Sheme Began Writing Shata Biography Before Me, Says Aliyu Ibrahim Kankara

On Wednesday, September 1, 2010, Aliyu Ibrahim Kankara posted the following article in his blog called Taskar Mamman Shata. In it, he clearly admitted, In 1993 I began writing Shata’s biography, alongside collecting his albums.” He added: “I met Ibrahim Sheme in 1997 whom began writing his own Shata’s book earlier then I, may be 1988 or 1990.” 
This, for me, rested the abusive argument he launched recently that he had met and written a biography of Shata before I introduced him to the singer. By stating – in September 2010 – that 1) he began to write on Shata in 1993 and that 2) I began writing Shata’s biography before him, he has discredited all the false claims he made about me, about the book that I authored and about his own perceived status as a leading commentator on the life and works of Dr Shata. The liar has caught himself in his own web!
Please check out his poorly-written article at this web link:



By Aliyu Ibrahim Kankara 

Perhaps should in case the name does not ring a bell across the core northern States in Nigeria because of numerous publications and radio or media featuring in advertising late Mamman Shata’s entire life, my name is Aliyu Ibrahim Kankara. Because Shata’s songs were unfathomable or rather too mysterious to be understood, especially those he composed between 1936 when he started singing, to 1953 when he stopped composing wakokin Datsa or Zube. Shata’s style of songs are uncanny and difficult to explain. In 1993 I began writing Shata’s biography, alongside collecting his albums. I met Ibrahim Sheme in 1997 whom began writing his own Shata’s book earlier then I, may be 1988 or 1990. After merging our works together, we suddenly, on the request of Mamman Shata himself met other two writers of the same biography, Tijjani Yusuf Albasu and Ali Malami both at Kano. That was on Saturday, 19th September, 1998. In 2006 we came out with an enchanting book, Shata Ikon Allah, culminating to about 604 pages with an index containing about 638 bits of songs collection of the evergreen hero of the millennium. Meeting so many people who lived with Shata for long periods of times, some of them were Usman Gizo makaman Rokon Kano, Alhaji Alasan Abdallah Dunu, Alhaji Dankwara Na Tabawa, Alhaji Dankwara uban Ladidi, Hajiya Nana matar Dankwara, Alhaji Mayau Kaduna, Alhaji Bature Sarkin Makadan Bakori, Alhaji Shehu Tsatso Katsina and many others I came to realize that Shata Ikon Allah was still an incomplete biography. There were many things of exciting, of interest about Shata that were missing or untold in the book. I was frisky and fortuitous. Fortunately the people listed above gave me the audience I was to be given, and after about half a decade most of them except Shehu Tsatso and Nana were dead. Usman Gizo knew Shata since in 1947 when the latter made his first appearance at Kano, Alasan Abdallah came to know him at Malumfashi at Kwastan’s House in 1942, Dankwara Ladidi knew and hosted him in his house at Fagge, Kano in 1954. Bature Sarkin Makadan Bakori knew Shata in June 1943. The earlier biography seems to be feeble. To make Shata’s biography and collection of songs fatten so that they can be ready for analyses and appraisals I had to indulge in writing another book on Shata. In fact it is incredible for four writers to collect a teaspoonful collections of 638 songs. Shata claimed to have had more than 10,000 songs to his credits. He once in 1998 lamented to us that a researcher (white lady) came to him from America with a collection of his 1,670 songs which she gathered, far ahead of us with 1,032. If Shata died by the middle of 1999 then the period after his death should be the one to begin analyzing his songs and grouping them into various classes or families. In 2010 I emerged with another spectacular unpublished biography of the late Hausa music sensation, Mahadi Mai Dogon Zamani: Shata Da Kundin Wakokinsa, with an index or a complete chapter containing of about 4,000 songs. It is believed that this new biography will open up a new window or path that will groom or entice researchers to think of exploring more of Shata and his contemporaries. Although I am currently down with financial reductionisms I therefore can’t print the present book now. Nobody also among the community members who are well to do can handle the financial aspect of the printing. Along side I am receiving strong attacks and onslaught from some members of the academics that they urge the quick presentation of the book. Although there was failure to recover the money for the launching of the earlier book ‘Shata Ikon Allah’. Shata’s family members are reluctant and weak about this new venture. The new book Mahadi…’ now appears like a Sanatorium or a hospital for people who are getting better but still need rest and care(I mean the uncertainty condition of the book not the story it carries). But there is an auspicious feeling in me and the book. Why the public are enthusiastic on the publication of the long awaited new book? Across the whole continents the book can be availably useful for academic research in African Languages, especially in America, Asia and Britain were Shata’s legacies are quit far and or scarce. The Hausa academic corner shouldn’t be lackadaisical about this new venture. Mahadi…’ is an elevation of Shata’s carrier and legacies, to properly tell who really Mamman Shata was. There are strong feelings in me that the book must even be translated to major international languages of the world. Who ever is ready to do it is welcome. I also defy anybody wanting to hinder the successful maturity of the book.

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