Born in Minna in Northern Nigeria, he first went to the Pottery Training Centre at Abuja (now Suleja) in 1966 when he was just 14. The centre was set up in 1951 by the British colonial government under Michael Cardew. Danlami started as a houseboy but in due course began to learn pottery and showed ability to make the forms of functional pottery first developed by Cardew . In those years Michael OBrien, who had taken over from Cardew, was trying to make the production more cost effective. Such studio pottery had a limited market in Nigeria although some of the potters including Michael Cardew and the Nigerian, Ladi Kwali, had a considerable international reputation. From 1970 Danlami worked at Jos Museum Pottery, a project set up to give recognition to traditional Nigerian pots. Danlami furthered his pottery development by periods spent in the UK. In 1975 he spent a year at Michael Cardew’s pottery at Wenford Bridge and, between 1976-1979, he studied pottery and photography at Farnham School of Art. His work was always appreciated by collectors in the UK and he had a very successful exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute in 1977. In 1979 he returned to Nigeria and set up a government-funded pottery at Minna backed by OBrien and aspiring to the Cardew stoneware tradition however later at Al Habib Pottery he also developed work more adapted to Nigerian taste and economy decorating lower fired earthenware pottery with commercial paints. He was Muslim and had two wives and fifteen children in a period when the economic situation in Nigeria became increasingly challenging for his pottery production. He continued to visit the UK making work at O Brien’s pottery in Surrey and exhibiting in London.