Northern Nigerian Muslim preacher Jikan Mallam recounts how skit makers on social media, especially TikTok, have mimicked some of his sermons, causing him trouble.
The preacher has for a while now gained a wide audience due to his unconventional method of preaching which involves storytelling and rib-cracking jokes.
The Kano-based cleric who spoke to BBC Hausa, said as a boy, he used to attend an Islamic school where they attend sermons held by the late Popular Islamic scholar, Mallam Kalarawi.
“We used to carry the sound systems to wherever the lectures were scheduled to be held. I remember how reluctant my fellow boys used to be because transporting the load was stressful,” he said. “But subsequently, I started developing an interest in preaching and I was sometimes, invited to recite some verses during the sermons.”
When asked, he said people used to ask him how he earned the name ‘Jikan Mallam’, which translates to ‘Grandson of Cleric’. However, the cleric explained that he grew up to be called so as there is no specific event tied to the name.
The cleric also said that he chose to employ humour and storytelling narratives as that was the only way he thought people would be captivated to attend religious functions these days.
The use of some of his sermons to make skits by some social media users has been challenging for him.
“I have been summoned by the government as well as some people over some of these skits,” he said. “It is just that the Nigerian government is a lenient one. So I have been forgiven for some of my words circulating which were deemed offensive. On several occasions, people have warned me to watch my tongue.”
Jikan Mallam also said his career has been a successful one as he had been privileged to meet high-ranking personalities in the country while earning the love and respect of many.