What I want to achieve through acting - Rahamatu Hassan
Rahama Hassan is one of Kannywood's screen divas and a nominee for the 'Face of Hope' contest. In this interview, she spoke to Adie Vanessa Offiong about her career and many other topics. Excerpts:.
Please tell us about Rahama?
Rahamatu Hassan is from Kogi State but I spent the better part of my life in Minna, Niger State which makes me a Nigerlite by citizenship. (Laughing) I had my primary and secondary education there before going to the University of Abuja where I studied Business Administration. At the moment I am taking a course in Estate Management at the Nassarawa State Polytechnic and in HND 1.
I guess my fans will ask why not Theatre Arts, I consider acting an innate thing and have attended a lot of professional courses and seminars which have helped polish my acting skills.
Growing up was a lot of fun. I started acting from my childhood and my parents have been supportive all the way. They have always said if acting makes you happy don't hesitate and that all I needed is determination and zeal. So whenever I have the opportunity to interpret a role, they have encouraged me to put in my best. This has kept me going in the industry. I also work with Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and I do business. You may be wondering, 'how does she do all these?' Well the truth is I make very good use of my time and Almighty Allah has been there for me.
What were your desires as a child?
I nursed the desire to be a good actress and also be successful in whatever I do. I am still climbing the ladder and so far so good, God has not left me for a second.
What was your first acting experience like?
I remember vividly how very nervous and shy I was. But because I had a flair for acting, it didn't take time before I loosened up and it's been steady despite the fact that we still face some challenges.
I felt great afterwards and remember my teachers telling me 'you've got the talent and you will do well if you pursue this as a career'. I guess I am leaving all that out now. I was so happy and almost couldn't wait to grow up and do the real thing.
'Rudin Zamani' seems to be the one that shot you to limelight? When it did, did you think you had arrived?
Yes, it was my first major movie but I have done some others like Bahijja for which I was nominated as best actress in Sim awards), Enuwa, Kudissiya, Musanya, Gaskiya Dokin Karfe, Maryam Diyana, Agaj, and Wassan Maza another nice movie where I fought for women's rights. These mark the beginning for me as I still have a long way to go in the industry.
If I don't put in my best and be creative, am going to be outdated in no time and really, I don't want that to happen. I want to be known worldwide.
What was the movie about and why is it the most prominent of all you have featured in?
It has to do with societal issues centred around a young lady who got married at a very tender age and happened to have friends who are in higher institutions. They convinced her to ask for permission from her husband to go back to school which he granted. After securing the admission, she hooked up with some bad friends and started dating other guys. Her attitude changed immediately towards him and she eventually asked for a divorce. It was too late by the time she realised her mistakes.
It is my hope that young married women who find themselves schooling again after marriage would learn a great lesson from that movie.
How does the theme of this movie help improve or affect the situation of the Northern woman and Nigerian women in general?
Let's not say Northern women but Nigerian women. The character made those decisions with the intention to succeed but failed and lost the passion of her husband's love. The distractions and side attraction she permitted into her life ended up destroying her. I am telling ladies not to seek immediate gratification but to think things through properly before they act.
Considering the conservativeness of the society which surrounds you, what was the reaction of your family about your career?
Well my family is very social and understanding despite the fact that I am from a Muslim home and I am conscious of the fact that whoever learns a positive lesson from any of my movies Allah Subuhanahu Wattalla is going to bless me. Without the support and prayers of my family I would not have gone this far in my career.
What is an interesting bit of your career?
Hmm, that is interesting. The most interesting is the amount of discounts I get when I go shopping; the free gifts from fans, and the willingness of people to assist when I am in difficulty.
Most interesting is when people walk up to me in appreciation saying 'thank you for a message they learnt from watching one of your movies.' This really makes me feel good and always want to put in my best at every opportunity I get.
Besides, I am one on the Face of Hope (FOH) nominees. Fans voted and have kept me in the race. I am hoping that they find me capable enough to make me the FOH 2010 because with their votes and support, we can take million of kids off the street and give them qualitative education.
I believe we have to invest in the education of these children to better our nation. As they say, children are the leaders of tomorrow; if we don't support by educating them how would they be good leaders tomorrow? I urge you all my fans and good people of Nigeria to keep this hope alive by voting me Rahamatu Hassan as you text FOH Ramatu to 33810 mtn (twice) or 35810 for glo and zain user's; as your Face of Hope 2010. Save a child, save the future of the nation.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I am inspired by personalities like Angelina Jolie, Liz Benson, Kate Winslet, Patience Ozokwo, Oprah Winfrey and others like them who have established themselves in the field and have made landmark achievements. These are great people and I emulate them in every step I take.
What do your fans expect of you in 2010?
Well, I want to first say a big thank you to my fans for without their support I won't be here today. You have a lot coming your way, just keep watching.
How do you intend achieving the aims of the Face of Hope contest if you are voted?
I intend to work with other contestants who will be representatives of states of the federation so that we can work effectively. We will visit states and orphanages and have heart to heart discussions with the children and caregivers to know how best we could improve their situation.
Also, in line with the vision of the initiators of the Face of Hope project, The Rochas Okorocha Foundation, if voted, we will be building schools and like facilities to accommodate street children who would otherwise not be able to access formal education.
These will be accompanied by other projects which will have direct and positive impact on the benefactors, street children.
Why have you decided to go to this length of education as against the norm with many Kannywood stars?
I am doing this for my fellow Northern women so that they are inspired to do the same. We are lagging behind in terms of education. I believe with determination we can achieve what we want to achieve. I also want Nigerians to know that Kannywood has changed and well educated people are in the business.