Hannatu Bashir, popularly known as Hanan in Kannywood, is one of the versatile actresses in the film making industry. In this interview, the CEO of Hanan Synergy Concept movie production company tells Weekend Magazine how she started, her journey so far and what she expects from the future. Excerpt:
How did you start your acting career?
I started acting in 2012. I also have my movie production company where I produce films.
Presently, I am an actress as well as a producer in Kannywood. I have featured in more than 50 Hausa movies, majority of which I happen to play the lead character.
- Buhari signs electoral bill, rejects exclusion of appointees from primaries
- ‘I’m not sick’, Tinubu begs Nigerians to vote for him in 2023
Talking on how I started, I think I can say it was a destiny because I never thought I will ever be an actress. While growing up, I never really liked watching movies.
So, one day, we were watching a movie at home, and an actress did something I can’t quite remember now, so I said if it was me, I would have done something better. That was the day I felt in love with film making.
I then informed my mother that I wanted to start acting, but she said my father will not allow me. I insisted, and so she tried and convinced him to allow me but he said his only problem was how people perceive actors. I told him not all of them are bad.
That was how I ventured into the industry and for this long, we are still pushing.
What are the challenges you faced while staring your career?
I think the major one I can remember was when I came into the industry as a newbie, there was that fear that I may not be able to do it rightly. But I fought over the fear with courage I got from my colleagues and since then, I can’t mention any specific challenge except one or two small things that life can not go on without; which are irrelevant to me.
Which among the movies do you think brought you to limelight?
I acted in many good and big budgeted movies. I can say I am very lucky among the actresses to have started with lead roles. But I think the movie ‘Gaskiya Ta fi Kwabo’ can be considered as my breakthrough movie, but my fans may differ.
You are one of the actresses in Kannywood that are producing movies. What differentiates your company Hanan Synergy Concept from others in terms of film making?
I started my career in Rite Time Multimedia. That was the company I had my breakthrough. My first movie is ‘Kotun Ibro’. And after some time, I decided to launch my own movie production company to make a difference because I saw a gap.
What I always wanted to do is to produce human angles movies that change the way people think and act. My thinking is always how to change the narrative and how to change the world.
My last two movies for example: one is ‘Ashe za mu ga juna’, the central theme is how bad friends can influence a good person to start something bad. The movie also touches kidnapping and how to address it. You see, we are now fighting this problem of banditry and kidnapping in the North, and the youths are the easy target by the terrorist so that they influence them into the bad act. So that was why I produced that movie.
The second one is ‘Shaheeda’ which is a movie about how to live harmoniously with neighbours and how to be our brothers’ keepers. In the movie, I tried to reverse the practice of neighbours looking out for the welfare and well being of their neighbours.
I also produced ‘Mero’ among others.
Film marketing is a serious problem, do you see YouTube as a medium of selling your movies and making profit?
Well, YouTube is still new to our people, but I think it is better with web series. I have been producing movies in CD, but we have no option than to go to YouTube now because that is where the world is heading towards, but the problem of YouTube is getting people to watch your movies. If you spend your money on a movie, and upload it on YouTube without much subscribers, you are just wasting your time. You have to get more followers and subscribers before you will start getting paid. So, I think the best option now for us is going back to television like Arewa24 and others channels.
There is this perception that female actresses hardly marry or settle down. What can you say about this?
You know actors are like mirrors. Take for example, the mirror in your house. Any slight crack in it is easily observed because you look at it almost every day. That is how we are. People are monitoring us and our activities very closely, so any slight mistake, people must know. That is the same with settling down. But before one actress divorces, hundreds of others must have divorced but no body will talk about it because they are not known. But if one actress is divorced, the story will be every where, and people will start generalizing.
Every woman you see on this earth wants to marry and settle down with her husband and have children.
Will you allow you children to follow your footstep in film making?
Why not? As far as I am concerned, film making is a business like any other business people are doing to make end means. The same way some parents are proud if their children are working in any government agency or are into business, that is how I will be proud if any of my children decides to join the industry.
But one thing is I will not force them. I will only advice them and support them on what ever they are doing or what they want to do. I have since been using the nephews and nieces in my movies.
Any message to your fans?
It’s a message of love and appreciations. All we are doing is because of them and for them. They should keep encouraging us. And what ever they see that is not right, they should feel free to call our attention to it. We are all humans that are capable of making mistakes. They should not keep it to themselves and use our mistakes as a tool for abusing us and/or blackmailing us.
By Isiyaku Muhammed and Musa Kutama