Having spent a decade in the movie industry, Halima Abubakar, one of the few Nollywood acts from the North has national and international recognitions to show for her hard work in the movie industry. In this chat, the curvy actress and CEO of Modehouse Entertainment, a music label and entertainment Management Company speaks on her acting career, challenges and sundry issues.
When did you first get your first movie role and what was the movie all about?
My first movie was The Rejected but it’s not out till date. Then I did another one, Sabotage. I can’t remember the names of most of my early movies except a few like But Why, Sabotage and Gangster Paradise which I did around year 2000.
What has been the most memorable movie you’ve featured in so far?
I can’t choose because they all define me at the end of the day. Choosing one particular movie over others won’t be fair to producers.
If there is one thing you will like to change about the perception of people towards you, what would that be?
There are lot but most of the time, when I hear or read them, I just smile and let them go so that it does not weigh me down. In the past, people tagged me a lesbian, when I am not one. I get tired of people when they judge you because of the roles you play in a movie. I would love people to make their findings about me before judging. The fact is that I used to drink but I stopped when I discovered that it hinders my sleep. So I advise anyone who takes a glass to many to quit the way I did. I am one of the most loving actresses you can encounter. I don’t keep unnecessary friends and I always stay focused.
Talking about being tagged a lesbian, have you ever been approached by one?
No. I don’t look like them, so why should I be approached in the first place. If anyone tries to I will be ready to slash them with some nasty words.
What fond childhood memories can you readily recall?
I was very stubborn while growing up and as result of that, my parents kept changing my school. Sometimes I would tell my father, “Oh I saw a ghost yesterday”, or “I saw somebody with half a leg walking”. I cooked up a lot of lies so as to leave where I am to come to Lagos. Eventually I got admitted into Ojo High School in Lagos and that was the period when my love for acting started. I stayed in Lagos with my aunt but after a while I left because it was becoming discouraging and disappointing putting in so much hard work and not getting roles. As a young lady, I didn’t want to be taken advantage of so I had to go back to Kano again after my Junior Secondary School to complete my Senior Secondary Education at Army Day Secondary School, Kano.
Would you say being a celebrity has affected your relationship in any way?
You don’t have to be everywhere. I’m a low key celebrity. The time I have for myself, I use it to sleep. I don’t come out brandishing the things that I do. I’m not the in your face kind of actress.
Why are you so obsessed with your shape?
Well, I am a complete African woman as you can see. I am well endowed and curvy and that alone gets every man crazy. I work so hard to get in shape, I don’t eat or drink too much, I am a lover of fruits and I take a lot of water. I am just me and I appreciate every part of my body.
What movie jobs are you working on presently?
I just completed the shoot of my movie, How I was raped which featured Iyabo Ojo, Ani Danja, Ricardo Agbor and many others. It was directed by Frank Ubaka and produced by my very self. The movie is centered on the menace of rape, its effects and possible solutions. I don’t need to tell you all, I am sure movie lovers will love it when the movie gets released.
With such a title for your movie, one begins to wonder if you have a family or close associate who has gone through such an experience to warrant you shooting a movie on it.
No, this is a project I have been working on for so long and I felt this was the right time to shoot it. I have heard and seen several rape cases in the country and that alone can serve as source of inspiration for any story line.
What do you do in your own little way to give back to society?
The society I find myself has been so acceptable so my little contribution is through my Halima Abubakar Foundation for the Poor where I cater for the less privileged because I have come to discover that people don’t really need money, all they need is care, shelter, clothes and most importantly food. That is my own way of giving back to the society that has done so much for me.
What informs how you dress?
I like being different. I want people to look at me and make a comment even if it’s a weird one. I don’t have to come out wearing a mini skirt like every other person. I can’t come out wearing something that won’t allow me breath well in order for people to look at me and say “Oh, she’s a fashion icon”. I can only go as far as combining colours as long as it suits me.
What is your most expensive fashion item?
My wrist watches. I love wristwatches. And rings, I love rings. It’s amazing when you hear the amount some of these rings cost. I love accessories a lot.
How challenging is combining the role of an actress and a producer?
It is challenging handling both but believe me when you are an actress on set, you become the eyes of the producer and director but when you are the producer, the challenges are much because you begin to run helter-shelter to suit everybody on set.
What has life taught you over the years?
That things are not as easy as people make you believe and it pays to be consistent, prayerful and being focused.