On Ummah Shehu’s scandal


Momoh’s Interview with actress Ummah Shehu on Arewa 24’s Kundin Kannywood is the hottest topic in Kannywood.

Kundin Kannywood is a weekly program on the Hausa television channel, hosted by actor Aminu Sharif every Wednesday.

Momoh, who is infamous for putting Kannywood actors and actresses on the hot seat by asking some really tricky but unnecessary questions, asked the actress the name of the woman that breastfed prophet Muhammad (SAW).

She tried to dodge the question by telling him not to do this to her but Momoh insisted anyway.

Her response obviously showed that she didn’t know the name of the woman, which caused a media frenzy, and why not? These are the basic things we’ve been taught since primary one in Islamiyya.

So it is expected of every Muslim to know them.

As usual, people on social media reacted with mixed emotions.

While some people believe that his question is still valid and on point because things like this will help keep the actress and her colleagues on their toes; others (including me) think it’s irrelevant, unnecessary and completely out of context.

I mean, Ummah Shehu isn’t famous because she’s some kind of an Islamic Scholar, who has memorized the Qur’an or Hadith. She’s famous because she’s an actress. That’s her fi eld and that’s why she was invited for the interview in the fi rst place.

So, it’s only fair and of course, professional, if he limited his questions there.

In Her Defence: Not knowing the name of the woman that breastfed the prophet (SAW) isn’t the same thing as not knowing theseven obligations of ablution.

It is equally not the same as not being able to recite Suratul Fatiha.

Similarly, the question apparently caught Ummah off guard, which could happen to any of us, especially while on air.

You’ll think that you know it but when you are under the pressure of answering a question quickly with camera on you or a live audience listening in, it can be much more challenging and can fl uster, even the most confi dent people.

And if Momoh did it intentionally, just to ambush her, as some people believe, I would only say he has exposed the entire Kannywood industry, as I’m sure there are many like her.

I look forward to watching his Live Chat with Bello Muhammad Bello.

In his Defense: It’s hard to blame him on mistakes like this because he is an actor not a journalist.

Secondly, he was probably being honest and trying to please his viewers because we all want to hear about the off – screen lives of our favourite actors and questions like that, if asked rightly, are what make interviews enjoyable.
Arewa24’s insensitivity: After all that has happened, Arewa24 did another video, clearly stating how their YouTube visitors increased after the video went viral.

Like seriously? Someone’s reputation is on the line because of your employee’s mistake and you can’t even apologize? I fi nd this utterly insensitive.

Th ey were trying to say that both parties benefi tted because her Instagram followership also increased by 4.7 percent.

I am still trying to understand how that would help reduce the number of insults she gets daily, which forced her to protect her Instagram account some days ago.

How about Arewa24 helping us fi nd the percentage of those that unfollowed her and that of her fans that felt disappointed with this monumental embarrassment.


What I think: Whatever way you look at it, it was an embarrassing episode for Ummah Shehu and I think Arewa24 should apologize to her.

I also think she should have told Momoh, up front that she would not answer the question or any other one on religion.

On the other hand, had Momoh not insisted, we would hardly have notice.

However, I don’t need to remind Ummah Shehu to go and fi nd out the name of the woman that breastfed the prophet and more, because I’m sure hundreds of people have told her by now.

Th ough I need to remind Momoh to rethink his methods, read more on journalism, perhaps even get a certifi cate in it and revisit its ethics. Some of his questions are really unnecessary. For instance, I watched an episode of Kundin Kannywood where he asked another actress about the stand of Islam on the wig (she wears).

If it interests him, I have reached a very fi ne and competent journalist about this and I found out, by coincidence though, that this journalist is a follower of his program and he told me that not only his interview with Shehu, there are lapses in his approach and he needs to diff erentiate between two scenarios, when he is on a movie set and while hosting an interview.

Hafsah Lalo is a student of Information Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi
‘How Mansoor lifted me from grass to grace ’

About Hafsah Lalo TAminu Sharif

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