I can marry a Muslim if… –Kannywood star

Beatrice Auta is a fast-rising Kannywood actress. Barely two years in the industry she has featured in a number of movies. An indigene of Taraba state, Beatrice has a degree in English language from the Kaduna State University. In this interview with ALIYU ASKIRA, she speaks on her career and relationship.

What is your background and how did you join Kannywood?

Well, let me start from the beginning. My name is Beatrice Auta from Taraba state. I am 30-years-old and I attended Adeyemo College Kaduna before proceeding to Kaduna State University, where I obtained a degree in English Literature. Along the line, I started going to Kaduna State Ministry of Youths Sports and Culture. One day, I met with a crew from Kano-bases Dadin-Kowa and Arewa 24 television.

They came to audition new artists and I decided to try my luck. Fortunately for me, I was the only one chosen. Since then, I have been getting offers from Kannywood.

I featured in Talatu Number 1, alongside Ali Nuhu and later did another film with Adam A. Zango. I also featured in other films that are yet to be released, but basically, I do television series for Dadin Kowa.

To Act in Kannywood you must speak Hausa fluently, do you speak fluent Hausa?

I told you I am from Taraba but based in Kaduna. I am fully a northerner and I speak Hausa very well. One thing that even surprised me was that, as a Christian, I was easily accepted into Kannywood which is 99.9 per cent dominated by Muslims.

Even from my first film, I related very well with Adam Zango, Ali Nuhu and other senior members of Kannywood. Ali Nuhu for example, I used to hear people saying all sort of things about him that he is pompous and what have you but people need to meet Ali in person and know the type of person he is. He is a gentleman, very friendly and relates very well with whoever comes his way. I am look forward to being in many films with him and other Kannywood stars.

You have degree in English and speak the language with ease, if you have the chance would you act in Nollywood?

I have good friends in Nollywood, people like Emeka Ike, but the truth is, I am not interested in acting in Nollywood movies. From what I have heard, for a lady to be successful in Nollywood, she must be ready to sleep with some directors or producers.

Secondly, even if one will not compromise her body, the way they act and interpret their script is another evil invitation to oneself.

However, one wouldn’t mind if it will be only kissing and hugging. That is why I prefer Kannywood because someday, I will get married and have children. And I wouldn’t want to carry the shame if they watch my film with a man almost naked in bed having sex. Though it is stage-managed, but as kids they might not understand.

In Kannywood, we don’t even hold each other’s hands.

Are you in a serious relationship?

I have a fiancé. I am into serious relationship. But definitely, there are some things about me which I don’t want people to read on the pages of newspapers.

I have a boyfriend and he is more or less part of Kannywood.

Would mind your children joining kannywood?

If I settle down and have children, if they want to take acting as a profession, I will allow them. I used to hear lot of things about male and female members of Kannywood involved in sexual harassment. Sex for role, and drug consumption, but I can tell you, most of these things are not true and even if they are true, these are vices you can find in any profession. It is because we are always in public eye that people know so much about our lives. The society believes that we are cheap, including allegations like we don’t stay in our husband’s home when we get married.

All these things are not true as such, people should feel free to approach any actress for marriage or relationship. We are as decent as other ladies out there, some things that ladies do in higher institutions in other to get good grades are worse than the mare allegations in Kannywood.

Can you marry a Muslim?

It depends. My grandfather was a Muslim, my father went to Islamiya School later converted to Christianity and died as a Christian. So, anything can happen, but the truth is, I am in a serious relationship with somebody who promised to marry me and he is a Christian.

How do you feel when production is suspended for Muslim faithful to pray?

First, I am deeply grateful that I was easily accepted into Kannywood, irrespective of my religious background. Since then, nobody has ever treated me differently based on my religion. In fact, some of our colleagues used to come to me for casual relationship without minding the fact that I am a Christian.

I advise our government to do good and invest in entertainment industry, to use this opportunity to integrate Muslims and Christian. Government can use the industry and artists to easily pass message to the society, even their achievements and objectives. Kannywood as a very big entertainment industry can be used by Government for many purposes.

You stay in hotels when you shot films outside Kaduna. How do you feel as a single lady staying in a hotel?

When we go on Location, we do things uniformly. The whole crew will stay in the same hotel, when it is time to eat, we eat together.
So far, I have visited only Kano and Kaduna for film productions. In Kaduna, I normally stay in our house, while in Kano, I also have where I stay, not necessarily in a hotel.

But basically, for one to put up in a hotel, does not mean they are wayward.

What would you say is your achievement in your two years in Kannywood?

First, I have fans all over the North. When I go for shopping, sometimes people pay my bills, some will ask for my number, some will tell me openly that they like me.

Financially, I won’t say I gained much because, I am still new here, but honestly, I am not complaining. The way offers are coming my way, it can only get better. There is good money in the industry but please tell those watching us that we are not prostitutes or cheap, we are only interpreting roles given to us by directors.

So, our life on stage is different from the real life we live. After all, people do all they could to associate with us, some even marry us just to brag that they married a Hausa film star.

Apart from acting, do you do any other thing for a living?

I am into petty business, I use to travel to Lagos to buy goods and sell in the North but these days I am always on location doing one film or the other.

I love acting. I am praying hard to be popular and to be accepted by the society like Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Sadiq Ahmad, Mai Shinku, Tijjani Asase.

On the female side, I want to be like Jamila Nagudu, Nafisa Abdullahi, Fati Washa, Halima Atete, Hadiza Gabon and host of others.

There are many of them, that means I have a long way to go but I am growing, in fact when I joined Kannywood newly, my mother used to go to our location and chase me away. But with time, she has accepted that I can continue.

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