Amina Rani, popularly known as Maman Haidar, is a Kannywood actor and ex-wife of star actor Adam A. Zango. In this interview with Weekend Magazine, she talks about what a role beside her ex-husband would be like, becoming a director, and more. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: How did your career in the movie industry begin?
Amina Rani: I grew up watching particularly Indian and American movies. I did not like Hausa films that much back then. I was a very social person who liked to dance a lot. I later joined a dancing group of one my friends, Bello Sharukhan. We usually assembled for rehearsals and also attended shows.
One day, I was in Abuja where we witnessed Nollywood shooting a film and got talking with one of the actors, Enyinna. Afterward, my friends advised me to become an actor. They said since I can speak good English, I could act in both Kannywood and Nollywood movies. That was how I developed interest.
WM: Do you still have the intention of going into Nollywood?
Rani: My ex-husband advised me to join Nollywood because it is more united. But there are roles I can’t play. I have a son, and my culture and religion will not allow me play some roles. Also, as a newbie, you can’t be too choosy. But I love Nollywood. So, with time we will see what will happen.
WM: Do you think being the ex-wife of a popular actor like Zango will influence your rise?
Rani: I am popular already. But many people know my name more than my face, although many people always want to take pictures with me once they hear that this is Maman Haidar, Zango’s ex-wife. However, I think I am capable of making my own name. I am Amina. I want my own name to go very far. My name being attached to Adam Zango is something I can’t change. We were lovers, we got married and had a very elaborate wedding. We also have a son. We can’t change that, but I am out to make my own name which I’m sure I’m capable of doing.
WM: Kindly share with us about your role in ‘Jaruma’?
Rani: ‘Jaruma’ was produced by Ibrahim Sharukkhan. The first part was a big success. It followed the story of an actress, Maryam Yahaya. She desired to act, but her parents didn’t like the idea. Then she proceeded against their wish and became a very big star. Along the way she started misbehaving.
I’m featuring in part two as a new and down-to-earth actress who starts small and then grows into a star. It promises to be a blockbuster. Kannywood fans should expect something big as it’s going to hit their screen soon.
WM: Are you open to acting alongside Zango as his wife or lover?
Rani: I think whoever is going to produce such a movie would need a big budget. I reckon it would be a blockbuster, a kind that has never been seen. Maman Haidar and Baban Haidar in a movie! It wouldn’t be make-believe anymore because it’s something that has happened and so would be real.
WM: There’s talk that you desire to be a director? Is this true?
Rani: Yes, I actually thought about it. My friend who’s a producer always talks about it because whenever I watch a movie, I always spot flaws. He always looks at me and says, “Amina, do you know you can be a good director?” But I usually laugh it off. So, I think in the future I will definitely want to be a director.
WM: Why are you more popular as Maman Haidar than Amina?
Rani: I love Maman Haidar more. Haidar is the love of my life. The love I have for my child and him for me is beyond ordinary. In some cases, when people ask my name, I answer with Maman Haidar even more than Amina.
There are instances where people have said I am still young and very beautiful and that I should stop calling myself Maman Haidar. But he gives me happiness, so I should not be ashamed of calling myself his mother.
WM: Will it be accurate to say you are transferring the love you had for Zango to Haidar or that you are still in love?
Rani: Some might think that way. There was a time I posted Adam’s picture on his birthday and wished him happy birthday, and he replied with “thank you the mother of my first son.” Immediately people started calling me. I was like wow, this is my ex-husband, he is not my enemy. He gave me something money can’t buy. We were husband and wife, why will I not celebrate his birthday? He also loves Haidar very much. He usually says this in his songs and likes the name Baban Haidar. Whoever knows motherly love will not think otherwise. We are still friends, but we have moved on.