NEWS | UNTAPPED TALENT
By Chisomo Chimenya & Tiwamyengi Boma
Yusuf Abubaker. To many, he may be a relatively newer brand in the country’s literary circles. To staunch followers of Malawian literary performing arts however, that is not an entirely new entity.
Yusuf Abubaker is one multi-skilled performing artist who is fast making ‘noise’ in Malawi’s on- and-off performing arts industry. Yusuf is amongst the elite few who can dazzle with his scintillating poems, and also leave you with mouth ajar with his superfluous acts in the movie world.
His poetic lines are full of everyday struggle Malawians are facing in their various life endeavors. His acting moves on stage and in the various movies he has been featured in, easily entice one to stay put; getting what his body and the whole parole is all about. Simply put, he easily puts you into the mood.
Born 27 years ago, Yusuf identified his talents at an early age
It was when he was fourteen, whilst at Kaliyeka 1 Madrassa (Islamic school) in 2006 that his acting talents were first noted.
“I was asked to play a role in some basic play at our school. It was my first time doing it. Surprisingly, the standing ovation I received was overwhelming. That was the fuel that energized me to be trekked along this path now,” he recalls.
True to that, Yusuf, better known in the performing arts circles as “The Game Changer”, has now played various roles in both stage plays and motion pictures too. His Curriculum Vitae is enriching. He has ever worked with “Heroes Arts Theatre”, “Wachetemara Arts Theatre”, and also, “Kaliyeka Drama Group” among others.
That is not all.
Yusuf has also starred in such local movies as “Danger Zone”, and currently in “Dziko Langa” among others.
Just like how his entry into the acting word got triggered, his poetic life was no different, only a little bit intriguing.
The loss of his uncle in 2011 during Yusuf’s secondary school days pierced the poet’s soul. To him, his uncle was his closest friend so the death disturbed the young Yusuf’s mind.
“His death fueled me to venture into poetry. The more I thought of him, the more wrecked I became. It was such thoughts that one day, I decided to write a piece, “Ndikuchita Mantha” (I’m Afraid); an ode to him.” He reveals.
Similar to his entry into active acting, the poem also has another wider reception. The rest, as they say, is history.
Popularly called “Mr Ng’a” in the local poetry arena, Yusuf says his are poems that reflect real life issues.
“I always bring poems that are well crafted so that people should enjoy and be able to appreciate my work. I always bring poems that have messages that resonate with the reality on the ground,” he said.
Having rocked almost all corners of Malawi, “Mr Ng’a” dreams of hitting international borders to ‘preach’ his ministry.
“Many Malawians like my work and I feel it’s high time I conquered other countries I’ve already crisscrossed many districts in Malawi. This shows a great progress in my journey.” Says he.
Affirming Yusuf’s observation, one of Mr Ng’a’s fans, Martha Kaonga (a Lilongwe resident) says Yusuf’s are meaningful as they contain messages that reflect on the life ordinary Malawians are going through.
“I can see the poet making it big. He takes time to craft his poetry hence bringing very meaningful products on the market,” she said.
The poet, Yufusu “Mr Ng’a” Abubaker has shared stage with renowned poets like Robert Chiwamba, Raphael Sitima and Joseph Madzedze. His poems have also been enjoying airplays in different radio stations as well as TV stations locally.