In this exclusive interview with Minal Abubakar, who played the character of Zaliha in Arewa24’s long running TV series Dadin Kowa, the young actress shares the sweet and sour story of her journey to filmmaking with Daily News 24’s reporter, Usman Usman Opera. Excerpts:
Tell us briefly about yourself?
My name is Minal Abubakar ‘Yarmama, popularly known as Zaliha, the daughter of Baba Kamaye in the Arewa24 TV series Dadin Kowa , but that was then.
Can you tell us something about your education?
I did my junior secondary school at WTC Kabala, Kaduna state, and from where I proceeded to study at Hassan Usman Polytechnic Katsina.
Thereafter, I came back to Kano and continued studying at Aminu Kano School of Nursing. However, I dropped out due to some problems. But now I want to further my education.
How old are you?
I am 24 years old.
You mentioned that you studied at Kaduna and Katsina states, does that mean you are not a native of Kano state?
Yes I am not a native of Kano state. I grew up with my grandmother in Kaduna state, and my father lives in Katsina state.
What inspired you to join the Kannywood film industry?
I just loved movie acting since I was a child.
Which is your first movie?
My first film was Tsamiya. But I became famous after I featured in the Arewa24 TV series Dadin Kowa.
How did you find yourself in Dadin Kowa?
Well, I applied for an audition and fortunately, I was among those that were chosen. But after my contract with the television station expired, they replaced me with someone else to play the character of Zaliha.
However, I am now into music videos and some of them would be released soon.
How did you feel when you were first set on camera?
I felt strange especially because I was not familiar with it. But in a short time, I became familiar with my role as Zaliha. I was so much comfortable with it that all I needed to do was just to change costume and I was set to play the character.
So, it was really not difficult to switch between Minal and Zaliha.
Who is your Godfather in Kannywood?
Alhamdulillah. I have many godfathers because people mostly requested to work with me and I live with everyone peacefully.
What is your opinion on flimmaking?
I see film as a business and started it as a business and will always see it as a business.
You see film as a business but others people see it negatively, why?
People see things from different perspectives, maybe they judge people by the roles and characters they act and that is wrong. People need to distinguish between a real person and the characters they play.
What are the challenges you faced in the industry?
The biggest challenge we face in Kannywood film industry, especially as females is that people regard us as prostitutes or immoral people. But it doesn’t bother me at all because I know I’m not doing anything wrong.
You character Zaliha in Dadin Kowa is a morally upright and decent character. But do you still face harassment despite playing a nice person?
Well, it depends. You know, people will judge you positively or negatively no matter how nice or decent you are.
So, some people appreciate me and others detest me as a human being.
What have you achieved so far in Kannywood?
Well, there are a lot of achievements that I have accomplished and I pray for more achievements in the future. But Allah is the best planner, you can’t say you want this or that except what Allah has planned for you, and we always pray for the best in life.
What makes you happy?
Being a Muslim and knowing my mother is alive. Whenever I remember these two blessings, I always thank Allah for his mercy.
What is your message to fans?
My message to fans and even non-fans is to always try to do good and help people. By doing this, Allah might also help you. And to my fans, I am grateful to them for having confidence in me.
*Interview transcribed by Aisha Aliyu Zubairu