Saturday, February 18, 2012
Born and raised in Jos, Plateau State, Nafisa Abdullahi is one of those faces you always see popping up on the big or small screen as far as Kannywood home video is concerned, and you invariably find yourself asking, “Wasn’t she the queen and star of ‘Sai Wata Rana',? a movie that really became the test of time, and you would be right. Also referred to as ‘Sai Wata Rana’ by her teeming fans, Nafisa made her film debut in 2009, in Sani Mu’azu’s ‘Haaja,’ and literally continued to earn her stripes to date. Recently, the beautiful, actress was honoured with Best Actress Award by The Young Northerners For Excellence, at the prestigious Arewa House, Kaduna. The award, according to her is the best thing that made her dream come to reality. In this interview with AL-AMIN CIROMA, Kannywood’s own Preity Zinta' discussed her experience in Kannywood and issues bordering scandals in the industry. Excerpts:
When I first watched ‘Sai Wata Rana,’ I kept wondering and thinking of some Bollywood stars, Pretty Zinta, Rani Mukherjee, etc. Your performance was absolutely remarkable.
Oh, I like hearing that! I am thankful to God who gave me the courage to deliver my lines and to my producer/director, Ali Nuhu for helping me come out victorious. I really enjoyed the set of ‘Sai Wata Rana,’ it made me camera-friendly. I have passion for show biz, I love it and I love what I am doing. I also believe any other person could’ve done better. So yes, I’ll take your statement as a compliment, thank you! (Laughs).
Tell us about your first experience on set
(Inhales deeply) filming, like I said earlier is an obsession, kind of fixation deep inside me, I have been nursing it for a while, although my parents wanted me entirely on another platform, but I believe this is my destiny. Presently, I am studying Theatre Arts in Unijos (University of Jos). One can agree with me that in all aspects of life, there has to be a beginning and an end. My coming into show biz was like a dream come true, kind of. Acting for camera is heroic you know. I felt like the whole world is watching me, I really had to put myself together to face the challenges, having in mind that I am doing what I love most and thank God, I made it and it is now part of me.
When you came into the industry, did you have any misgivings about acting for camera choice?
Why? No! I had no doubts about my chosen career because I was determined and I know I will make it since it is my talent. Acting is not just something you can pretend about, it is either you have the talent or you don’t. I don’t see any reason someone will force himself or herself into something he or she was not born to be.
Your resume has an incredibly diverse mixture of professionalism and skillfulness and as a student of Theatre art, how do you access the Hausa home video produced in Kannywood?
That’s something that would be worth spending a little time talking about. Although as a student, I should have my limitations, but I think Kannywood is coming up, they are gradually bridging the gap. Professionally, the Hausa movies are quite appealing and everybody is now engaged in collective efforts. Go to the locations and see for yourself, the production crew are doing exactly what is expected. Sound mangers, line producers, lighteners, directors of photography, cameramen, etc. name them; everybody is doing his work professionally. Unlike before where you see a producer with a kind of ‘jack of all trades’ format of operation. Kannywood has incredibly gone international and above all, the stories appeal to all ages.
It’s very noteworthy that most of us in the industry are beginning to learn all these trends and that’s what makes our work go international. This effort is really commendable. I can now tell you that Hausa filmmakers are considerably bubbling to the international arena.
Am I right to consider Nafisa as an A-list Kannywood actress?>(Laughs) A star is a star, it depends on how you see it, A-list or not. It doesn’t hide.
You just got an award. How do you feel, are you fulfilled?
I thank God at least people have recognised this effort. And I see this award as a stepping stone, as if to say: ‘Hey, Nafisa tighten up and face challenges.’ Again, I am happy in the sense that I am beginning to see the light in my profession. I feel delighted to be part of the blockbuster, ‘Sai Wata Rana,’ which earned me this great award.
What makes you think this is a break-through?
(Laughs) I believe in God. I thank Him for His favours. I pray hard to remain myself (laughs), at least things are good on my side. Alhamdulillah (Thank God).
Can you please spell the character behind your person?
Nafisa is a simple and down to earth girl. I love myself; respect my parents, elders and colleagues. I believe all success comes through these windows. I want to use this opportunity to tell my fans that all roles we play in the movies are make-believes. They are not real, we try our best with the aid of the directors and translate the roles. So, Nafisa is simple, very obedient and accommodating. My fans should not define me by my characters in the movies. I am as plain as everybody and I love you all. (Laughs)
Show business is a kind of rendezvous where things happen the way they happen. Some artistes are involved in series of scandals, while others may be victims of favouritism and stuff like that. Were you involved in any show of shame since you made your debut?
None, I have never been involved in any scandal whatsoever.
I want you to be honest because this is a very sensitive question. Is it true that you once encountered heartbreak in the industry...?
(Inhales again) No! Umm... yes! It is true, I once fell in love with one of the artistes in Kannywood, but as usual, stars hardly stick to one particular girl, so it crashed. It was painful though, but I have been kind of preparing myself. I’ve been taking the pains in my stride. I find it quite amusing reading about some scandals on pages of dailies or magazines. So I just kind of let it be.
(Laughs) No, no! Some things are better left unexplained, most especially one’s privacy. It used to hurt, but I am good now. No more reoccurrence. I won’t give in anymore!
As beautiful and sultry as you are, were you ever harassed by a producer/director or top actor for favours?
No, I don’t believe in that, although so many things are happening under the sun. It happens in schools, banks, etc. It does not only happen in the Hausa film industry.
I want to ask you straight, how do you wriggle out of such situations and were you ever tempted?
(Laughs) Please, please stop it. I won’t be tempted Insha Allah. God is in control.
But have you had an encounter with an actor who wanted favours from you for roles?
You mean if a handsome man winks at you invitingly you won’t respond?
(Laughs) I have total control of myself and I pray a lot, simple!
A word to your colleagues and fans.
To my colleagues, we should work hard to maintain our stardom and respect each other’s feelings. My fans, I love you all. Without you, definitely, I won’t be here, so keep praying for me. Thank you.