Abdulkareem Baba Aminu
Born in Kaduna, Nigeria, on the 7 July 1977, Baba Aminu soon began to scribble and doodle as a child, eventually going on to write an op-ed column for Classique Magazine at age 12, a first in his country till today.
Later, while in secondary school, he created 2 weekly cartoon strips for the Saturday and Sunday editions of The Democrat, a national daily. The characters, Bala and Kareema, became popular and were used by Peugeot Automobiles Nigeria to endorse their then-new 306 model.
Baba Aminu went to the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, for a degree in Business Administration, while pursuing a career as a studio painter. He has exhibited in several group shows and one solo. Twelve of his paintings are included in the National Assembly Art Collection in Abuja, Nigeria.
During his final year in university, he was employed by Weekly Trust, a major Nigerian newspaper. After a stint as a reporter, he became the Entertainment Editor and eventually the editor of the magazine section of the paper. During that time, he scored many exclusive interviews with both Nigerian and international stars like 2Face Idibia, D'Banj, Bimbo Akintola, Idris Elba, Wesley Snipes and many others.
On his approach to work, Baba Aminu told a Nigerian newspaper in an interview:
“I have a healthy interest in stories and investigations into issues that seem to slip through the cracks and are forgotten by mainstream media. Even when it comes to entertainment stories, which some people believe are fluff, I look for previously-unseen angles. Oftentimes, I take weeks and even months researching a story before writing it for publication.”
For two years – with the help of the internet and long-distance phone calls - Baba Aminu was also the Special Features Editor of Komikwerks.com, a leading U.S-based publisher of both webcomics and regular books.
Baba Aminu was part of a Federal Government Monitoring Team in Togo, during that country’s controversial 2005 elections, where he “faced death many times trying to escape back to Nigeria after the elections turned violent.” The resulting travelogue, called ‘Escape from Togo’ was published May 2005.
Baba Aminu was Acting Editor of the Abuja, Nigeria-based influential Weekly Trust newspaper for over two years, from late 2008 and was made substantive Editor in July 2010, until recently being promoted to Creative Editor overseeing all Media Trust publications.
Baba Aminu was a writer on the BBC-produced ‘Wetin Dey,’ the number one TV show in Nigeria while it ran for two seasons. The production saw him team up with notable young Nigerian movie directors like Mak 'Kusare, Kenneth Gyang and Seke Somolu. As a result of a very good professional and personal relationship, 'Kusare was tapped by Y!Magazine to write about Baba Aminu in the publication's annual 'Freedom Issue' in 2010 in which the director likened the writer to "a younger, more hip and Nigerian version of Aaron Sorkin." The magazine also added Baba Aminu to its annual list of '50 Young People Who Will Change Nigeria.'
Notable TV appearances by Baba Aminu include a November 2012 episode of Close-Up, a movie industry variety TV show running on M-NET's Africa Magic channel where he was interviewed by host Keppy Ekpenyong Bassey.
Baba Aminu's blog, titled Abdulkareem's Shelf-Top (shelf-top.blogspot.com) runs movie reviews as well as pop culture-related news. He was also the co-owner of Planet Comics, Nigeria’s first comic book store. The store, however, has been closed due to both owners' busy schedules.