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FULL STORY: How a 70-year-old woman (Mama Hamsatu) became a music sensation with her viral single titled “Takama” produced by Mr. Kleb

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FULL STORY: How a 70-year-old woman (Mama Hamsatu) became a music sensation with her viral single titled “Takama” produced by Mr. Kleb.

 

Written by Mr. Excellent

Nigeria’s music industry is mainly competitive and this makes it a hard nut to crack especially when an unknown artiste tends to break through into the mainstream industry. No one thought Mama Hamsatu would become a music sensation as she wasn’t a musician coupled with her poor status back then, but the unexpected happened. Mama Hamsatu earns a living by crushing stones into fine particles using local hammers in the city of Jos, the capital of Plateau State Nigeria.

On that faithful morning at about 8:00 am in the city of Jos, Tudun Wada road to be precise, five women have arrived and are sitting and crushing rocks to add to a pile of gravel built up during the previous day. Soon, over the dissonant sounds of heavy hammers, floats a voice that resonates and blends with the rhythm of the crushing sounds. It was this voice that attracted the attention of Caleb Balasa, popularly known as Mr Kleb, producer of hit songs like “Omo” and “Money Play” for Grammy award-winning Afrobeats star Burna Boy.

It’s the voice of Mama Hamsatu, who has been eking out a living at this backbreaking job for over 30 years. For the 70-year-old, this is not just a place of trade, it is a stage. And recently, that stage offered an unexpected twist. Having come across Hamsatu and her singing years earlier, Balasa was surprised to find her still crushing stones and singing in the same way, many years later. His life had taken him to distant cities, but here was Hamsatu, still singing just as he remembered.

“I knew mama as the happy woman who always sang as she broke stones,” Balasa said fondly, explaining how he realised that the voice he was hearing could and should be shared. Balasa said. “I realized this woman has to share a message that tells her story with the soothing texture of her strong baritone voice, which inspired me to invite her to the studio where we composed magic together.”

On the 18th of January 2021, with support from Balasa, Hamsatu released her first song, “Takama,” which was inspired by the trending pressure of wanting to “belong.” Loosely translated as “bragging,” the song is the repetition of a single question: “Why do you brag about earthly things?”

Fast forward to 27th May 2022, “TAKAMA Remix” was released featuring Magnito & Classiq. The song has over 14,000 total plays on Audio-mack within 5 days of its release and still counting.

Mr. Kleb in one of his Instagram posts stated that the sum of 211,000 naira (two hundred and eleven thousand naira) was raised for Mama Hamsatu. The money was deposited into her account, and part of the money was used to donate umbrellas to her fellow colleagues.

Today, Hamsatu is looking forward to spreading many more powerful messages through her music.

“Who would have thought that someone of low status and age like me would have their name all over the place?” she said.
Her Takama hit could soon open doors into a whole new world–the screen–if plans for a movie by some students at the National Film Insitute, who have reached out to Balasa, come to fruition.

With her recent pictures on social media, Mama Hamsatu was transformed into a celebrity figure and her unique story is about to take a higher dimension, all thanks to Mr. Kleb.

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About Excellent

Mr. Excellent is a Nigerian celebrity Blogger, tech enthusiast and an entrepreneur. He's also the CEO of Excellent Computers; to me, impossible is nothing!

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