Impostors drop my name to scam people  – Gbededun laments

Abdulganiyu Ambali is an Ilorin born musician specialises in dirge rendition. Hails from Omolabi Compound of Asileke along Isale Aluko Area, Ilorin West Local Government. Attended St. Paul Anglican School, Gbede in Oyo State. Proceeded  to Arabic School, Darul Salam Gbede, 1992-96 and Markaz Agege 1996-2000, before proceeding to the College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS), Ilorin. He discussed his talents, how he was endorsed and scammed by impostors among others in an interview with AHMED AJIKOBI. Excerpts:

Let people know the journey of your style of dirge?

I write down lines I composed and I make use of an Arabic book written by Shaikh Adam Al-Ilory titled “Fawaqihu Saqta” to guide my composition. I used verses in that book to compose my dirge. I also listen to different genre of music like Bollywood, Fuji and many others to improve my composition. All what I learnt from Markaz also helped me a lot to pass messages in my rendition.

I took my dirge to the public when I was at Cotonou in 2001. I was living with a popular Shaikh called Al-Imam Abdulqadir Abdulazeez a.k.a Subuhu qudus. The Shaikh lost his mother and I was given opportunity to perform on that day. People were touched by my performance and they were all crying. I was surprised, wondering what make them to cry. Feeling remorseful, they all started to seek for forgiveness. After that performance, others started calling me to their events. I came back to Nigeria to further my education at the College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS) 2002-2004. I couldn’t continue with my career not until I joined Jamuhiyatu Ikhwatu Islamiya which is now ISBON. They started to recognise my talent; then, people started to call me for their programmes.

Have you had any endorsement yet?

Mudir Markaz endorsed me in 2010 when the mother of Shaikh Abdulqadir Onilemarun died and I was invited to perform at the event. Mudir Markaz was on seat to preach at the Fidau. After my performance, Mudir Markaz said my dirge is enough as message for everyone present at the event and he endorsed me.

What gives you motivation to stick to dirge?

The reaction from my first performance and other performances at Cotonou motivated me more as audience were seeking forgiveness from God and repenting from their bad deeds. Seeing all these made me to make up my mind that I can be using this to call people to God Almighty.

How do you define your style?

It’s quite unique because I don’t use beat and the reason is that I want them to get my message straight and get connected to God.

What makes you cry while on stage?

Anytime I’m performing on stage or any events. My rendition touches my soul and take my heart to my creator with the thinking that one day I will be no more and people will gathered to pay their last respect to me, I do ask myself, who will preach and perform dirge on that day? Secondly when I see the children of the late person I’m performing at his/her Fidau crying for their deceased father or mother,I put myself in their shoes.

Which particular event made you cry the most?

The event of Shaikh Hainu Ridho where I performed at the Fidau for his mother Alhaja Sulifat Amope held in Lagos. Shaikh took a very good care of his mother till she died. As I was performing, I was asking myself have I taken care of my mother and father enough as much as Shaikh did his? I also cried. When shaikh Amir Jaish died and all his family and students were crying bitterly that they wouldn’t see their Shaikh again. I also wept bitterly thinking that I will also die one day.

Is your popularity affecting your life style as a celebrity?

That is what affected a lot of stars in the entertainment industry. The little fame get into their heads and they think they are on top of the world. I don’t allow that to affect me because I’m the first person to get that. Fame is turn by turn, Allah gives it to anyone. I continue with my lifestyle and I don’t let that affect me, I relate with people very well. I once went to Ago market with a friend. One of them said I should leave the market on time because a lot of people will start disturbing me. I told the woman why? Is it because I’m a star? No,  I will not run from them, I said.

Do you train people, are they also performing like you?

Nowadays nobody want to pass through the learning process again, all they want is to ride big cars, use expensive phones and live large. Those that I want to train couldn’t follow the training procedure and later drop out. Those that I didn’t train are now using my style of dirge across the country even overseas and we have the video proof. Well the style is good that’s why they are using it.

What are the challenges you are facing?

The major challenge I’m facing now is that, people are using my name to swindle people, they’ll claim they are Gbededu and collect money for programme and they won’t show face. Any time those victims heard that I’m performing at a place, they will show up and start embarrassing me for what I didn’t do. Some now using my name to scam people. They will listen to my rendition, practice with the record and they will perform at events.

How many Album have you to your credit?

I released album titled, “Maje kin sin won waye”, “Odaju ni iku” dedicated to Shaikh Oniwasi Agbaye, “idaro enire” for Dr. Olusola Saraki, Message and my latest album is Triple “I” that is (Ikilo, Imonran, Itaji) among others.

Advise for upcoming artistes?

One should be patience, focus and endure in everything we are doing, one day we will get there.

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