| From nigeriafirst.org|
Without the benefit of a western education, he took to music under the influence of older professionals during his formative years. His main instrument is his voice, but this is accompanied by the kuntigi, a small single stringed lute that twangs off a goatskin covered tin repeatedly, at the same pitch during rendition.
Dan Maraya’s praise singing is his main source of livelihood – like a modern day court singer; however, over the years, he has also distinguished himself as a trove of social commentary. Perhaps his most popular song is Wak’ar Karen Mota (Song of the Driver’s Mate), in which he praises those at the bottom of the rung in the transport industry for their perseverance in their execution of the dirty jobs their profession entails. It is one of his oldest songs, and the original commentary has obviously changed with the progressive downturn in the behaviour of bus conductors.
His repertoire also includes a triple commentary on marriage: Jawabin Aure, Auren Dole and Gulma Wuya. While Jawabin Aure admonishes couples on the virtues of patience in resolving their differences, Auren Dole condemns the practice of arranged marriages instead of allowing persons to make their own choices. In a society where arranged marriages are common, this song portrays Maraya Jos, in spite of his lack of education, as someone whose social conscience is in tune with the positive aspects of modernity. Gulma Wuya is a satire on gossips that disrupt marriages. This song is particularly impressive in that Maraya Jos employs mimicry to expound the voices of the different characters.
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