Rabi’atu Tsalha is one of the few upcoming artists in Kannywood who announced their presence in the industry with a big bang. She made it to stardom within a short period in the industry and is currently making waves in the film making sector.
Tell us a little about your background?
My name is Rabi’atu Tsalha popularly known in the industry as Rabi’atu Gombe. I was born in Gombe State where I did my primary school and later moved to Niger State where I did my secondary school before getting married.
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Unfortunately, the marriage didn’t work out and I got divorced. I have a son from the marriage. I relocated to Kano State and joined Kannywood a few years ago. I have a couple of films to my credit as I have featured in over 10 Hausa films. I am 23 years old.
How did you get into Kannywood?
Well, acting is a passion I have been nurturing for a long time and when I told my family and relatives that I wanted to join the film making industry, they were divided between those who have no problem with my being an actress and those who have reservations about my choice. Gradually, we were able to convince all of them that acting, as an art, is just like any other profession, and they gave me their blessings and advice to be a good ambassador of the family wherever I may find myself.
How would you describe your first day on set?
Honestly, it wasn’t easy at all. I kept shivering and stammering. However, with encouragement and support from my colleagues I was able to overcome it and from that day I picked up. I really appreciate my colleagues’ support and encouragement on set, which has made it easier for me to adapt and carry on to this level.
Would you say being in the industry has confirmed all the stories you have heard about it?
I wouldn’t say what I met in the industry was what I heard. It is really unfortunate that the industry is negatively portrayed by people who know virtually nothing about it. To me, Kannywood has been one big family that I cherish and the warm reception I got really motivated me to do more as an artist as well as to contribute to the development of the industry.
How many Hausa films have you featured in so far?
I have featured in more than ten films so far and still counting. The series of films that I have featured in have made me develop my ability and capability as an actress to be able to effectively interpret every role assigned to me.
What would you say on sex for role allegations in most film making industries?
I don’t think I have anything to say on that because it has never happened to me or to anyone I know. Moreover, I believe it all depends on the way you present yourself in the industry. I ventured into the industry under a reputable company and as I have mentioned earlier, I ventured with my parents’ consent. I got registered and continued conducting activities within a defined schedule of the company. That is why I believe that everything should be conducted in a more formal way to avert the agitations of sex for roles.
This is to categorically reveal to you that I have never been sexually harassed in the Kannywood film making industry.
Does acting pay your bills?
Of course, it does. Acting is just as any profession that you know because many people earn a living through film making and to God be the glory, it pays the bills.
What’s your view on public perception of artists in the film making industry?
You see, it is very sad to accept the fact that the public has a negative perception toward practitioners in the film making industry. There is this stereotyping of every artist as a miscreant or wayward individual. We have intellectuals, Islamic scholars, professionals in other fields, among other dignified personalities as members.
Therefore, it is very wrong to assume that every one of us is a miscreant. Moreover, the era of judging artists by the role they play is over. Artists are just like any other human being; they have their pluses and minuses and therefore shouldn’t be judged based on assumption. It is sad to tell you that many artists have suffered stigmatization simply because they played a role in a movie and this is not common to only Nigeria.
Have you suffered such stigmatization based on a role you played?
No, I haven’t, and probably it is because I only played the star character, but many of our colleagues who usually play valiant roles encounter such stigmatization.
Are you in any relationship now?
I am not. I have a career to protect and build for now. I am trying to get all that happened to me behind my back and concentrate on developing a very strong career as an actress. However, that doesn’t mean I will not remarry. I will get married when the time comes.
Would you continue acting after getting married?
When the right man comes and we get married, I definitely won’t continue acting. I may decide to be a producer and that’s if my husband agrees to that also.
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