Maryam Abubakar is an upcoming actress in the Hausa film industry. Born and brought up in Lagos, the 20-year-old Maryam debuted her acting career in the film ‘Bilkisu’, a TV serial directed by Balarabe Murtala. She was the lead actress in the film and her performance was brilliant. In this interview with ALIYU ASKIRA in Kano, Maryam speaks on her role in the film, relationship and future plans in the industry.
You played a leading role in the recently released film: Bilkisu. It was even rumoured that you competed with many seasoned actresses over the role. What is the truth about it?
Well, when I was invited to go for the selection process I did not anticipate that it was going to be so tedious, though I made up my mind to do all I could to at least secure a role in the film.
It was my first film though, and if I fail it means I will find it difficult to remain in the industry. Thus, I prayed hard and God answered my prayers, I was then chosen to play the lead role. I am grateful to the director Balarabe Murtala and other members of the film.
I was informed that you were born and brought up in Lagos. Why acting in Kannywood instead of Nollywood?
It is true I was born and brought up in Lagos. I did my primary and secondary schools in Lagos. However, educationally I am not qualified to act in Nollywood. I need to further my education first. However, even if I am a graduate I will not act in Nollywood, because their films are full of moral corruption, it is therefore not meant for people like us. Similarly, I am only 20 years old, I am a Muslima and a Hausa Fulani. For Kannywood, I can act in the industry because their films are produced in Hausa Language.
People are gossiping that you secured the lead role in ‘Bilkisu’ because you are beautiful and might have compromised your body that is why you were chosen above older actresses that have made their mark in the industry. What do you have to say?
Honestly, nothing of such has happened. In fact, even before I started acting I have been hearing of sexual harassment in Kannywood. But the truth is, a beautiful actress that wants to succeed in Kannywood must not zip down for producers or directors before she sails through. This insinuation at first made it difficult for my parents to give me their consent. But, honestly, what I met here is quite different.
Yes I am happy God created me a beautiful lady, I am also cool and friendly but the issue is I am here to pursue a career and be a successful actress. Acting to me is a good business that one can fetch money easily and also be successful in life. So I am here to explore all available opportunities to be successful in life. I don’t drink, I don’t take drugs, I don’t play about, I am as decent as the holy water.
Is it true that Bilkisu was shot in Bauchi and it took you 2 months to finish the film?
Its true. Normally, if a director or producer will shot his film outside Kano which in most cases is the case, what they do is to make accommodation arrangement for members of the crew. If they like they can stay in camp, or rent hotels for their artist.
What happened during location was that we moved in groups, lodged in one place and most of the time we are either shooting the film or discussing how to go about our next project. As such, there is nothing like one sneaking into an actress’s room to misbehave.
How about marriage, and do you have a timeframe in mind that you would want to settle down?
I want you to know that am just starting my career in Kannywood. I still have a long way to go, especially with the film Bilkisu which is a television series that will be showing all over the world. Very soon many other opportunities will start coming my way, but as a lady at the age of 20 one is ripe for marriage, but the truth is I still want to go back to the university. I want to feature in as many films as possible. I want to make a very good fortune. The industry is big and I intend to mind my business and by the time I will leave the industry I will not leave any scandal behind me.
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