He was once the Governor of Nasarawa State, but for just one day, hence he is often introduced as one-day Governor. It was symbolic reign granted by the then elected Governor of the State, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, when he handed governance of the State to the then Speaker of the Youth Parliament in Nasarawa State for one day. It would be recalled that on that day, he addressed the State and sat on the seat of the Governor of the State.
We are talking about Mr Richard Danladi Aga. Because of his diminutive size which belies his age, he easily catches people’s attention.
Recently, Eggonnews caught up with him and engaged him in an interview which went thus:
Where you have been in the past four years?
I got admission into the University of Jos in Plateau State and by the grace of God, I am done with my academic work.
I applied for Theatre and Film Arts and they gave me that which I applied for,
Why did you go for that course?
I applied for that course because I want to go fully into the entertainment industry, especially the aspect of movie making. Already, I am writing scripts.
And I have chosen that because it is one way of enlightening the society concerning some ills in the society; we can use movie to wage campaign.
Have you been influenced by some people in the society and in the industry?
Yes, I have been moved by people like Kenneth Okwonkwo, Ramsey Noah, and many of them in the industry.
How would then describe your experience these past four years in the University?
Of course reading the Course was not a day’s job as somebody would say. It demands a lot of time, energy, finance, because sometimes you would even sleep in the school trying to rehearse for a production. On the day for the production, they would give us tickets to sell, they were teaching us how to market ourselves.
In spite of the challenges, I enjoyed myself while reading the course because I had passion for Theatre and Film Arts. I learnt a lot. I can write a script now concerning an issue I can act… it is a nice course.
In the course of your studies, did you have any challenges?
Yes, I had some challenges, for instance sometimes we would close from lectures very late, and here in Plateau State, by 9:00 o’clock, Keke (Tricycle) or motorcycles are not allowed. That affected transportation or movement.
Secondly, finances were a challenge; my Department demands a lot, because we produce so many things – we shoot movies, we go on excursion and the like. It was quite a challenge.
How were you able to meet those challenges, especially the financial aspect? Did you enjoy any scholarship?
For the financial challenges, I received support from some persons, including Senator Solomon Ewuga, Senator Patricia Akwashiki, Hon Davematics Ombugadu, and some people from Nassarawa Eggon Local Government Area. I had scholarship from Kola Adeshina, I got support from my parents, my uncles many of who are in Kano State and many friends. All these made things somewhat simple for me and contributed to my success in the academics.
Considering your diminutive size, did that constitute a challenge to you?
Not really! Because for the field I studied, they saw it as unique thing. Moreover, I felt a person’s size shouldn’t be a hindrance for one to read and become what he wants to.
But did your size generate any interest from members of the public or your colleagues? Were you given any special consideration because of your size?
Well, yes I got some attention, especially when there was a situation where there had a long queue, because of my size, they would ask me not to join the queue and I would be attended to. In such cases, I was given special treatment.
Besides, I am like a public figure and many people would like to associate with me and get to meet me.
Have ever been moved or influenced by the popular actors known as Akin and Pawpaw? Have you ever seen yourself in the light of those two?
Yes, at some point I saw myself trying to emulate them but later on when I got to the University I told myself, no, why would I not be the person that I am? Why do I have to imitate somebody? So, I decided that apart from acting, I should go into script writing, I should detach myself from the usual thing that Akin and Pawpaw are into.
Now that you are done with your studies, what next?
I plan to go for my NYSC. After that, I may go for my practical aspect, probably to organise a film concerning the Eggon people, to see how to develop the youth, and probably I will further my studies to pursue my Masters and PhD.
Are you thinking about marriage any time soon?
For that, not yet because I have so many things to pursue.
And marriage is not one of those many things?
For now, it is not on my priority list because I have to achieve one or two things before thinking of that.
Talking about achieving one or two things, would you like to tell us what those are?
I would like to advance my education and also establish myself financially and other things before thinking of that.
Even though you said you are not contemplating marriage soon, have you not been approached by girls?
Well, they have but I don’t consider their approach, because I see that as a distraction; they will distract me from my academics. While in school, because I was working toward obtaining good grades, I did not allow such to distract me.
Probably now that I am done, I may have a rethink
But even you didn’t approach, didn’t girls approach you for relationship?
Yes, some of them did but I told them pointedly that I was still schooling and I had a vision I was pursuing. I said if they could wait a little bit for me to finish my school, I might consider their offer.
How did your being one day Governor affect you in anyway?
Well, even before I came to the University, many people knew me in that regard. While in the University, that helped me a lot because I could just enter some offices without any restrictions and they would give me attention.
From the benefit of the Course you have read, do you have any advice to the younger ones?
Yes, I wish to advise the younger ones, especially those who aspire to read Theatre Arts. You see, the society Theatre Arts as a wayward thing, but I want to stand to change that notion; it is not. Rather, it is a mirror of or to the society. It tells the society what it is doing so that the society will correct where necessary. It is also a means of employment. As a Theatre Artist, you can organise programmes, organise plays, organise shows, organise competitions and you can earn a living even without getting white collar job.
I therefore advise anybody that wants to go to the field should try as much as possible to do his or her best and have a focus. Just as I did, I came to the University to study Theatre Arts, not only that, but to learn how to write a script and then perfect my skills on acting.
You said you are working on some scripts?
Yes, right now I can say I am a little bit… I can describe myself as a script writer. The scripts I am working on should be ready any moment from now. For my final year project, I wrote a script for the project. Currently, we are preparing on shooing a 30-minute film.
For the project, we met as group supervised by Dr Deron and discussed about the ills in the society and we came with the idea that since drug abuse and suicide have been major problems in the society, we should try and conscientise the society on these issues.
I was then asked to compose a story and write the script, which I did and we should start shooting soon.
How does it feel to be a graduate?
At first when I got admission to read Theatre Arts, especially when I was in 100 level, I felt waow! I was asking myself, when am I going to graduate. See me now, I am a graduate! I feel great and excited! I feel my dreams are coming to reality – my dream of being a Degree holder and to further my education. I feel delighted! I feel excited!
I want to appreciate everybody that contributed in one way or the other toward the success of my academics. I am really grateful for that.
It is for this reason that I want to encourage parents to send their children to school. At least with a degree, there is that high tendency that I will get a job and because of the Course I read, I have the opportunity to establish myself without getting a white collar job. I can go for movie audition; I can write scripts and sell.
Once you are a degree holder, there are many opportunities you can explore
You seem to be a celebrity of sort
I see myself as a unique human being; it will take only the grace of God to see somebody of my attitude, my size, my character. I feel I am unique, so people like to associate with me.
I want to thank the Eggon nation at large because in one way or the other they have supported me, especially the NUES University of Jos chapter, the Eggon brothers and sisters and uncles working at the University greatly supported me. I want to also thank Mr Samuel Egga who accommodated me right from 100 level to the final year
I am Danladi Richard Aga, one time Speaker, Nasarawa State Children’s Parliament and also one time one-day Governor of Nasarawa State, I am BA Degree holder from the Department of Theatre and Film Arts.
I attended Good Model Nursery and Primary School in Dakata, Kano State, I had my Junior Secondary School education at ECWA Secondary School while the Senior Secondary School education was at GSS Ogbaji, Nassarawa Eggon Local Government Area f Nasarawa State. From there, I went to the University of Jos