Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Acting, My Career —Rahmatu Hassan

RAHMATU HASSAN is one of Kannywood’s screen divas and astute stars. Within a shortest period of time, she was able to record her name among the top Kannywood actresses having introduced a new style of characterization into the Hausa film genre. She is always ahead with great enthusiasm on set. Hassan is now a hot cake in the Hausa movie shows and because of her tight and busy schedules all the time, she hardly take a break to attend to some of her personal affairs. This interview would have been an exclusive one, but because of the nature of her ups and downs, she just managed to answer a few questions. Apart from being one of the hottest Chics in Kannywood, Rahama has also gotten a lot of national and international recognitions and nominations. First she was nominated alongside cream-de-la-cream of the top Nigerian artistes in the race for ‘Face of Hope’ contest and ambassadorship. Not only that, she was nominated for the award of best attracted at the Savannah International Movie Awards, held in Abuja last year.

What’s so special in Rahama’s life and acting career plus her aspirations? The beautiful and ever gorgeously dressed star spoke with Al-Amin Ciroma in Kaduna. Excerpts.

What are your childhood experiences?

Growing up was a lot of fun. I started acting from my childhood and my parents have been supportive all the way. They have always said if acting makes you happy don’t hesitate and that all I needed is determination and zeal. So whenever I have the opportunity to interpret a role, they have encouraged me to put in my best. This has kept me going in the industry. I also work with Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and I do business. You may be wondering, ‘how does she do all these?’ Well the truth is I make very good use of my time and Almighty Allah has been there for me.

What were your aspirations as a child?

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. I therefore nursed the desire to be a good actress and also be successful in whatever I do. I am still climbing the ladder and so far so good, God has not left me for a second. What could be more beautiful than a dear old lady growing wise with age? Every age can be enchanting, provided you live within it.

What was your first acting experience like?
I remember vividly how very nervous and shy I was. But because I had a flair for acting, it didn’t take time before I loosened up and it’s been steady despite the fact that we still face some challenges. I felt great afterward and remember my teachers telling me ‘you’ve got the talent and you will do well if you pursue this as a career’. I guess I am living all that out now. I was so happy and almost couldn’t wait to grow up and do the real thing.

The movie, Maryam Diyana seems to be the one that brought you to limelight. When it did, did you think you had arrived?
Yes, it was my first major movie that brought me fame, but I have also done some others like: Rudin Zamani, Bahijja, for which I was nominated as best actress in SIM awards last year, Kudissiya, Musanya, Gaskiya Dokin Karfe, and Wassan Maza which is also another movie where I fought for women’s rights. These marked the beginning for me as I still have a long way to go in the industry. If I don’t put in my best and be creative, I am going to be outdated in no time and really, I don’t want that to happen. I want to be known worldwide. I have down a lot of great movies, and I’m happy. Now I think all of that has brought me where I am now, and I think it has taught me a lot.

Why is it that Wasan Maza is most prominent amongst your movies?
It has to do with societal issues centred around a young lady who got married at a very tender age and happened to have friends who are in higher institution. They convinced her to ask for permission from her husband to go back to school which he granted. After securing the admission, she hooked up with some bad friends and started dating other guys. Her attitude changed immediately towards him and she eventually asked for a divorce. It was too late by the time she realised her mistakes.
It is my hope that young married women who find themselves schooling again after marriage would learn a great deal from that movie.

How does the theme of this movie help improve or affect the situation of northern women and Nigerian women in general?
Let’s not say northern women but Nigerian women. The character made those decisions with the intention to succeed but failed and lost the passion of her husband’s love. The distraction and side attraction she permitted in her life ended up destroying her. I am telling ladies not to seek immediate gratification but to think things through properly before they act.

Considering the conservative society which surrounds you, what was the reaction of your family about your career?
Well my family is a very social one, despite the fact that I am from a Muslim home, I am conscious of the fact that whenever someone learns a positive lesson from any of my movies, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is going to bless me. Without the support and prayers of my family I would not have come this far in my career.

What do you find most interesting about your career?
Hmm, that is interesting. The most interesting is the amount of discounts I get when I go shopping; the free gifts from fans and the willingness of people to assist when I am in difficulty.
Most interesting is when people walk up to me in appreciation saying ‘thank you’ for a message they learnt from watching one of my movies. This really makes me feel good and also makes me want to put in my best at every opportunity I get.
Besides, I contested at the ‘Face of Hope’ (FOH) race last year. I thank my fans who voted and kept me in the race to the last minute where the winner emerged. I am hoping that they find me capable enough to make me the FOH 2011 because with their votes and support, we can take millions of kids off the streets and give them qualitative education.

Who are those that inspire you in the business?
I am inspired by personalities like Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Liz Benson, Kate Winslet, Patience Ozokwo, Oprah Winfrey and others like them who have established themselves in the field and have made landmark achievements. These are great people and I emulate them in every step I take. Again, I don’t believe in guilt, I believe in living on impulse as long as you never intentionally hurt another person, and don’t judge people in your life. I think you should live completely free.

On a lighter mood, its making rounds that you are in a hot romance with a top shot filmmaker in the industry. How true is this?
Nope! I am not in any relationship, but I have close friends.

Aside from acting, what do you do?
I work in one of the government parastatals, I am also an international business woman.

What should your fans expect from you in 2011?
Well, I want to first say a big thank you to my fans for without their support I won’t be here today. You have a lot coming your way, just keep watching. I love you all.

Published February 19, 2011

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