Twenty eight-year-old Kannywood actress, Hadiza Aliyu Gabon, who was born in Libreville, the capital of Gabon, came to Kano in 2007. Hadiza, who had a Diploma in French from Ecol de Francaise Gabonese in Gabon, came to Nigeria to further her studies but developed interest in acting. However, she could neither speak Hausa nor English. She then decided to approach the King of Kannywood, Ali Nuhu, to assist her join the industry. In the interview with ALIYU ASKIRA, she speaks on her acting career and more.
When you came to Nigeria in 2007 how did you relate with Nigerians since you couldn’t speak English or Hausa?
First, when I came to stay with my sister in Kaduna, I already had a diploma in French as you rightly mentioned. I did not come Nigeria to waste my precious life, as such, I contemplated continuing with my studies up to degree level but I had this desire to set up an NGO and help the less privilege especially Gabonese national staying in Nigeria that are poor.
Basically, I wanted to be a diplomat and an ambassador of my country, but I had financial limitation, therefore, I decided to join Kannywood to raise money and establish myself as a business woman then get married and settle down permanently in Nigeria.
You can speak Hausa and English fluently, how did you do it?
Well, honestly I did not have it easy, but because I wanted to act in Kannywood and I needed to speak Hausa fluently so I went to Kano and stayed briefly with H.R.B the popular Kano-based film producing company learning Hausa and also appearing in films from time to time but I did not make any impact and I left.
Later Ali Nuhu assisted me and linked me with Chief Executive Officer of Lerawa Films, Yakubu Lere, in 2010, and he featured me in his famous movie Wasila. Before then, in 2008, Ishaq Sidi Ishaq gave me a role in a movie called Artabu.
I featured alongside popular actors and actresses but I faced lot of challenges even though I did my best not to be intimidated.
You are the face of MTN, you are also doing commercials for other companies, and you are equally one of the sought after actresses in Kannywood, you are also beautiful by all standard, were you ever involved in sex-for-role to be successful?
Well, today I can mention four to five films that made me not only a household name, but that has also fetched me a fortune. First is Babbanzaure, it is still my best movie film as far as I am concerned. Some people were not happy when I was given lead role in that then. Also, Basaja, Gwaska, Yar Maye, and Mijin Biza, these films were very successful in the market and also gave me the financial resources to also invest in other films. I am very proud of my role in Yar Maye and Basaja, where I was given the task of arresting an international fraudster, a role played by Adamu A. Zango. The film took us to Niger Republic and Ghana as well as other countries.
As we speak, by the grace of God, I have performed lesser Hajj (Ummrah) severally. I have also performed Hajj. I have where I can call my own, I mean my own house. I have good cars to ride. I have a very big boutique on Waff Road, Kaduna.
My prayer now is to get married and settle down and have children because as a 28-year-old woman I am not getting younger.
Would you say you have enemies in Kannywood, because recently you had serious problem with Nafisa Abdullahi and it took officers of MOPPAN, Kano Chapter, to settle the misunderstanding. What was the genesis of your fight?
Yes, I had misunderstanding with my sister Nafisa Abdullahi but we have settled our differences and we are now best of friends. As for enemies, Hadiza Aliyu Gabon is like holy water, I don’t have enemies. In fact, as a Muslim, I am not supposed to have an enemy that is why I refused to be in any relationship in Kannywood though you will be hearing stories.
I have the desire to continue producing films even after I settled down as a married woman. Already I have businesses here and there, but most importantly, I want to thank Nigerians for accepting me to be one of them and today, some of them love my movie more than even actresses that are from Nigeria.
I also mind my business; I try not to embarrass my country because I am supposed to be an ambassador of my country in Nigeria. Kannywood today is a very big industry that everybody can come and make his own impact.
On the issue of sexual harassment, no lady can be sexually harassed if she is not interested in first place. We are in
A civilised society, nobody will harass you if you did not give the sign that you are ready to play ball.
Who do you admire most in Kannywood?
If you are talking of those I admire their acting skills, honestly they are many. Initially, I prefered to always mention Aminu Sherrif Momoh, but over time, I discovered that we have lots of talented actors and actresses in Kannywood.
Let me mention some Aminu Sherrif Momoh, Ali Nuhu, Adam A. Zango, Sadiq Ahmad, NuhuAbdullahi, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Ibrahim Mai Shunku and many others.
On the side of the female actresses, I admire Hadiza Aliyu Gabon laughter, that is my humble self, Rahama Hassan, though she is married now, Mansura Isah, who is also married, Halima Atete, Nafisa Abdullahi, Fati Washa, Jamila Nagudu, Hafsat Idris and many others that one will not have time to mention.