Hauwa Ayawa, popularly known in the movie industry as Azeema, is a young actress whose popularity is growing by the day in Kannywood. In this interview, the Kaduna-born actress talks about her speedy rise in the industry, among other issues.
Ibrahim Giginyu, Kano
Who is Azeema?
I am Hauwa Ayawa and I am known in the film industry as Azeema. This is a name I acquired based on the role that I played in the TV comedy series ‘Gidan Badamasi’ shown on Arewa24.
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I was born in Kaduna North, Kaduna State. I did my primary school in Kaduna State. I then proceeded to Government Girls Unity Secondary School (GGUSS) Kwatarkwashi in Zamfara State and later attended a computer school. However, I am planning to proceed with my tertiary education.
How did you get into acting?
Acting has always been my passion because I was born by a film producer; that is my mum. I grew up seeing many artists in our house. I was introduced to one of the finest directors in the industry Muhammed Alfa Zazi who later introduced me to acting in Kannywood and ever since, it has been one role after the other.
It was also during one of my shooting sessions that I met the director of ‘Gidan Badamasi’ Falalu Dorayi, who noticed my acting abilities and told me that he would love to cast me in one of his TV series. That was how I got the role of Azeema in ‘Gidan Badamasi’.
How did you feel on your first day in location?
Actually, I surprised a lot of my colleagues because they all thought I have been acting all the while. I was told I did very well as if I had been acting for a very long time, even the director of the film praised my performance. I wasn’t nervous like others; I tried to be calm and steady because I already know how it’s been done and luckily for me, I was able to deliver perfectly.
What was your first film?
My first film was called ‘Musaddiq’, it was directed by Mustapha M Sharif and it was the movie that gave me the lead role in the film ‘Karar Kwana’. It was a film that made me happy, because despite having big names as cast in the film, I was given the lead role and that was what really made many producers have confidence in my ability to deliver as expected.
How many films have you starred in ever since your first appearance?
Actually, I can’t list them all now, but I am sure I have appeared in more than 25 Hausa films and still counting.
Can you tell us your role in ‘Gidan Badamasi’?
In the TV series, I was featured as the last born of the family of Alhaji Badamasi, the wealthy miser father in the series. As you are aware, the film was directed by talented director Falalu A. Dorayi who also features in the film as the gateman. The comedy has proven to have stood the test of time. In the film, I enjoy the love of my father and also that of my siblings in the drama. The only problem with my father in the TV series was his inability to give out money to his family even though he was wealthy.
Are you satisfied with what you have been hearing from fans regarding your roles?
Of course, I am satisfied and fulfilled. You see, I have not been in the film making industry for long but to God be the glory, I have attained a level I never thought I will attend within a short period like this. If I may say this, I never knew I would be this popular within a short period, to God be the glory!
What would you say is your memorable moment as an actress?
My memorable moment as an actress was my encounter with a small boy who happens to be a diehard fan. This small boy brought to me his mother’s perfume as a gift when he saw me in person. His mother told me that her son has been an ardent fan of mine and he had always wanted to see me, and when we met, he had to convince his mother to allow him give me a gift.
I was so touched by the boy’s gesture and I held to that gift with sincere feelings for the unadulterated love shown to me by a small boy who sees me as a role model. This is one moment I can never forget in my life.
Can you tell us a little about your recent achievement as the face of Pop Cola?
Hmm! This is one of the things that whenever I think of, it gives me joy. I never thought I would win the simple contest that I entered and for a company like that to find me worthy of winning that contest to be the face of their products alongside big names like Ahmed Musa and others, I feel so elated.
I won not because I am the best, but I think it is just that I am lucky and as always, I give glory to God. If you go around, you will see Pop Cola billboards with my face, I thank God for that.
Do you have any regrets being in Kannywood?
No I don’t, I am happy I have chosen a career that has accorded me the opportunity to positively impact on people’s lives as well as my society.
Is Azeema into any relationship?
No. What I really want to do now is to build my career as an actress and plan for my retirement. As a woman, I am going to get married someday, and all things being equal, I want to be a producer when I retire from acting and to effectively attain that, one needs to plan ahead.
I will get involved in a relationship when it’s the right time for me to do so.