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I’ve Always Been A Fan Of Nigerian Music – Zara



Zara Abubakar is a multi talented Nigerian musician, model and TV personality. She is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zara Foundation. In this interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM, she speaks on herplans for the Nigerian music and entertainment industry among other sundry issues.

Who is Zara Abubakar?

My name is Zara Abubakar. Half Nigerian, half Egyptian. I am actually a half cast. My mum is from Egypt and my dad is from a  village called Gire in Adamawa state of Nigeria.

How would you describe yourself?

Well. I will say I am multi talented because I do a lot of things, but I am more of a musician, model and TV personality.

Between music and modeling which one did you started off with?

I started off with both right when I was in primary school. I belong to a social group back then in school and most of the activities in that group are more of entertainment. I’m always  chosen to play the role of princess in my group. As time goes on and I grow older, I was also regularly chosen to play the role of queen of the house. My performances then made one of our music teachers to encourage me to join the music and drama section of our group and the training I got there help shape me. At a point I was always selected to sing the pledge and other songs for my house and school at some major school events.   

Between modeling and music which one do you have love for most?

Honestly, I love both, but before I came back to Nigeria I worked in Germany with a fashion company called Abaya Fashion. When the French government banned the use of hijab and nikab among its Muslim citizens, I was the African face used to advertise the benefit of hijab aimed at convincing the French government to approve wearing of hijab again in France. Much later I moved back to Germany when my employer opened a new company in Berlin. From Berlin I was again taken to Hamburg, a place I consider an entirely new environment and not too vibrant for my kind of busines because blacks are not in large numbers in Hamburg. It is like an old site for me. I told my manager that I want to go back to Berlin but he declined. I made up my mind to quit the job but was eventually transferred to Hanover which I find too quiet for my liking too. Management then said since I don’t like Europe that it will be better for me to go to Dubai. I took the offer and traversed the UAE doing modeling business. We moved from Darah to Shaja, from Shaja to international city before I move back to Egypt. It was in Egypt that I got a deal from Al-Hassan recording company that helped me record a song in Arabic. After that stint I decided to come back to Nigeria to explore the Nigerian music industry. As a fan of the Nigerian music industry, I have always wanted to contribute my quota in the industry. So when I came back to Nigeria I decided to stay in Lagos and do my thing.I did a song with a producer called ID kabasa. I was suppose to also do something titled “Peace” with Olamide and Phyno but Phyno declined.  I eventually pulled the album “Peace” through with a Dublin based Nigerian and together with Blont and cheff Razak, we did a song in 2017.

What genres of music do you do ?

I do R&B and Solo. I always want my song to be an expression of my way of sending message to the people so that anyone who listens or watch my video will be positively impacted. But I realize that R&B doesn’t have wide appeal here in Nigeria. Not many in Nigeria like listening to R&B.

Any challenge in making such music?

Of course yes. You know, getting the right team is key to making good music.The challenge is usually how to get the right team.  Ranging from the director, producer, linguist and other team members. They have to be professionals who know their onions if you don’t get your team right, you are likely going to find it hard to pass the right message to your audience.

Do you face any challenge putting on hijab on duty ?

Well. First of all, I am a Muslim and from where I was brought up, we were thought to always show the beauty of our religion. As I said earlier, when I came to Nigeria I first stayed in Lagos state and you know Lagos is a metropolitan state. A state made up of people from different religion, culture and background. Funny enough, most of the people I worked with are not of my own religion and culture but I didn’t face any discrimination from them. But I had an unpleasant experience one day I went to see one DJ in Lagos and I was denied access to his office because I was wearing hijab. I protested. Infact I told the man that as a Muslim from the north it is my right, culture and tradition. That he can’t rip me off my liberty integrity and modesty.I made him realise that no religion permit women to walk about not properly covered. I insisted and told him that if his office does not belong to Satan I will enter with my hijab and that he have no right to stop me because I am a Nigerian and so have the right to enter where ever I want to enter. At the end, I was allow to see the DJ. There are lots of similar incidents that happen to to me. At times I will go for a show and some people will be saying ‘’what is this Hausa girl doing here all covered” and yet after  my performance some of them will come running to me to tell me they want to be my friends and all that.

What are you doing now and what should your fans expect in the coming days ?

Yes I have an organization known as Zara Foundation. It is basically my own little way of giving back to the society. I set it up to help  orphans, widows , the elderly and refugees. I started right when I was in Egypt. On return back to Nigeria I continued. I currently work with “Prime Vision Network, owners of Vision FM and Farinwata TV. where I do on-air presentation, marketing and other programs. I am also currently working on a new album which will be due for release in October this year. It is a song about things happening in Nigeria and the world at large, you can also dance to its beat. All I want to do is to promote unity in diversity.

Who is Zara Abubakar?

My name is Zara Abubakar. Half Nigerian, half Egyptian. I am actually a half cast. My mum is from Egypt and my dad is from a  village called Gire in Adamawa state of Nigeria.





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