Rahma Hassan is an up coming actress in Kannywood. Born and bred in Sokoto, she started her primary education there up to secondary, and left Sokoto when she was in JSS2. According to her, her father was a police officer and the reason for her leaving the seat of the Caliphate was because her father was transferred back to Minna, the Niger state capital in 1996. After her secondary education at Police Secondary School Minna, she sat for JAMB, and got admission into the University of Abuja, where she studied Business Administration. Presently, she is about going back to school for her MBA at Bayero University Kano. In this chat with Al-Amin Ciroma, she bares her mind on her experience as an up-coming star in the Hausa film genre and the movie that brought her to limelight. Excerpts
What attracted you into the movie industry?
Hm… I had the flair to act right from childhood. I had told my Mum about it, who in turn told my dad and he supported it. He was like, ok you could go and act, no problem. But just take care of yourself. I really love acting. I think it is in me, and I think when I act, I really portray the real character I was given and the message to impart to the audience. It may be on the negative or positive side, but all the same, we are just sending a message to the audience. I have always loved acting right from childhood, it is just in me. And I finally debuted into Kannywood just recently in the year, 2006.
How many films have you done so far?
I have featured in five films. Musanya was my first movie, followed by Qudsiyya then 'Yan'uwa, Wasan Maza and now the big one, Rudin Zamani. That is where I played a lead role. It is really going to be my blockbuster.
What about the Rudin Zamani?
(Laughter) Rudin Zamani is a fine film with a lot of suspence. The storyline is superb. It is about a lady, whose parents are rich, and her father likes her very much. That lady was me. Later, she got a guy, who is poor. She introduce him to her dad and that is how the guy made it. Her father was very happy because he wanted her to settle down. After everything, they got married and her father made him one of the richest young men around. Along the line, the girl pleaded with her husband to allow her go back to school and continue her studies and he accepted.
After going back to school, she made some friends, who misled her with school life. Although she is married, but her girl-friends were not married. They were just having very funny life styles. And from the way the girl grew up, she never had such opportunity. She lived a shettered and protective life being a daddy's girl, and so on. But while in the school, everything changed. Her friends were like, why is she so serious with education? Can't she just play or have fun? They tried to deceive her that there are other ways and means to pass her exams even without reading her books. Before she knew it, she has already become a member. They were all having fun, keeping boy friends. She started staying late in school. She will call her husband and giving him flimsy excuses that she might be coming home late and the husband, being so gentle will succumb to her. At a time, the whole thing got into her, then she started misbehaving to her husband to an extent that, she vehemently asked for a divorce, just give her Saki as we call it in Hausa. She really asked for Saki Uku, the final one as in, if she go, she won't come back with regards to the Qur'anic injunction. She did that because she knows her dad is very rich, so even if she leave him, she is going to have her fun in school and there won't be any restriction. She doesn't have to lie to anybody that she would come home late or something. But at the end of the day, she really regretted as she discovered that all she was looking for was not the real thing she expected. Her life became a mishap.
In essence, Rudin Zamani is something else because the story depicts what is happening now in our society. You see married women going to school or any public places and when they get there, they become another people entirely. A film like that has a lot to offer the society. You know marriage is the sacred institution we have in our various religions. So we should learn to keep them and abide by their rules and regulations. Now producers of Rudin Zamani are trying to expose the unfortunate happenings in our marital lives so that we take precautions.
People are of the opinion that actresses nowadays are wayward. Do you see this as a challenge?
Yes, most people see some actresses as wayward human being, but it all depends on you. But some of the actresses allow the whole thing to happen to them. By the time you have so many fans, everybody will start calling you, they want to take you out for lunch, they want to take you out for dinner, they want to buy you gift, buy you this, buy you that. Once you allow this to get into you, you are going to have problems. Still, there are many actresses who made it and still are not wayward.
What is your experience like in the industry?
Well, it has not been easy, but then Alhamdulillah, I don't really have any bad experience, but just that sometimes the way they schedule the shooting, you have sleepless nights. You are always at the location. It is not easy, probably because it is in me, I don't have problem with acting. So far so good, I have heard a director that complained about Rahma.
Any comment about the recent scandal about the stripped video?
Well, I think that video clip took the whole of us by surprise, we weren't expecting a very beautiful young lady as Maryam to do that, but it is her personal life. I am very sure she did that because she is in love with her guy. If she had knew that this thing will be out for the whole world to see it, she wouldn't have done it in the first place, that I am very sure of. So my advice to my fellow actresses is that we should be careful. The technology is really moving at a very fast lane. Everybody should be on the watch. As an actress, you are a public figure, you should be cautious of what you are doing. Even if you have to do it, calm down and ask yourself, this thing I am about to do, is it good for me and my religion? If you do it, what is going to be the effect? It might not be immediate. What happened to Hiyana was not instantly. It was after a very long time. So I am sure everybody has learnt a lesson out of that indignity.
What about those suspended from the industry alongside Hiyana?
I think they should be pardoned. Everybody has learnt his lesson by now. Then we need an orientation in Kannywood. We have too many young girls that are coming into the industry without knowing what they are there for. And some of the producers will just use them in the movies without properly orienting to know all what it takes to be a movie actor.
Are you indirectly supporting the new laws set up by the Kano State Censorship Board?
Yes! I am in support of the laws 100 per cent. Initially, some people left saying that they were not going to act again, but most of them are coming back and are willing to abide by the rules. Let's just hope that those who set-up the rules, will not in turn, break it.
How do you mean they will in turn break it?
Most of them go out with these young girls in the industry. We had that experience before, there is no need to revisit it or mention names. But it all depends on you as a woman. Sometime, I used to ask myself, why will I have to date somebody? Is it because I want to be a star? Hell no! Not because I want to be a star. I know I am good, it might take some years but I know one day, I will be there.
Who is your role model in Kannywood?
AliNuhu and Aisha Dankano. What Aisha did in Wasan Maza was really good. I love the way she acts. So she is my role model. I want to be like her one day
Do you have similar experience in Nollywood industry?
Yeah Nollywood is another aspect entirely. It is very okay. I was once in Nollywood. I actually left because of my background, culture and religion. My Mum doesn't see it good for a woman to wear skimpy dresses in movies. I am not saying they are not trying, but Islamically, it is wrong that is why my dad advised that I should better be cautious about my religion and cultural background.
Do you really subscribe to the singing and dancing aspect of the Hausa movies?
(Laughter) Yeah, I think its fun. I love fun. We did Yahoozee with Ali Nuhu, we had a cool evening.
Any word to you fans?
Yeah, I love them all. They should be on the look out for my movies. They should also pray for me.