa: We have done a lot in sensitizing the public on some of the social ills in the society, such as drug abuse. Within the period, we have done our best, from the script writers to us the actors, to educate people. I play the role of Goga, a drug baron. We are grateful to God for the impact we have been able to make.
‘Dadin Kowa’ is meant to instil family values. Today, children as young as 10 or 12 are used to smuggle hard drugs. If nothing is done, they will grow to become hardened criminals. So, we try to sensitise the public, parents and other stakeholders on the dynamics of this drug business in our society.
WM: Does your role in ‘Dadin Kowa’ affect how people look at you in real life?
Inuwa: It is always difficult taking such roles because people may despise or stigmatise you. But we always try to let them know that the characters we represent on screen is not reflective of our true behaviour.
However, I don’t experience any stigma. It rather endears me the more to fans. Even though some may hold certain opinions about me because of the role, I believe those who love me for that role are larger in number.
I have always had an interest in entertainment and creative writing and started looking for opportunities to put that to practice. I was also a creative writer and a poet. I used to compose songs for others until it got to a point when I started feeling I could sing as well.
I was initially drawn to hip-hop and later sang at wedding receptions. Our new single which will soon be released is called Almajirai.
WM: What do you seek to achieve with ‘Almajiri’
Inuwa: It will serve as a tool for advocating almajiri education. We hope to mobilise support for them. Just like any other child, these children are human beings and should be treated with dignity. If we want them off the streets, then they should be supported with all necessities of life.
There is nothing offensive about the song. We only appeal to the government, the CBOs, the CSOs and even wealthy individuals in the society to come to their aid and support their quest for Qur’anic knowledge as an act of piety. If these children could be given adequate care, they will not even think of coming out to the streets to beg and they will devote more time to their studies.