Sadiya Adam joined Kannywood about seven years ago and has so far featured in films like Dakin Amarya, Gobe da labari, Bani Ba Aure, Sadauki, Idda and Hasashe. She tells ALIYU ASKIRA in this interview that she’s as decent as any other God-fearing lady despite the fact that she chose to be an actress.
You had been attending an Islamiya school before joining Kannywood. Why did you decide to be an actress, a profession that commands little or no respect in the eyes of the public?
Well, that is the way the public perceives us, but as for Sadiya Adam, I have gone to an Islamiya school and I am as decent as any other lady brought out from a decent and God-fearing home. That is why after spending three years in the industry, having featured in good films like Dakin Amarya, Gobe da Labari, Bani ba Aure, Sadauki, Iddah and Hasashe, I am now ready to settle down, meaning that I am getting married very soon even though the guy is not from the industry.
50% of Kannywood stars, including the king of Kannywood, Ali Nuhu, and the queen of Kannywood, Halima Atete, are from Borno state. Why then are you not producing films in Maiduguri?
It is true, but most of those that are ready to put their money into Hausa films are in Kano. No matter how successful a film is, if the director or producer is not from Kano, you can hardly sell your film. It is true that Ali Nuhu, Sadiya Adam that is myself, Halima Atete, Ummi Zee Zee, Khadija Mustapha and several others are from Borno state, but in some cases, people say because most ladies from Borno state are pretty and can sell films, this does not mean that other ladies from other states are not pretty. The truth of the matter is that most of the stakeholders in Kannywood are not from Kano.
How did you join Kannywood and become a star within a short period of time?
Well, right from the time I was in primary and secondary school, I used to watch Hausa films a lot and therefore developed an interest to be an actress. When I watched films like Sangaya that featured Ali Nuhu, Fati Muhammad and the Late Hauwa Dodo Biba, I promised to be an actress one day and here I am, a successful actress for that matter. When I was to join the industry, I first contacted Baba Karami of Arewa Film Makers Association, but one Abdul was the one that introduced me to many directors and producers. From there, I started getting films.
Who are the actors and actresses you admired most in Kannywood?
Honestly, they are many and it is not easy to pin-point just a few of them. But one cannot help but mention actresses like Fati Washa, Khadija Mustapha, Nafisa Abdullahi, Jamila Nagudu, Halima Atete, Rahama Sadau, Hadiza Gabon, Maryam Babban Yaro, Umma Shehu and pioneer members of the industry like Ummi Zee Zee and Fati Muhammad, Sangaya in which Fati Muhammad played the lead role and Sanafahna which Ummi Zee Zee played the lead role are still my favourite films. Those I did not mention should not think that I don’t admire their roles, the industry is big and we have good actresses in the industry. On the side of actors, we have Aminu Momoh, Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Ahmad, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Ibrahim Mai Shinku, Nura Hussein and several others to mention a few.
You are a beautiful lady by all standards, and it will be difficult for directors and producers to give you a film in a corrupt industry like Kannywood without taking advantage of your body; have you ever encountered this problem?
I am somebody who minds my business and I’m deeply religious. If you give me a film, I will do what you want, collect my pay and go home. There has never been a time that a director or producer will say a beautiful will not feature in his film if she does not zip down for him. By the way, you media people, are you not aware of what is happening in other professions like banks and even in journalism, and in higher institutions where ladies virtually dress naked to harass lecturers sexually so that they can pass their exams? We have Kano Films and Censorship Board, we have MOPPAN, and we have Hausa Film Guild and Arewa Film Makers. These are bodies headed by respected stakeholders from Kannywood and they are monitoring all our activities. I read severally in your paper of actors and actresses that were suspended from Kannywood because they, one way or the other, featured in films and musical videos that breached the ethics of the industry. I am not saying we don’t have bad eggs here, but that is not my business, my business is to see that I behave as decently as possible and leave the industry in peace. After I settle down, I can continue with my education or take up an appointment in an Islamiyya school as a teacher. I have limited ambitions as a woman, all I want is to be a good ambassador of the Industry and once I settle down, I will make a success of my marriage.
Tell us your saddest and happiest moments since you joined the industry?
Well, they are many. Whenever we lose a member in the industry, I usually feel sad, or whenever I come across people discussing about female actresses, including the fact that some of us are prostitutes and wayward, I feel like leaving the industry. But somebody like me who is just a secondary school leaver, if I am to look for a job, the highest I will get is a job that I will be paid not more than N10,000, and this cannot even get me a very good cream talk less of expensive dresses or for me to have a car or own my a house. But in Kannywood, you can collect more than 100,000 per a single film and most of the payments are made before you even start acting. If the film is to be shot outside Kano, the producer will feed all of you, pay for your transport including your hotel accommodation. So, tell me, even you as a senior journalist, you have to work for 30 days before you get paid and in 30 days, Sadiya Adam might have made hundreds of thousands from signing for films that she will feature in. So, I will advise those who know that they are morally upright to come here and join us, sexual harassment is in all professions. If a guy or a lady wants to be useless, he can be useless in any profession.
I can count more than 10 grade A actresses that got married in well-advertised ceremonies, but later became broke and returned to the industry after breaking up their marriages. When f you settle down and you discover that the man you married is not as rich as you expected, what would you do?
From all sectors of the society, marriages are being broken by the day. When you were talking about broken marriages, I thought you would mention those that made success of their marriages: Muhibbat Abdulsalam married Hassan Giggs, they are still together; Wasila married Al-amin Ciroma, they are still together; Mansura Isah married Sani Danja and they are still leaving peacefully even though recently, they separated. But I learnt that some people are making efforts for them to come together again. Let me use this medium to advise members of the public that if you know that you are fake, please don’t come to us, no lady will want to marry and tomorrow break up her marriage. Some only want us in bed and after that, they will create problems so that the marriage will crash.
People like you, I noticed the way you have been looking at me since we started this interview, will not mind to lie to me that you are Dangote’s son so that I will marry you. After you have gotten the better part of me, you will then say actually, you are from Koki Quarters where Dangote comes from, that is why you are bearing the same name with him, but you are not related. We have dubious people out there that when they watch us in films they will come after us; some will even promise us paradise on earth; some will even be coming to us with hired vehicles, hired clothes and what have you just for us to be attracted to them, but later you will hear stories. I am praying hard so that I will not meet one of these people. In any case, I am not available because I am getting married very soon.