Maimuna Suleiman also known as Hajjo Maiduguri is one of the upcoming actresses in the Kannywood Hausa film industry. Before she ventured into acting, she started working in the industry as a camerawomen, one of the few women to perform such duties. In this interview, she speaks to Daily News 24’s reporter Usman M. Usman on her journey to filmmaking. Excerpts:
First can we know your name?
My name is Maimuna Sulaiman but I am also called Hajjo Maiduguri.
How did you find yourself in Kannywood?
I am an indigene of Borno state, from the capital Maiduguri. I first came to Kano for a visit and then I developed interest in filmmaking because I see movies as a vital medium to pass information effectively. So I decided to give it a try.
How easy or difficult was it to get involved in filmmaking?
After I picked interest in the film business, I was able to get to a film location with the help of a friend. At first, I thought I could not get comfortable before a camera but with a little patience and determination, I found it fairly easy.
Do you have a godfather in Kannywood?
Not really. I see all the people I work with as my godfathers.
In Kannywood, there are allegations that women can be exploited before they get any roles. Have you experienced any exploitation?
No. I haven’t faced such a situation and I have not seen anyone that witnessed it. But exploitation (of women) is not done only in Kannywood. It is done in every other profession.
Apart from acting, what other business do you do?
I have another business that I do because filmmaking is not something you do everyday. And sometimes when you miss a location, you can go broke. But if you have another business, it will save you a lot of trouble.
And also, apart from acting I have found interest on operating the filmmaking camera. I love the camera job because not many women do it. And it comes handy in a places like weddings or naming ceremonies where women don’t get comfortable with a male cameraman.
How do you deal with the common perception that most ladies in Kannywood are promiscuous?
Honestly I feel bad about it and promiscuity can come in different degrees. A promiscuous person does not need to leave home, they can do it even while living with their parents.
But don’t you think that such perception is caused by the actions of some ladies in the industry?
Yes, it is possible. But you must also understand that in every job, there are good and bad people.
What behaviour hurts your feelings in Kannywood?
I feel very sad seeing how some people especially female actors coming to Tiktok and other social media to display immoral and obscene behavior. I really hate it.
How do you correct it if given the chance?
You know some of them are older than me, some are younger and others are my age mates. I cannot gather all of them and admonish them. But I can advice my friends among them and they can accept their faults and make corrections.
For how long have you been in the Kannywod industry and which films have you featured in?
I have spent just two years in the industry and I have featured in the film Qarni and I’m currently now I’m working in Kudira.
What advice will you offer to your colleagues in Kannywood?
My advice to colleagues is to always behave responsibly and stop exhibiting unacceptable behaviour. And to members of the public, I advice you to please stop blaming all of us for the faults of a few. We should know that in every trade, there are good and bad people. But most importantly, people should pray for us for guidance.