Madinah Balqis Mu’azu, popularly known as Dinah, is a familiar face to audience of the new TV station called Arewa 24, in Kano. As a presenter of programmes, among which is a Kannywood programme tagged, Kundin Kannywood, Dinah has carved out her own niche in the industry in northern Nigeria, particularly Kano State where the station is based, and beyond. Having joined Arewa 24 as a reporter/researcher, a few months ago, the veteran TV host has quickly accelerated to the position of head producer in the station. In this interview with Mustapha Adamu, the Katsina State-born woman, shares her experience, challenges faced in her career and many more. Excerpts:
Please tell us briefly, about yourself?
I was born in Funtua Local Government of Katsina State in 1974. I started my education in Model Staff School. I later proceeded to Federal Government Girls College Bakori, Kaduna State. I got married after I graduated from secondary school. After having kids, I decided to further my education and joined Kaduna State Polytechnic where I graduated with a diploma in Mass Communication. I obtained my High National Diploma (HND) in the same course and did my Industrial Training (I.T.) in DITV, Kaduna. I was a business woman before I joined Arewa 24.
How did your career start?
Well, I can say that my career began since the age of seven. I used to watch the 7:00pm news presented by Hauwa Baba Ahmad on NTA Kaduna. I was actually inspired by her. I liked what she was doing to the extent that I ended up imitating her. I used to insert a tape in a tape deck and record the news I read in newspapers as I saw her doing on TV. I was also Master of Ceremony (MC) on several occasions, when my family held an event. Whenever there was a get together in our family, I would be the MC. That was why I became inspired to study Mass Communication in order to realise my dreams. Interestingly, even after I finished my studies, apart from the IT programme I did in DITV Kaduna, I didn’t work in a media outfit until I joined Arewa 24 in 2014.
What are your duties at the Arewa 24?
I joined Arewa 24 as a reporter/researcher on 11th March, 2014. But within a short period of time, they became satisfied with my work and promoted me to the position of Head producer. I am now the team leader of the general programme. We have three programmes under the general programme, the Cultural show which is all about promoting Hausa culture all over Africa. We have started with Kano and will go further. We planned to go to Saudi Arabia, because we know there is large number of Hausa people there, but couldn’t get the visa. So we are still hoping to do so. We also have a Kannywood programme of four segments, with each standing on its own. They include a discussion programme which involves calling an artist or a member of a crew to discuss on variety of issues concerning the film industry, including challenges, loopholes and how to overcome the problems, the segment that involves fan chats. Here we go out to interview fans on their favourite stars in the industry, to tell us what they like and don’t like about them. Afterwards, we invite the star under review to respond to questions being asked by the fans. Another part of Kannywood is the, behind the scene segment. It involves interviews with the movie crew including the directors and producers. How they come about their story lines, the challenges they face, among others.
We also have a children programme called Alawar Yara (Children’s candy). It involves gathering a group of children, telling them stories, asking them questions and playing games. It was created to entertain the children.
How successful is your leadership as the head producer?
Well, for a leadership to be successful, the subjects must cooperate with it and vice versa. In this regard, I am proud that I receive maximum cooperation. My team members do what I instruct them to do even when am not supervising them they still comply. I am the only female in the team, but they obey my instructions while I also give them listening ear, so we do our job peacefully and successfully.
What challenges are you facing so far as a team leader?
As I told you earlier, I don’t have any problem with my team. The challenges I am facing is from my guests. We record the Kannywood programmes in the studio every Tuesday. We can call about five guests from the Kannywood, and believe me, sometimes none of them will show up, and it is a programme that is aired every week. They give us appointment but don’t keep to it.
Secondly, I face a great challenge with the children’s programme. Taking into consideration the security situation in the country, I am always not at ease gathering the children and going somewhere with them for the show. My mind is always not at rest until I have handed over each child to his or her parents.
How do you inspire young ladies out there to emulate you?
Like I said, I was inspired by Hauwa Baba Ahmad of NTA. But I wouldn’t want young ladies to be like me if they do not want to; I would rather, want to advice them to be what they want to be in life. At that time, whenever I saw Hauwa on the screen, I would wish to be like her, to be on the TV screen like her, speaking through the microphone, and reading the news in front of cameras. Now, I have achieved my own dreams as a TV presenter. So I call on them to be what they want to be. If you want to be a doctor, go for it. If you want to be a newscaster pursue your dream. If you want to be a lawyer, engineer, pilot etc, put in your best to achieve your target.
So, what piece of advice do you have for youth generally?
They should wake up from their slumber, shun idleness and drug abuse and face reality. There are a lot of social problems among youth in this country to which I call on them to desist from, while government must play its role in securing the future of our youth, so I call on the government to provide more schools and more employment opportunities in order to engage the youth productively and stir their part away from drug abuse and thuggery.