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How I secured a lead role in ‘There is a Way’ – Hajara Isa

Hajara Isa Jalingo is a new comer in the Kannywood fi lm industry. With a few fi lms to her credit, Hajara’s fame and fortune could be easily attributable to the leadrole she played in the fi lm ‘There is a Way’. In this interview with ALIYU ASKIRA in Kano, Hajara discloses how her exposure and fl uency in English language got her into a lead-role in the fi rst ever Kannywood fi lm shot in English language.

As a debutant lead-actress in the film ‘There Is A way’, the role you played has really made you an instant star. Readers would want to know little about you and how you joined the industry. Well, I am from Jalingo, Taraba state and I did my primary and secondary schools there before coming to Kaduna to pursue my degree programme. I later joined HRB Film Production to pursue an acting career in Kannywood.

I joined Kannywood through one Sunusi Oscar which I met through another friend that is close to Kannywood. One day, Sadi Sawaba called me and said one Musa Gwammaja wanted to see me. I then met them and after discussing withthem, they made it possible for me to join Kannywood. Could you tell us how come you were given the lead-role in “There is a Way” even though it was your first film? Kabiru Musa Jammaje gave me the role after he screened me and discovered that I could speak English fl uently and that even though I was 22 years old, I was well exposed to handle the project very well.

“Th ere is a way” is a very expensive fi lm, fi rst of its kind to be produced in English even though it is a Hausa Film. How many films have you featured in so far? Well, I was in “GWASKA” the fi lm that made Adam Zango a Householdname. I was in “RARIYA” the fi lm produced by Rahama Sadau which has paraded almost all the who-is-who actors and actresses in Kannywood and then the 3 English Films produced by Jammaje Productions namely: ‘Light and Darkness’,

‘Th ere is a way’, and ‘Th is is the way’. As you can see, my fi lms are not many but honestly, anywhere I go, people would be pointing at me as the lady that featured in ‘Th ere is a way’, I don’t know that the fi lm was an instant success. Can you tell us a little about the film ‘There is a Way’, which is probably one of your favourites?

Th e fi lm was shot at the Northwest University, Kano temporary site, at Ado Bayero House. my father in the fi lm is Sani Mu’azu who was a powerful no-nonsense businessman in the fi lm and he wanted me as his only female daughter to pursue a degree programme in the school. Unfortunately, I met Nuhu Abdullahi in the University who is from a very poor family and fell in serious love with him.

Th is has come to my father’s knowledge and he insisted to visit the school and report Nuhu Abdullahi to my Head of Department. However, the Head of Department who is a veteran Actor, Alhaji Malumfashi happened to be my father’s friend. The twist happened when my father visited his office. Unbeknownst to my father, Malumfashi his friend had before now insisted to sleep with me or fail me in my courses. So he was shocked when he discovered that I am his friend’s daughter. But because he did not get my attention, because I was occupied by Nuhu Abdullahi’s love, he used this opportunity to expel Nuhu Abdullahi from the school.

Honestly, the fi lm is very interesting and I felt satisfi ed to be part of it. Having featured in these successful films, you are likely to become an apple in people’s eyes and would be asked out by several guys. Are you interested in a relationship, or are you already into someone? I am only 22 years old and I am just starting my life. I believe that no lady will be happy if she haslove, get married and bear children in life.

So I am no exception. However, even if I have a boyfriend, it is not something that I would be discussing on the pages of Newspapers. But honestly, I have many admirers. Ladies too want to associate with me because I am a fi lm star. In “There is a Way” you featured as a daughter of a successful businessman.There were scenes that you were to appear driving a car but at the time the film was shot, rumour has it that you didn’t know how to drive. Can you tell us how you handled that aspect? Wow! I am surprised that some people are in the know that I had diffi culties because I couldn’t drive. In any case, we manage to handle that aspect successfully without people noticing it.

But after that, I quickly had to learn how to drive so that I would not disappoint myself in future. Th e thing is, when I joined Kannywood, I was surprised that the industry has grown so big with lots of opportunities to make money. Also, there are decent and good people here that one can even marry from. Forget about the so called perception of members of the society that we in Kannywood don’t stay in marriage whenever we settle down.

Th ere are ladies who are married to actors from Kannywood and their marriage has been successful for many years. Acting is a very good profession and whenever I am not on stage or location, I will either be in school or at home reading or watching fi lms. Can you act in Nollywood, Ghollywood, Bollywood, or Hollywood? In all honesty, I cannot act in a set up that is full of moral corruption.

What is happening in Nollywood for example is something that one cannot even watch with his family. Th ey dress almost half naked, kiss and hug on stages. In some cases, they go beyond that and you see them even in bedrooms in a scene that is typical of an adult fi lm. As a Muslim, no amount of money will make me do that. We are not saying that we are saints in Kannywood but whatever we do, we are guided by the dictates of our religion.

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