By Kemi Yesufu
Hadiza Aliyu better known as Hadiza Gabon is one of the fans’ favourites in Kannywood. What many love about her is the fact that she is cultured and has finesse. The pretty actress who has a Gabonese father and Nigerian mother is greatly admired by fans of Hausa movies for how quickly she fitted into the industry, smashing through cultural and language barriers.
Though, Hadiza has accomplished much in a short while, gaining prominence as one of the hottest actresses in the northern region, many say her charming personality and acting prowess will ensure that she remains on the A-list for a long time.
In this interview with The Entertainer, Hadiza talks about her career, life in Nigeria and why she doesn’t agree with those who think actresses are for sale.
Coming to Kannywood
My mum is from Nigeria. So my parents supported me whole heartedly when I told them that I was headed to Kaduna State from where I would pursue a career in the Hausa movie industry. Yes, I miss my family and friends. I miss my mum the most. But nothing good comes easy in life. I am someone that believes that anyone that wishes to succeed in life must be ready to make sacrifices; you should also be ready to leave your comfort zone. I took the bold step to leave Gabon, my country so that I can be in Kannywood and I am happy here.
Nigeria, my second home
Gabon is an African country that shares a lot of affinity with Nigeria. So, it wasn’t hard for me to adjust to living here. Besides, my mother is a Nigerian from Adamawa State. The only difference we have is that we speak French in my country, while English is the official language in Nigeria. I am Fulani and here in northern Nigeria the Fulanis live in a number of states. We also are Muslims, so I feel at home here.
Easy start in Kannywood
First, I have to thank God for how easily I was accepted by the people in Kannywood. Then, I also have to thank major stakeholders who listened to me when I told them that I had the talent of acting. They gave me the opportunity to show them what I can do.
First time on set
I was scared during my first time on set. You know, I was still learning to speak Hausa when I got my first role. But when I look back now, I am glad that I followed my dreams. Now, I speak Hausa much better and I have gotten used to taking my lines on set no matter the number of people around.
Money comes last
I have appeared in a number of films but the ones that stand out in my mind are Bansani Ba and Wosilat because these are the first two. For me, money comes second to the fulfillment I get from acting. However, if the pay wasn’t good for me, I would have stopped working. I am not a millionaire but I am happy with what I get paid to act. I really can’t complain. Besides, acting is my passion. I can even do it for free though, I am thankful that I can pay my bills as a professional.
Why I play different roles
An actor should be able to interpret any role he or she is given. I don’t think anyone should be choosy about the kind of character they play. It is even risky for an actor to be typecast, because with time, such an actor won’t be getting many offers. It is only reasonable that an actor should be flexible. For me, what is important is that the storyline is one that I am comfortable with.
I don’t discriminate
There is no actor I am not comfortable working with. I wouldn’t like to pick one or two persons and say they are my favourites. It is the duty of the director to pick the actors to use in his film. I will work with anyone the director chooses. If I read a script and accept the role I am offered, I do my very best to interpret my role well. I am someone that gets into character as effectively as I can. I take my job seriously, so if I take up a role, I give it my all.
Nothing good comes easy
In life, nothing good comes easy. I believe that patience is a virtue that should be pursued by anyone who wants to succeed in life, not only in acting. I am patient and I put my heart in everything I want to do. I try not to be desperate. Again, I must say that I have been lucky. Like I told you earlier, I have been lucky with producers and directors. I never had to beg for a role or do something demeaning. I have been fortunate to gain the confidence of top directors and producers in Kannywood.
One man, one destiny
I am not the kind of person to fight my colleagues. I am easy to get along with. I don’t have a big ego. I doubt if anyone can say that I have a ‘beef’ with him or her. I agree with those that say ‘Who God has blessed, no man can curse’. I don’t see the next person as an obstacle to my progress because no two people share one destiny. We all have different destinies.
Not for sale
I have a few of such experiences where men make outrageous proposals because some of them think actresses are there for them to date. But we are not. Some people think actresses don’t know what they want in life. It is really a pity because I know what I want in life and many other colleagues do too. I feel bad when some guys think actresses will do anything for money. I and many other actresses aren’t into acting to market ourselves to men. We are into acting because it is what we are gifted to do.
My fans and I
Life is good. I am happy with how fans treat my colleagues and I. Most of the times they show us love. They so much appreciate us. But I know that I must not take the fans for granted. I also know that I must not disappoint fans by behaving badly.
I really wouldn’t like to talk about relationship because I am a private person. What I can tell you is that when it comes to marriage, I am waiting for Allah’s time.
Things I like
I like to wear native attires. I like silver rings a great deal. I also like perfumes a lot. I have a good collection of designer perfumes. I like music. I dance a lot when I am at home. When I am in the mood, I dance with my nieces and nephews.