Hadiza Aliyu Gabon is from Libreville, the Capital of Gabon. After obtaining a Diploma in French from Ecol de Francaise Gabonese in Gabon, the 28-year-old Kannywood actress in 2007 decided to make a foray into acting in Nigeria. She has since been a household name in the industry. In this interview with ALIYU ASKIRA in Kano, Gabon speaks on the recently reported quarrel with Nafisa Abdullah, films that made her and why she wants to settle down in Nigeria.
You are of Gabonese descent, how did you find yourself in Nigeria and into Kannywood?
I came to stay with my sister in Kaduna, I did not come here to waste my precious life. But I have always had this desire to set up an NGO and help the less-privileged especially Gabonese Nationals that are staying in Nigeria. Basically, I wanted to be a diplomat and an ambassador of my country, but I had financial limitation. I therefore decided to join Kannywood to raise money and establish myself as a business woman then get married and settle down permanently in Nigeria.
You can now speak both Hausa and English languages fluently, how did that happen? I mean, did you engage people to teach you how to speak English and Hausa?
Well, honestly I did not had it easily, but because I also wanted to act in Kannywood, in which I must speak Hausa fluently, I went to Kano and stayed briefly with H.R.B, the popular Kano based film producing company, learning Hausa and also appearing in films from time to time. Though I did not make any impact that was why I left. Later, Ali Nuhu assisted me and linked me with Yakubu Lere, the Chief Executive Officer of Lerawa Films then in 2010 and he featured me in his famous and popular film “WASILA”. Before then, in 2008, Ishaq Sidi Ishaq gave me a role in a film called “ARTABU” which I featured alongside popular actors and actresses but I faced lot of challenges even though I did my best not to be intimidated.
Today, you are the face of MTN. You also do commercials for other companies, and you are equally one of the sought after actresses in Kannywood. What are those films that got you noticed in the industry?
Well, today I can mention four to five films that made me not only a household name, but that has also fetched me a fortune. The first is “Babban Zaure” that film as far as I am concerned is still my best film. Some people were not happy when I was given lead role in that film. Then “Basaja”, “Gwaska”, “Yar Maye” and “Mijin Biza”, these films are very successful in the market. That has also given me the financial resources to also invest in other films. I am very proud of my role in “Yar Maye” and “Basaja” where I was given the task to arrest an international fraudster; a role played by Adamu A. Zango. The film took us to Niger and Ghana and other countries.
How could you describe what acting as a career has made you?
As we speak, by the grace of God, I performed lesser Hajj (Ummrah) severally aside having performed the Hajj. I have a house of my own, good cars to ride and so on. I also have a very big boutique on Waff Road, Kaduna. My prayer now is to get married and settle down and have children because, as a 28-year-old lady, I am not growing younger.
Recently, you reportedly had serious problem with Nafisa Abdullahi and it took officers of MOPPAN Kano Chapter to settle the two of you. What was the genesis of your fight?
Yes, we had misunderstanding with my sister, Nafisa Abdullahi but we have settled our differences and we are now best of friends. As a matter of fact, I, Hadiza Aliyu Gabon, is like holy water, I don’t have enemies. As a Muslim, I am not supposed to have enemies that may be why I refuse to be into any relationship in Kannywood, though you would be hearing stories to the contrary. I have the desire to continue producing films even after I settle down as a married woman. Already, I have businesses here and there, but most importantly, I want to thank Nigerians for accepting me to be one of them and today some of them love my films more than even actresses that are from Nigeria. I am supposed to be an ambassador of my country in Nigeria. Kannywood today is a very big industry that everybody can come and make his own impact.
Who do you admire most in Kannywood?
Are you talking about those I admire their acting skills? Honestly, they are many. However, let me mention some and those that will not be able to be mentioned should know that I also like their acting skills. Aminu Sherrif Momoh, Ali Nuhu, Adam A. Zango, Sadiq Ahmad, Nuhu Abdullahi, Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Ibrahim Mai Shunku and Many others. On the side of female actresses, I admire humble myself, Rahama Hassan, though she is married now, Mansura Isah who is also married, Halima Atete, Nafisa Abdullahi, Fati Washa, Jamila Nagudu, Hafsat Idris and many others that one will not have time to mention all of them.