Who is Aisha Abdulra’uf?
I am an actress in the Hausa film industry and my fans refer to me as Aisha Najmu or Aisha Izar based on the role I played in both TV series. I was born 26 years ago in Jigawa State and I later relocated to Kano State where I stayed with my step mother. I did primary, secondary and tertiary studies.
Currently, I am an actress and a mother. I have appeared in dozens of Hausa films some of which are yet to be released into the market.
Why did you venture into acting?
I never imagined I would become an actress. Being an actress is just something that came to me but not something that I planned for. Unlike other artists who nurtured the ambition of being involved in filmmaking, I had no premonition that I would ever be involved in filmmaking, but as fate would have it, here I am – an actress that has acted in many films that I have lost count.
To me, acting is just like any other profession that one will venture into and grow along the line, I have ventured into it, and I am growing by God’s grace.
Did your parents protest against your wish to be in the filmmaking industry?
Of course, they did. I was brought up in a strict family with a serious will of protecting the family’s reputation. Therefore, when I told them of my ambition to join the filmmaking industry, they all protested against it. Their protest was based on stories they have heard about the industry which I came to realize were all fabrications and concocted to smear the industry, due to their ill-perception of the industry.
However, I was able to systematically convince them. To God be the glory, they allowed me and ever since, I have not given them any course to regret the go ahead they gave me.
How did you feel on your first day on set?
It will interest you to know that unlike other first timers, I was never intimidated by the cameras. I was able to perform as expected and did exceptionally well. The only thing that I can say became an issue for me was the fear of how fans will react to my performance and how it will look like.
However, when I watched my performance after the film was edited and released, I was pleased and also, many people have given me the nod. That was how I started and ever since that first shoot, shooting became a hobby and a profession I love doing and executing as an actress.
Is it true that you are too choosy when it comes to script?
It isn’t an issue of being too choosy, but an issue of being careful. Remember, we are doing Hausa films and we have culture, values and religious norms and values to protect. As a northern woman and a mother, I also have my reputation to safeguard and protect, therefore, I can’t just accept any role without going through the scripts.
We are living in a society that is still growing in terms of innovativeness and we can’t take the risk of letting what we do drag our norms and values in the mud. As I said earlier, we have values to promote and protect and as such, I have to go through the scripts to make sure I am doing the right thing. I can never star in a film that negates Hausa culture and values.
Have you ever been ridiculed for a role you played?
Yes, on many occasions. If you know the role I usually play in films, people think that I am just displaying my real character in the films. Due to those roles, a lot of people have distanced themselves from me, thinking I am that pompous and self-centred person they usually see in films.
On many occasions, people confessed to me that I wasn’t what they thought I was after meeting me in person.
It is unfortunate that actresses and actors are being judged by the character they play in films which I strongly believe is very wrong. It is high time people understand that a film is just a mirror of the society and what we are trying to do is to educate the society and entertain it and not necessarily displaying our real character.
So, how did you find the industry after you joined?
You see, the Hausa filmmaking industry is just like any other profession; there are the good people and there are the bad people in it. People have different motives for joining the profession and let me tell you something, it is good to be a part of something before praising or condemning it. This is all I can say for now.
Can you tell us some of the films you’ve featured in?
I have quite a dozen films to my credit such as Fatake, Izzar So, mijin Mace Daya, Dandalin Tsaro, Gidan Sarauta and many more.
Can you tell us more about the TV series Fatake?
Fatake is one the best films I have starred in. To me, it is more than a film because it is like a school where I have learnt a lot of things that I wouldn’t have learned had it not been for the film. I am sure with the success of the film, the narrative in the filmmaking industry will definitely be changed towards issue driven scripts instead of what we are currently having in the industry.
Do you have any regret being an actress?
No, I don’t. Acting is a profession that I am proud of. Through acting, I have achieved a lot of things. I will forever be indebted to the industry for being an avenue through which many people earn a living.
You made mention of being married before. Are you in any serious relationship now?
I can’t comment on that topic publicly for now, because it is my personal life.