A famous Hausa music diva, Magajiya Dambatta, has died at the age of 86.
She died after a brief illness at her home in Dambatta on Friday evening.
In December 2018, an appeal fund to support the ace singer was launched by the Editor-in-Chief of DAILY NIGERIAN newspaper, Jaafar Jaafar; a development worker, Musa Abdullahi Sufi; a civil servant, Ibrahim Sanyi-Sanyi and; a medical doctor, Ibrahim Musa.
She got over N5m in the appeal fund, which was used to build a modest house for her and take care of her subsistence.
Magajiya Ɗambatta, one of the Hausa singers who rose to stardom in the 1970s to 1980s, has been forgotten, until Mr Jaafar reported her story.
The old singer, who was blind, had been left in a lurch and at the mercy of alms-begging at Makoda in Kano State.
Mr Jaafar wrote in December 2019: “I met with 84-year-old Magajiya Dambatta today at her home in Makoda, Kano. When I posted an old video of her stage performance yesterday, a friend at Radio Kano, Munzali Hausawa, told me she is still alive.
“I drove for about 70km today to meet this star, now dimmed by age. Magajiya, who is now blind, ekes out a living by begging for alms in the village. Her melodic voice now slightly blunt, she remixed some of her famous songs.
“The lead drummer Ya’u Nakuki and the sub-drummer (Dankuntukuru) are dead, but most of the young choristers are alive.
“According to a note written on the LP of her songs by a former managing director of Radio Kano, Adamu Salihu, one of her advocacy songs, has helped in boosting school enrolment in the early 70s by over 3,000 pupils In Kano.
“I believe some of those pupils, whose parents were inspired by her songs, are professors today.
“But Magajiya lives in abject poverty. In Nigeria, this is how fame and stardom rise and fall like the effervescence of Andrew’s Liver Salt,” he said.
Mr Jaafar’s post seemed to have stirred up emotions in many Nigerians as, in his second post on the matter, he revealed that a lot of people had reached out to him indicating interest to make some donations to that effect.
He said: “I received telephone calls, messages and tags from friends in torrents tonight, indicating their interest to donate to Magajiya Dambatta.
“A renowned development worker with over 20 years of experience in humanitarian service, Musa Abdullahi Sufi, has volunteered to provide the account of a foundation (where he is a member of the board of trustees).”