Saratu Gidado, popularly known in the Hausa movie industry as Daso, has not graced the screen for a while. The versatile actress, known for playing valiant roles, has been reportedly involved in humanitarian activities. In this interview, she speaks on what has been occupying her time lately as well as other issues concerning film making. Excerpts
Weekend Magazine: Who is Saratu Gidaddo?
Saratu Gidado: Saratu Gidado, is known in the entertainment industry as Daso. I was born in Kano State in 1968. I did my primary and secondary schools all in Kano before enrolling into Kaduna Polytechnic where I did a diploma in Business Administration before moving to London for a short course. I also taught in a primary school before venturing into film making in 2000. I am currently married and still active in the film making industry.
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WM: Can you recall your first film?
Gidado: My first film was ‘Feleke’ produced by Ali Indabawa. I only did one scene in that movie and after that I got introduced to Sarauniya film Production Company which served as my stepping stone to stardom in the film industry known as Kannywood today.
WM: How did you get the stage name Daso?
Gidado: Daso is a character I played in the film ‘Linzami da Wuta’, and after the film was released into the market, fans began to call me by the name.
I have stirred in films like ‘Feleke’, ‘Linzami da wuta’, ‘Sansani’, ‘Kasko’, ‘Rawani’, ‘Garwashi’, ‘Kasar mu’ and the recent TV series Labarina in which I played the role of a powerful Hajiya.
WM: You are known for playing valiant roles. Is that your preference?
Gidado: No, it’s not my preference or choice; I can vividly remember that it was late director Aminu Muhammed Sabo that introduced me to such role and I do not know why he always found me fit to do such roles. May be, it is because I can perfectly interpret the role.
WM: Does the valiant role you play in films negatively affect your personal life?
Gidado: Not really. I boarded a tricycle recently and as we were discussing with the driver, he said to me ‘We watch your roles in films and I thought you were that wicked, but from our discussion you are just a very simple person’. I told him that film is make believe. In reality, I am quite different from the roles I play. People now understand that roles in films are not the true characters of the artists.
WM: Do you enjoy the roles you play in films?
Gidado: Of course, I do. It is the best way I believe I can send a positive message to the public because usually, the end of a villian isn’t something good and that will deter people from emulating such character. To me, it is the easiest way to send a good message to the public and people will easily learn from it.
WM: Is it true that you are now into humanitarian activities?
Gidado: Yes, I am now actively involved in humanitarian activities and this is an outcome of my newly established entertainment company – Daso Entertainment. It is a company I established for service provision on event management as well as advertisement and I have also incorporated humanitarian activities as part of the company’s social responsibility component.
Under the component, we assist less privileged children and the vulnerable. We also engage in feeding the needy, especially during the fasting season. I have the intention of expanding to remote areas as well as the launching of my ‘Door to Door’ assistance programme where we visit the less privileged at their homes to present food items to them.
This is something I really wanted to do for a long time but didn’t have the opportunity and I couldn’t wait forever. That is why I established the company that will assist in the accomplishment of what I have wanted to do for long. I figured out that I couldn’t do that alone but with the company, I was able to start with the little I was able to gather and the good news is that people have begun to key in as well in the humanitarian activities of the company.
WM: How do you intend to sustain the humanitarian activities as it entails huge financing?
Gidado: As I mentioned earlier, people have begun to get involved in the activities. I started alone initially but presently, there are other philanthropists who have keyed into the activities. What I did was to promote what we are doing on my social media handles such as Facebook, Instagram and others. When people saw what we were doing, they started contributing to it and became part of the activities as well.
That was why we usually post our activities on such social media platforms for these people to see what we were doing and also to justify their contribution to the programme.
We have expanded our assistance up to the Internally Displaced Camps (IDPs) as well as to less privileged homes. We have also donated some basic materials to some psychiatric homes within the states.
I believe with the involvement of members of the public, what we started will be sustained and even when we leave, the good foundation we have laid will continue to grow and be sustained by those after us.
WM: What is your advice to young artists in the industry?
Gidado: I will advise them to concentrate on the industry and take acting as a profession and not a hobby. They should build a career out of it and make good use of the opportunities that the industry provides for them. They shouldn’t be involved in drugs as drugs will only destroy their future. We are what we are today because we do not do drugs and we have endured all the challenges to be where we are today and that is what we want them to do.