Faisal Danballaje: Business man, lecturer turned script writer

Faisal Sulaiman Ahmad Danballaje, more commonly known as Faisal Danballaje is an ace scriptwriter of film and radio drama. In his interview with IBRAHIM HAMISU in Katsina, he speaks on his background and how he got into the popular Hausa film industry, Kannywood, among others.

Can our readers meet you? 

My name is Faisal Suleiman Ahmad Dikko Danballaje, and I’m more commonly known as Faisal Danballaje.

I was born on September 23, 1987, at Kofar Soro quarters, Katsina State. I attended primary school at Dutsinma, and secondary school at Mashi, both in Katsina state.

I obtained my degree certificate in Economics from Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina, and a Master’s Degree in Economics and National Development from Federal University Dutse, Jigawa state.

I have taught at different primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, as well as universities in this country. I teach at the School of Continuing Education, Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina state. 

I’m also into a business of selling local and foreign shoes, teaching people entrepreneurship, and screenplay which I spent at least eight years in the business. 

How did you get into Kannywood? 

My journey into Kannywood started in 2017 after I completed my NYSC. It was a bit of luck for me at that time when Malam Bello, a veteran scriptwriter, invited youths for a free seven-day seminar on script writing. That was the first time I received training in script writing.

On the day of completing the seminar, 15 of us presented a story each, and mine was luckily considered as one among the best three. After that, short films were shot from the selected stories.

During the event, Mallam Abdulkarim Muhammad, a popular producer, an erstwhile chairman of MOPPAN, and the founder of Moving Images company from Kano, was invited to bless the films. After the seminar, he invited us to Kano for a seminar on composing Radio Drama. That’s how I got into scriptwriting in the Kannywood industry. 

How do you combine your business and script writing?

Honestly, each has its time. It’s just like a ball, if you roll it, it will keep on rolling on its own. So do the other businesses. 

Kannywood industry is very broad. Where is your area of  specialisation?

I specialise in creative radio drama script and screenplay. 

How many films have you written so far? 

Honestly, I have written many films, and I have also assisted in writing some films.

How many radio dramas have you written?

It should be up to four, but you know that drama is a very long series. Like Shugabanci radio drama, we started writing it in November 2017 and we are yet to complete it. Almost seven years now, even though we usually sit and write a season every two to three months. We are now in season 23.