The first gazetted Nigerian actor, Abdullahi Abubakar Song, who was popularly known as Baban Larai, has died in Yola.
He passed away on Sunday after a brief illness at 84.
Baban Larai is survived by four children, including Jummai Bashir, who is the permanent secretary, Adamawa State Ministry of Youths and Sports.
He began his acting during the colonial era and appeared in several shows broadcast on publicity mobile cinema and on television.
A veteran journalist, Abdullahi Isa No-Sweat, has described the death as a monumental loss to the nation.
“Abdullahi Song joined the Northern Nigeria Ministry of Information after his middle school studies and he was asked to intensify campaign for cotton growing because the British colonial masters wanted cotton for their industries in Manchester. He travelled in Land Rover vehicle to cotton growing areas including Kano and Funtua for awareness campaign.
“Then he was asked to produce a film but he could not find actors. He approached many people but all of them declined. So, the white man directed him to become the actor. He played a cast ‘Baban Larai’ and Maman Shata played the background music”, he said.