Ghanaians Not Nice To Nollywood


Popular Nollywood diva, Halima Abubakar, in this interview, talks about her life, the movie industry and other issues

You bagged the Best Actress of the Year award from two organisations recently, how do you feel?

I feel great and I give glory to God. It’s what I have been praying for in the last 11 years that I have been in the industry. So, I want to believe it is a honour bestowed on me and I really appreciate it. I believe getting awards as Best Actress of 2011 from two media organisations in a quick succession couldn’t have been something achievable if not that God has been on my side all this while. So I must be very grateful for His mercies on me.

What do you think gave you an edge over other nominees?

Honestly, I don’t know. If it’s my making, I would have preferred another person to win it, but one can’t change what God has destined. Everything that happened was God’s act and I am sincerely happy about it.

Is there anything that makes you different from other actresses?

Nothing really, except the fact that I am always myself. I have always been real and never pretended to be what I am not. So, that’s Halima’s unique quality and selling point.

What do you think could be injected into Nollywood to make it better?

Just like I keep telling people, acting is about being real. If you continue to see it as acting just for the sake of it, you will always get it wrong. So, acting should be real as much as possible, irrespective of the fact that it is make-believe. It is not necessary that what happens to you as a character in the movie happened in real life, but people must be made to understand that what you are trying to pass across as a message is a true life story.

What is your opinion about Ghanaian actors invading Nollywood?

Sincerely, I don’t see anything bad about it if a similar thing could also be done by Ghanaians by welcoming our people into their own system as well. But in a way, it’s only one sided and I don’t think it is a good thing at all. I believe, for instance, if Nollywood could allow four people from Ghana, then they should reciprocate our gesture in a bigger way by inviting more than what we offered. Anyway, things are happening the way they are because we Nigerians are just nice, we let a lot of things go. Left for me, at worst, let it be 50-50. Producers and marketers should also be mindful of that because it doesn’t make any sense promoting their actors without them promoting ours.

In recent times, Halima has been rising from glory to glory. What is the secret?

No other secret but God, perseverance, hard work, patience, endurance and being honest to myself. Halima is one person that would never be in hurry. I believe whatever happens to me happened because it’s time and also God’s doing. I am sure if it were to be a man, I will still be crawling.

You are swimming in a lot of fortunes at the moment, how are we sure there is no man behind it?

Just as it is rightly said, behind every successful man, there is a woman and so also behind every successful woman there is a man. I don’t have anything to say further on that.

The impression out there is that acting is no longer profitable, can you shed some light on your other sources of income that perhaps could have fetched you your wealth?

The truth of the matter is that I am actually tired of defending anything I am doing. I have been doing that for the past nine years and it is about time I really put a stop to all these rumours and gossips. It’s all hatred and nothing but hatred. What happens is that people do not just want to see others succeed in their careers and when you’re successful, they start spreading false and unnecessary rumours about you; something that is far from being true. Anybody that had known me from day one would be my witness and fellow actresses have been my friends over the years. They will tell you if there is anything I enjoy doing, it is rejoicing over other people’s success. I am always happy seeing others succeed, but if I have succeeded now and they think the next thing is to spread unnecessary rumours about me, let them carry on. I believe they have so much time and should get a job, find something good for themselves, start something beneficial to them and others around them instead of wasting their time and energy on ridiculous things. I will only plead to them to just leave me alone. If they can’t rejoice with me, they should just keep their mouths shut forever.

Would you also subscribe to the impression that Nollywood actresses find it difficult to get married?

I really can’t say about other people. I still believe that everything has time and the truth of the matter is that those who are nursing that impression have something worse than that in their lives. What so many people don’t understand is that not everybody was meant to get married and not everyone was meant to have a child and not everyone was meant to succeed. But one thing that is certain is that everyone has his or her own destiny. God knows why. The fact that a marriage is developing hiccups does not mean the couple affected is not perfect enough to mend their fence but God knows why. And let me tell you, marriages crash everyday, but you may not hear anything about such because people involved are not in the limelight. Actually, I believe everybody has his or her life to live just as I also have mine. So, I can’t talk further on that.

Be that as it may, when are you getting married?

When the time comes, I will definitely keep you informed. But you should know that I am not the type that makes her private life public.

But is there any serious man in your life at the moment?

It doesn’t matter, that’s my private business. Let’s concentrate on other things.

What is the latest about your career?

I have just finished shooting a movie entitled Divine Touch, where I acted alongside other top actresses including Eucharia Anunobi, Oge Okoye and Yvonne Nelson. Now, I am preparing to go to Enugu for another job after which I will take a short vacation and after that, I will begin work on my own movie which will be my first movie as a producer. I will shoot part of it abroad and conclude it in Nigeria when I return.

You are one the most sought after actresses right now, hope this won’t get to your head one day and you begin to disappoint producers?

Never, you know me very well that I am a very humble person. Besides, those who don’t appreciate where their food is coming from will start feeling arrogant because of little achievement. I was raised from a home where we know what it takes to be humble. Then I have met one or two people that have shown me humility. I will say 2face is one. Despite his achievement as a musician, he is still very humble.

A couple of months back, you celebrated your birthday and used the occasion to identify with the less privileged, who we learnt, you gave some cash and gift items. What is the motive behind this?

I grew up in an environment where things like these were nothing to us. Even when we work, we will invite those around to table and we will eat in the same plate. I don’t have any motive sharing whatever I have with those who don’t have. I believe the only way to grow is to develop the habit of sharing and nurture it because the more you give out, the more you will get back.

Recently, one of the veteran actors, Sam Loco Efe, passed on, how would you describe his death and what was he to you?

I got the news of his death with shock. It was really tragic to me and a great loss to the industry as a whole. We have surely lost a gem who was nice to everybody.

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